Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Eye Health Vitamins

Eye health vitamins are vitamins which are increasingly accepted as helping to prevent or in some cases reverse the symptoms of some eye conditions.

Retinopathy: Bilberry Extract has been utilized for many years in Europe for the treatment of various eye conditions, with some studies indicating that it may have beneficial effects for various types of retinopathy, including diabetic retinopathy, retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration. Additional nutrients that have been studied and may have benefit for macular degeneration include rutin, taurine and magnesium.

Cataracts also seems to be affected by oxidation. Cataracts develop when protein deposits form on the lens of the eye, clouding vision. Common symptoms of cataracts include blurred vision, glare, light sensitivity, frequent eyeglass prescription changes, double vision in one eye, the need for brighter light to read, poor night vision, and the appearance of faded or yellowed colors. Cataracts are extremely common, and happen with most people as they age. They appear more frequently in smokers and those with diabetes.

Several epidemiologic studies indicated that patients with the lowest levels of vitamin C, vitamin E and carotenoids in their blood were more likely to suffer cataract formation.

A diet rich in antioxidants (vitamins E and C especially) may help prevent or delay the formation of cataracts, as oxidative damage appears to be a cause of their development.

Glaucoma is the name for a group of diseases that can lead to optic nerve damage, ultimately resulting in blindness if not treated. Often glaucoma has progressed dramatically before it is noticed. The best way to detect early glaucoma symptoms is through regular eye exams and a test to determine how much pressure is being exerted on the eye. The first noticeable symptom of glaucoma is usually "tunnel vision" – a lack of vision of items that are not directly in front of the eyes. While not curable, glaucoma can be treated via daily medication which helps lower pressure in the eye, laser surgery to drain built-up fluid, or conventional surgery creating a new opening from which fluid can drain. Several nutrients have been shown to be of value in glaucoma, including magnesium, alpha lipoic acid, vitamin C and vitamin B12.