Vitamin A deficiency: Symptoms include night vision problems

The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) explains that there is evidence to show that a healthy diet prevents the development of eye conditions, “although this link isn’t as strong as it is for other conditions such as heart disease.” The NHS recommends that most people should get their eyes tested every two years.

According to the Kraff Eye Institute, certain vitamin deficiencies can “negatively impact how we see”.

It explains: “Our ocular health depends on the balance of many nutrients, but some key vitamins improve eyesight.”

The health body says that vitamin A is an “essential” nutrient for the eyes.

It explains: “Vitamin A is a broad term used for a group of compounds called retinoids.”

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“Retinol is the form of vitamin A derived from animal foods. In the eye, retinol is taken up by the retinal cells to make a pigment called rhodopsin.”

“Xerophthalmia is the term used to describe the constellation of symptoms that arise from vitamin A deficiency, including night blindness and dry eye, among others.”

The NHS says vitamin A, also known as retinol, has several important functions.

These include helping your body’s natural defense against illness and infection, helping vision in dim light and keeping skin and the lining of some parts of the body, such as the nose, healthy.


RNIB also notes that some of the health complications of being overweight can cause problems that can affect your sight.

“These include retinal vessel occlusions, diabetic eye problems and eye conditions related to stroke.

“You can reduce your risk of developing these conditions, which can lead to sight loss, by maintaining a healthy weight or by losing weight if you need to,” it notes.

RNIB explains that how your diet may affect your eye condition depends a lot on the eye condition you have been diagnosed with.

There are several other factors that can affect your eye health, according to the NHS.

The health body says: “If you smoke you’re much more likely to develop age-related macular degeneration, which is the most common cause of sight loss in the UK, and cataracts, than people who do not smoke.”

It adds: “Getting out in the sun is important for your general health, but you need to protect yourself. Never look at the sun directly, even when something exciting such as an eclipse is happening.”

Age UK notes: “The best way to make sure your eyes are healthy is to have regular eye checks. Many eye diseases can be treated successfully if they are detected early.”

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