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Quest Vitamins LTD,
8 Venture Way,
Aston Science Park,
B7 4AP.

Tel: 0121 359 0056
Fax: 0121 359 0313
Registered in England No. 2530437



The eye consists of structures that focus an image on to the retina at the back of the eye. Light-sensitive nerve cells on the retina convert this image into electrical impulses that are carried by the optic nerve to the brain (1).

The health of the various eye components, including the retina, depends in part on the supply of nutrients received from the bloodstream. For example, narrowing, blockage or Inflammation of the blood vessels in the retina may lead to vision problems (1).


The retina is like the light-sensitive film in a camera. It forms a membrane over the back inner surface of the eye. The retina contains special nerve cells; rods that are sensitive to dim light, and cones that are responsible for colour vision.


A number of factors increase risk to the health of the eyes, these include (2): Genes
Nutrition status
Lifetime sun exposure
Thickened arteries
Being female
Physical Inactivity
High cholesterol
High blood pressure
Cardiovascular disease
Excess alcohol consumption
Light coloured irises


Eye disorders seem to have become an inevitable stage of the aging process. Some eye clinics are specifically devoted to caring for individuals with significant eye difficulties.

Age related macular degeneration (AMD)
AMD is the leading cause of irreversible vision loss in people beyond the age of 65. It is a slow progressive and painless condition affecting the macula, the small central part of the retina that allows fine detail to be seen clearly. AMD occurs when the cells of the macula break down, causing loss of sight in the central part of the field of vision, but leaving peripheral vision intact.
The retina is particularly susceptible to oxidative stress because of its high consumption of oxygen, its high proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids and its exposure to visible light. Many studies have shown that retinal injury is attributable to oxidative stress and the antioxidant vitamins A, C and E protect against this type of injury (1).

There are two types of AMD. In the "dry form", which is the most common, there are degenerative changes in the macular region of the retina indicating that the retina is wearing away. In the "wet form", there are abnormal blood vessels under the retina. These may haemorrhage causing scar tissue to form.

Cataracts and Glaucoma
Two of the most common eye conditions facing the aged today are cataracts and glaucoma. There have been a number of studies in recent years that highlight the link between free radical damage to the eye and degenerative eye disorders. As a result it has been recommended that precautions could include greater use of sunglasses that filter out ultraviolet light; hats that shield the eyes from direct sunlight and increasing the intake of antioxidants.

Dry Eye
There is some research to suggest that Evening Primrose Oil can be useful for ?dry eyes? (3). This condition is the result of long-term dryness caused by deficient tear production.

Eye Injuries: Homoeopathy

Aconite - for Shock and fear followed by either:
Arnica - for a blow to the eye with bruising
- reduces the development of a black eye
Hypericum - for very painful injuries. Give if Pain and sensitivity of Skin
around eye

Allergy, Dry Eye, Conjunctivitis: Homoeopathy
Aconite - in an early case with inflamed redness
Belladonna - for sudden onset of very red eye, with marked Inflammation of
Euphrasia - useful for any eye condition where there is burning, redness, stickiness, smarting, Itching, painful watering
Pulsatilla - bland, non-irritant but profuse yellow-green discharge
Hepar sulph - extreme sensitivity to light; yellow discharge, Pain behind eyes
Silicea - to prevent recurrent styes

Styes: Homoeopathy
Hepar sulph - exquisitely painful inflamed stye
Pulsatilla - eyelids stick together with yellow-green pus
Silicea - to prevent recurrent styes


Good daily intakes of fresh fruit and vegetables are recommended to supply the vitamins and minerals needed for maintaining cell structure of the eyes. Carrots, spinach and other green leafy vegetables and colourful fruit and vegetables will help to provide carotenoid pigments necessary for eye health (4).
Brightly coloured berries such as bilberries, blackberries and blueberries contain anthocyanadins that act as powerful antioxidants protecting cells from pollution damage. AMD risk is increased if arteriosclerosis (furred arteries) is present. Reducing the intake of saturated and processed fats makes sense.


Bilberry is rich in anthocyanosides, a group of antioxidant compounds. They provide the bluey/purple pigments of bilberry fruit.
Eyebright may be used topically as a lotion, homoeopathically or as the herb for its astringent and anti-histamine activity (5).
Ginkgo biloba (6)
Goldenseal may be helpful where there is an Infection.


Vitamin A - needed for visual pigment (7)
B complex - essential for correct function of the optic nerve and healthy vision
Vitamin C - Antioxidant in cellular fluids; regenerates vitamin E (8 and 9)
Vitamin E - Antioxidant in membranes (9)
Lutein, zeaxanthin and Beta Carotene (Carotenoids) - quenchers of singlet oxygen
Zinc - constituent of super oxide dismutase (SOD) antioxidant enzyme
Selenium - constituent of glutathione peroxidase


1. "BMA Complete Family Health Encyclopedia", Ed. Dr T Smith. Dorling
Kindersley. 1995.
2. J Am Optom Assoc, 1999,70:1:39-47.
3. Eye, 1998, 12 (pt 1): 127-33.
4. Optometry Today, 9 Sept 1996.
5. Bartram?s Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine, T Bartram FNIMH. 1995. Robinson.
6. Droy-Lefaix MT, et al: Protective effect of Ginkgo biloba extract (EGB 761) on free radical-induced changes in the electroretinogram of isolated rat retina, Drugs Exp Clin Res, 17(12), 1991, p 571-574.
7. Heseker H; Antioxdative vitamins and cataracts in the elderly, Z
Ernahrungswiss, 34(3), Sept 1995, p 167-176.
8. Williams RN, Paterson CA: A protective role for ascorbic acid during inflammatory episodes in the eye, Exp Eye Res, 42(3), Mar 1986, p 211-218.
9. Augustin AJ, et al: Evidence for the prevention of oxidative tissue damage in the inner eye by vitamins E and C, German Journal of Ophthalmology, 1(6), 1992, p 394-398.


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