General Health Tips & News

Role Of Antioxidants On Eye Health

By H.S. (staff writer) , published on October 07, 2021

Medicine Telehealth Health

Taking care of your eyes is as important as taking care of your body. Your eyes need nutrients too. Our lifestyle greatly depends on what food is on our plate. Maintaining your eye health improves vision. An unbalanced diet could result in various eye problems such as blurry vision. Various ocular conditions such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, and cataracts can be the result of poor nutrition.


Antioxidants have been proven to reduce the risk of eye diseases and improve overall eye health because of their ability to defend your body against free radicals. 


Some Common Eye Diseases:

Globally, around 250 million people suffer from blurry vision or complete loss of vision because of the high consumption of oxygen that leads to oxidative stress of the eyes [1]. The following are some common eye diseases: 


  • Muscular Degeneration: It refers to the damage of the retina that is involved explicitly in the vision process. Thinning of the macula (a small portion of the retina that helps in clear vision) is responsible for muscular degeneration. 
  • Cataracts: It results when clumps are formed by eye proteins resulting in a cloudy area in the lens of the eyes. Around 58-60 million people are affected with cataracts because of poor diet [2].
  • Glaucoma: Your good vision may be destroyed by glaucoma, which causes progressive damage to the optic nerve of the eye, leading to vision loss. People aged over 60 years are mostly affected by glaucoma. 


What Are Antioxidants And How Are They Good For Eye Health?

Your body is daily exposed to free radicals as a result of environmental exposure and normal biological functions. Free radicals cause oxidative stress by penetrating your body and making it vulnerable to damage (your eyes aren’t an exception). Antioxidants are the defenders of your body that improve your overall health by neutralizing the effect of free radicals [3].


Antioxidants are good for maintaining the structural integrity of your eyes, such as:


They Protect Your Eyes From Any Disease: Antioxidants have been linked with improved eye health because they protect your eyes against oxidative damage in the retina [4].

They Protect Your Eyes From Harmful Blue Light: Blue light can harm your retina and cause blurry vision. High levels of antioxidants block blue rays and maintain visual health. 


Some Common Antioxidants:

  • Lutein: Lutein tends to protect the ocular structures by protecting the retina and macula. Cataracts prevention is mainly associated with regular intakes of lutein. More than a 20% reduction in cataracts has been associated with an increased concentration of lutein in the diet [5]. Foods that contain lutein include leafy veggies, broccoli, and kale, etc.
  • Zeaxanthin: Zeaxanthin prevents macular degeneration and cataract by up to 40% [6]. The foods rich in zeaxanthin include cabbage, beans, and leafy veggies. 
  • Zinc: Zinc promotes the production of melanin by bringing vitamin A to the retina. Consumption of zinc with beta carotene has been linked with 25% deceleration in age-related macular degeneration [7].


A Few Steps To Maintain Your Eye Health:

  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Wear sunglasses
  • Quit smoking
  • Minimize the use of computers
  • Eat vitamin C & E and omega-3 fatty acids rich foods
  • Exercise well
  • Make use of eyewear
  • Get proper sleep




  1. Lawrenson JG, Downie LE. Nutrition and Eye Health. Nutr  2019;11.

  2. Liu Y-C, Wilkins M, Kim T, Malyugin B, Mehta JS. Cataracts. Lancet 2017;390:600–12.

  3. Grover AK, Samson SE. Antioxidants and vision health: facts and fiction. Mol Cell Biochem 2014;388:173–83.

  4. Fletcher AE. Free Radicals, Antioxidants and Eye Diseases: Evidence from Epidemiological Studies on Cataract and Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Ophthalmic Res 2010;44:191–8.

  5. Ribaya-Mercado JD, Blumberg JB. Lutein and Zeaxanthin and Their Potential Roles in Disease Prevention. J Am Coll Nutr 2004;23:567S-587S.

  6. Carpentier S, Knaus M, Suh M. Associations between Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Age-Related Macular Degeneration: An Overview. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 2009;49:313–26.

  7. Vishwanathan R, Chung M, Johnson EJ. A Systematic Review on Zinc for the Prevention and Treatment of Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2013;54:3985–98.

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