Doctor Discusses Eye and Vision Supplements

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vitaminsTaking the right eye supplements that contain vitamins and other nutrients can be beneficial for maintaining eye health and good vision. Dr. Stewart Shofner of Shofner Vision Center shares tips on choosing the best eye and vision supplements.

Dr. Stewart Shofner of Shofner Vision Center shares tips on choosing the best supplements to improve vision and eye health. Eye supplements are designed to add, not replace, nutrients acquired from a healthy diet. It is important to know that a healthy diet of nutrient-rich foods is critical for maintaining eye health and good vision.

Most Americans don’t eat enough nutrient rich foods like fruits and vegetables, but opt for high-calorie, low-nutrient alternatives that can be harmful to the body, including the eyes. Daily multivitamins and minerals can help supplement the nutritional gaps in a unsatisfactory diet and may decrease the progression of eye diseases. Dr. Shofner shares the following tips on choosing the best vision supplements.

1) Quality. The best eye supplements contain quality ingredients that have high bioavailability for easy absorption. Popular eye multivitamins include: ICaps (Alcon), Ocuvite PreserVision (Bausch + Lomb), Vision 360 (Stop Aging Now), and Eye & Body Complete (Biosyntrix). “We only offer and recommend well-known, quality brands to our patients,” says Dr. Shofner.

2) Freshness. Check for an expiration date to make sure the supplement is fresh and the seal has not been broken or tampered with.

3) Choose Capsules. Capsules are easily absorbed vs. hard tablets and tend to cause less stomach upset.

4) Avoid Fillers. Eye supplements containing dairy products, corn or wheat, could affect those sensitive or are allergic to those ingredients.

5) Follow Correct Dosage. To reduce the risk of toxicity or drug reactions, do not exceed the dosage instructions on the bottle.

6) Save with Multivitamins. Purchasing multivitamins rather than buying each vitamin and nutrient separately can cost less.

Vitamins That Support Vision Health

Most of these vitamins and nutrients listed below may play a key role in reducing inflammation and oxidative changes associated with the development of degenerative diseases, including chronic and age-related eye problems:

* Vitamin A and beta-carotene. Vitamin A is essential for night vision.

* Vitamin B complex (including vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12 folic acid, biotin and choline). B complex vitamins may help reduce chronic inflammation and prevent elevated homocysteine levels in the blood, which have been associated with vascular problems affecting the retina. B vitamins also may play a role in reducing the risk of macular degeneration and in the treatment of uveitis.

* Vitamin C. Some studies have found vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, is associated with reduced risk of cataracts.

* Vitamin D. Recent studies suggest vitamin D deficiency is prevalent, especially during winter months in cold climates. Research suggests vitamin D may decrease the risk of developing macular degeneration. View a research report on Vitamin D and AMD.

* Vitamin E. Vitamin E has been associated with reduced risk of cataracts.

* Bioflavonoids. Found in many fruits and vegetables, bioflavonoids appear to help the body absorb vitamin C for higher antioxidant efficiency.

* Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These carotenoids and macular pigments may reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

* Omega-3 essential fatty acids. These essential nutrients may reduce the risk of dry eyes and may have other eye health benefits as well.

* Phytochemical antioxidants. Plant extracts, such as those from ginkgo biloba and bilberry, contain phytochemicals, which appear to provide protection from oxidative stress in the entire body, including the eyes.

Dr. Shofner suggests patients should consult with their eye doctor and primary care physician before taking supplements, especially for those that are pregnant, nursing or taking blood thinners (anti-coagulants).

About Shofner Vision Center

Dr. Stewart Shofner of Shofner Vision Center located in Nashville, TN, specializes in LASIK and Cataract Vision Correction Surgery and treats ocular diseases. Dr. Shofner has performed over 10,000 cataract surgeries in Nashville/Middle Tennessee area. Dr. Shofner recommends anyone seeking eye and vision supplements or experiencing vision impairment to contact their local ophthalmologist or contact Shofner Vision Center for a “No Fear – No Pressure” comprehensive eye exam.