Three Ways to Keep Seeing Clearly

by Dr. Julian Whitaker
Filed Under: Vision Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

Protecting your eyes against free radical damage can help to preserve your eyesight.Like a camera, your eyes need clear lenses so you can see. Yet, more than half of all Americans over the age of 65 have experienced some degree of change to their eyes’ lenses.

Conventional doctors often tell their patients that these fluctuations are irreversible and this is simply untrue. The primary cause of changes to our eyes’ lenses is free radical damage, and this is an area where three simple steps can really help.

1. Take antioxidants.  In addition to supporting ocular pressure, vitamin C is also particularly important for maintaining clear lenses. In fact, healthy lenses contain some of the highest concentrations of vitamin C of any organ. Other lens-healthy antioxidants are vitamin A, beta-carotene, and glutathione. I recommend 15,000 IU of vitamin A from mixed carotenoids—including beta-carotene—and 260 mg of N-acetyl-cysteine, a glutathione precursor, daily.

2. Preserve your eye health with red wine. The benefits of wine go far beyond cardiovascular protection. Researchers at Howard University Hospital in Washington, DC, found that the moderate consumption of red wine can also help maintain optimal thickness of the lenses of the eyes. If you’re not already a drinker, this doesn’t mean you should start, but if you like to have an occasional glass of red wine with dinner, enjoy! (Remember, moderate drinking is no more than one 5-ounce glass of wine a day for women and one or two 5-ounce glasses for men.)

3. Eat dark, leafy green vegetables. These plant foods contain lutein and zeaxanthin, compounds that absorb some of the harmful UV radiation that enters the eyes. These nutrients also increase the thickness of the macula, the area in the retina involved in central vision that thins or degenerates as we age.

Now it’s your turn: What are you doing to help protect your vision?

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