Vaught Eye Associates Warns of Link Between Poor Nutrition and Eye Disease

CONWAY, S.C., March 29, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Eye disease is a leading cause of permanent disability in the United States. With more than 20 million Americans aged 40 and older developing cataracts and an additional 10 million Americans aged 60 and over suffering from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), Vaught Eye Associates is raising awareness about how better nutrition may be able to help reduce the risk for these diseases. Antioxidants, including Vitamins C and E, carotenoids, beta carotene, omega-3 fatty acids and folic are all closely associated with eye health. While carrots are a well-known food for improving eye health, Dr. Vaught also recommends spinach, kale, grapefruit, strawberries and Brussels sprouts.

Better nutrition may reduce the risk for eye diseases and protect eye health, says Conway optometrist Dr. James Vaught. Dr. Vaught and the eye care team at his practice, Vaught Eye Associates, are raising awareness about the link between poor nutrition and the increased risk for eye disease.

"Age-related vision problems are increasingly common amongst older Americans, and can really impact their quality of life," said Dr. Vaught. "Whether an individual is suffering from impaired night vision or a general decline in visual capacities, everything from driving a car to reading the newspaper becomes much harder. The good news is that nutritional supplements and dietary changes may be able to make a difference and decrease the risk for developing certain vision problems."

Antioxidants like lutein may naturally help to deter the build-up of waste products in the retina, which in turn lowers the risk for age-related macular degeneration, says Dr. Vaught.

Nutritional supplements may also help halt the progression of certain eye diseases. A 2001 study from the National Eye Institute found that taking high doses of Vitamin E, beta carotene, zinc, and copper may help to slow the progression of intermediate age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

However, Dr. Vaught cautioned that additional research into the benefits of nutritional supplements is necessary. For example, other research studies have found that high levels of beta carotene may increase the risk for lung cancer in smokers. Dr. Vaught says that dietary changes may be the best way to naturally increase the intake of key antioxidants and vitamins.

The top nutrients associated with eye health are antioxidants, omega 3-fatty acid and folic acid. Nutrients like Vitamins C and E are naturally found in green leafy vegetables and certain fruits. Dark leafy vegetables are also a good source for lutein. Cold water fish like anchovies, salmon, herring and mackerel are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Dairy products, eggs, poultry, shellfish and meat are rich in Vitamin B12. Citrus fruits, nuts, green leafy vegetables, and dried beans are good sources of folic acid.

To learn more about the link between nutrition and eye health, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Vaught, visit

CONTACT: Vaught Eye Associates, 843-488-2020Source:Vaught Eye Associates