Vitamin D and VisionPosted on: May 25, 2018 | Healthy Eyes
We’ve all heard before that we need our vitamins to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but recent studies suggest that vitamin D can limit your risk for severe eye conditions. It’s certainly not a surprise since this essential vitamin affects nearly every aspect of the body. Indeed, vitamin D and vision are closely linked, and through a balanced diet, increased sun exposure, and other health benefits, you can have a better chance to ward off a few serious eye conditions including age-related macular degeneration.
What is Vitamin D?
Often found in fish oil, liver, eggs, and some milk types, vitamin D is a cluster of fat-soluble secosteroids used to absorb calcium and other elements in the blood, bones, and intestines. Vitamin D can benefit various parts of the body, including the heart, lungs, muscles, and bones. It’s also vital for fighting off infection and maintaining a balanced, healthy body. As mentioned before, vitamin D manages calcium throughout the body. Calcium is essential to maintaining healthy bones and muscles, but without vitamin D to absorb it, the element would essentially be useless. Although it’s found in certain foods, vitamin D is more often than not created in your body when it’s exposed to sunlight, making it highly unique since most vitamins are strictly obtained from food and supplements. Vitamin D deficiency can result in several symptoms and health problems, including general fatigue, frequent illnesses, irregular blood pressure, back pain, muscle pain, bone loss, and much more. Vitamin D deficiency also increases your risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and cognitive issues.
So, how does it help your eyesight?
Typically vitamins E, C, and A are known to fortify your eyesight, but according to a study published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to individuals suffering from age-related macular degeneration.
What is Macular Degeneration?
According to aao.org, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is an eye condition that affects your retina. When a small portion of the retina known as the macula is damaged through age-related factors or other circumstances, an individual’s vision can be drastically affected. Many people have reported that they’re unable to see fine details and experience a complete loss of their central vision. Imagine everywhere you looked, you could not see the focal point of your vision while your peripheral vision is unaffected. As one could imagine, this can become a serious condition that must be combated with various preventative measures. In addition, there are also two types of macular degeneration to consider:
Dry Macular Degeneration
The most common type of age-related macular degeneration is its dry form. Dry AMD occurs when small clusters of protein grow and stick to a thinned macula. Over time, the central vision of the individual will degenerate.
Wet Macular Degeneration
Wet macular degeneration is less common but can be far more dangerous to your vision. This condition occurs when irregular blood vessels begin to grow underneath the retina. If the blood vessels burst, they can damage the macula and cause severe vision loss.
How Does Vitamin D Help Your Eyesight?
In addition to other advantages, Vitamin D and vision benefits go hand and hand. According to recent studies compiled by the American Optometric Association, vitamin D can greatly benefit the body by warding off serious conditions and diseases. To ensure you maintain healthy vision, here are a few major benefits to consider:
Lowers Your Risk of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
A recent study found that individuals with early signs of age-related macular degeneration had lower blood levels of vitamin D. This study was based on over 8,000 cases and may eventually lead to hard evidence of vitamin D deficiency in AMD sufferers.
Lowers Your Risk of Dry, Irritated Eyes
In a study conducted by the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases, they found that vitamin D may decrease your chances of experiencing dry eyes due to its anti-inflammatory properties. So the next time you experience the irritation of dry eyes, consider catching some sun or taking a vitamin D supplement.
Lowers Your Risk of Heart Disease
Cardiovascular disease is linked to various eye conditions such as glaucoma and AMD, but a recent review suggests that vitamin D could play a factor in preventing this disease.
If you’d like to learn about other ways to prevent age-related vision problems, don’t hesitate to reach out to our eye care experts at Mattioli Vision Professionals. Dr. Mattioli has helped over 45,000 Houstonians achieve clearer vision through advanced procedures and treatments. Schedule a free consultation today to see the MVP difference for yourself.
Dr. Mattioli is board-certified by the American Board of Physician Specialties in Ophthalmology and has over 18 years of vision correction experience. Since 2001, he has performed over 45,000 laser refractive treatments and hundreds of cataract/implant procedures.