Vitamin D is an essential nutrient required by the body to absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus, which are both are critical for building bone. However, did you know that Vitamin D is also critical for eye health? From reducing the risk of macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma, to helping the eyes heal and fight infection, vitamin D is vital for optimal eye health and strong vision. Read on to learn more about this important nutrient and how a deficiency can negatively impact your eyes.

What is Vitamin D?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin the body needs for many vital processes. It is unique because when the body receives it, it gets turned into a hormone. This hormone is sometimes called calcitriol. vitamin D/calcitriol allows our bodies to absorb other nutrients from our diets. Not only does vitamin D promote healthy bones and teeth, but it also regulates insulin levels, benefits the immune system, and supports cardiovascular health, and brain and nervous system health. Studies have also shown that vitamin D can reduce cancer cell growth, help control infections and reduce inflammation.

Vitamin D Deficiency

When there is insufficient vitamin D in the body, a deficiency occurs. This is often due to lack of sunlight exposure, an inadequate diet, and malabsorption. A lack of vitamin D has been associated with cancers, auto-immune disorders, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, multiple sclerosis, and even dementia. Being deficient in Vitamin D can also have a negative impact on eye health; it is often associated with conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, uveitis, dry eye syndrome and impaired tear function.

If you think you may be vitamin D deficient, it is important to discuss your concerns or symptoms with your trusted healthcare professional who will undertake the appropriate testing.

How Can Vitamin D Improve Vision?

There are numerous benefits of vitamin D for vision health. Vitamin D fights the degeneration of tissues, and is known to prevent AMD, glaucoma, dry eye syndrome and cataracts. It also enables the eyes to heal from injury and can help prevent the growth of cancer cells and new blood vessels from malignant tumours.

What Are the Best Sources of Vitamin D?

One of the best sources is sunlight exposure. When your skin is exposed to UV-B rays, it produces vitamin D which then disperses to the rest of your body. Experts recommend getting 10-30 minutes per day, several times a week.

We also get vitamin D from our diets. Some foods that are high in vitamin D are:

  • Dairy products - cheese, milk, yoghurt
  • Fruits and vegetables - avocado, mushrooms, dark leafy vegetables such as spinach
  • Almonds, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds
  • Fatty fish - salmon, sardines, mackerel, and tuna
  • Egg yolks
  • Fortified yogurts, juices, and soy beverages

A combination of safe sun exposure and a healthy well-balanced diet will ensure your body receives the necessary vitamin D needed for optimum health and wellbeing.

Want to Book an Eye Sight Test? Fremantle, Rockingham, Kardinya, Woodvale, Floreat are home to an Abernethy Owens Practice

All of our staff across all 5 practices are highly skilled and we have experienced optometrists who focus on providing outstanding, personalised eye care service. Book an appointment online now or call us to speak with our friendly team today.