Do You Need To Take Vitamins To Have Healthy Eyes?

There’s no question that vitamin deficiencies can cause eye problems. If your diet is missing key vitamins or nutrients—or if you have a diagnosed deficiency that increases your disease risk—your doctor may recommend taking supplements.

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But for most people, vitamins aren’t necessary for eye health, except in the case of age-related macular degeneration. This leading cause of vision loss among older Americans may be slowed with a supplement that contains 500 mg vitamin C, 400 IU vitamin E, 80 mg zinc, 2 mg copper, 10 mg lutein and 2 mg zeaxanthin.

For other conditions, like glaucoma and cataracts, the evidence on supplements is limited. In general, it’s best to eat a diet full of nutritious foods to ensure you aren’t vitamin deficient. Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale and mustard greens offer many of the vitamins and nutrients that are good for eye health. And carrots give you plenty of vitamin A—but beyond that, they don’t hold any magical properties for eye health. That may come as a surprise if you were told growing up, like I was, that rabbits never wear glasses.