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Does Vitamin A Make Your Eyesight Better?

author image Derek Buckner
Derek Buckner has been writing professionally since 2005, specializing in diet, nutrition and general health. He has been published in "Today's Dietitian," "Food Essentials" and "Eating Well Magazine," among others. Buckner is a registered dietitian and holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition and food science from Drexel University.
Does Vitamin A Make Your Eyesight Better?
Vitamin A is found in colorful food sources. Photo Credit: numxyz/iStock/Getty Images

Vitamin A is a critical nutrient when it comes to eyesight. Not only does vitamin A help you see, it also helps protect your eyes from infection and produces pigment in the retina of your eye. Vitamin A is useful in a variety of other ways because it is also an antioxidant, which helps protect and heal your body, and it helps maintain your skin, teeth, mucus membranes and soft tissue.

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Vitamin A promotes good vision, according to MedlinePlus. Vitamin A is especially important for seeing in the dark or in poorly lit areas. Without vitamin A, you wouldn’t be able to establish a wide array of colors because it helps your eyes distinguish colors such as bright orange or dark purple. Vitamin A may even help prevent certain eye diseases that cause severe vision loss among young people, according to All About Vision. One of the first and most common signs of a vitamin A deficiency is night blindness and vision loss.

Eye Infections

Vitamin A also helps combat healthy eyes for a few different reasons. Vitamin A is an antioxidant, which helps fight free radicals that could cause potential eye infections, according to All About Vision. Vitamin A also protects the mucus membranes that cover your eyes, which helps decrease the risk of infection by acting as a barrier to viruses and bacteria.

Dry Eyes and Other Eye Conditions

Vitamin A drops can help cure dry eye syndrome and help lubricate and protect the eyes. According to All About Vision, eye drops formulated with vitamin A are just as effective at treating dry eyes as expensive prescription eye drops. Vitamin A drops can also help treat certain types of eye inflammation, such as superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis. Ongoing research is being conducted to determine and prove the effectiveness of vitamin A to treat conditions such as retinitis pigmentosa, peripheral vision loss, Stargardt’s disease and other conditions.

Vitamin A Dosage

Without enough vitamin A, you could develop a vitamin A deficiency. A deficiency of vitamin A could lead to corneal ulcers, clouding of the front of the eye and damage to the retina. Vitamin A is typically found in colorful foods such as cantaloupe, watermelon, yellow and red peppers, carrots, spinach and sweet potatoes. Women need 700 mcg of vitamin A each day while men require 900 mcg of vitamin A. The recommended daily allowance for children will vary upon age. Children ages 1 to 3 need 300 mcg per day, children 4 to 8 require 400 mcg per day and children 9 to 13 need 600 mcg per day. Always check with your doctor or your child’s pediatrician before taking any vitamin supplements to ensure that your need is within the recommended guidelines.

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