Eye redness might occur for a number of reasons, including lack of sleep, dry eye, infections or allergies. Once these conditions resolve or you start sleeping well, the redness might dissipate. You might naturally have redness on the white of your eyes, and your doctor might suggest a diet rich in certain vitamins to help promote white eyes. However, vitamins might not treat any and all eye conditions that cause bloodshot eyes.
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Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, aids in the function of your nervous system and metabolism, as well as many other body processes. This nutrient also helps promote healthy eyes and might have a role in reducing eye redness. Food sources of vitamin B2 include broccoli, mushrooms, milk, eggs, meat and almonds. If you suffer from chronic eye redness without any known cause, your doctor might recommend that you eat a healthful diets that includes these and other B2 sources, or she might recommend a daily dose of vitamin B2. Your doctor will tell you how much of the nutrient you should take, and this will depend on your overall health, diet and severity of the eye redness.
Vitamin A has an important role in eye health, promoting a healthy retina -- the back lining of the eye -- and a healthy cornea -- the clear outer dome covering the front of your eye. Although a vitamin A deficiency does not commonly occur in the U.S., low levels of this nutrient could result in dry eye, a condition that can cause eye redness as well as burning, stinging and watery eyes.
Eating a diet rich in vitamin A or taking vitamin A supplements will not treat eye redness, but if you have a risk for low levels, ensuring you have an adequate intake could help prevent dry eye and accompanying symptoms. Food sources of vitamin A include carrots, kale, spinach, mango, peaches, milk and liver.
Eye redness could result from being tired or other harmless causes, but if you have prolonged eye redness, particularly if you have other symptoms with it, such as irritation or pain, contact your doctor for an appointment. You might have an eye condition that requires prescription medication, and prompt treatment could help avoid worsening of the condition and any long-term effects.
You should not begin using vitamins without first talking with your doctor. High doses of some nutrients can interfere with medical conditions or prescription medications you might be taking. Your doctor can evaluate your eyes and overall health to help you determine if vitamins could safely help your condition.
- MedlinePlus; "Eye Redness"; January 2011
- Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute; "Healthy Diet, Healthy Eyes"; February 2008; Joanne Pompano
- University of Maryland Medical Center; "Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)"; Steven Ehrlich; June 2009
- University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center: Dry Eye Syndrome
- Office of Dietary Supplements; "Vitamin A and Carotenoids"; April 2006