Seeing shadows, shapes, strings, or spots in your vision that seem to move or "float" as you move your eyes around?
You may be dealing with a common eye situation known as eye floaters.
Eye floaters are generally not dangerous and may clear on their own in time, but they can be quite frustrating and distracting.
For this reason, you may be looking into things that may help or prevent eye floaters, like supplements.
In this article, we will cover just what eye floaters are, the most common causes of eye floaters, and 3 supplements that may aid in improving or supporting your eye health.
What are eye floaters?
Inside of your eye is a jelly-like fluid called vitreous. This vitreous gel contains a mixture of water, proteins, collagen, sugars, and salts.
Normally, this gel remains clear to allow for your vision to be clear and sharp.
However, sometimes, the collagen fibers can clump together and cause what is referred to as vitreous floaters inside of your eye.
While you may try out eye drops or rinses to try and clear the "spots" on your vision, these will not help with floaters as the clumps are inside of the eyeball.
What can cause eye floaters?
Some of the background causes that may lead to the development of eye floaters include:
1. General eye aging (the most common cause)
2. Inflammation in the back of the eye
3. Retinal tears
4. Bleeding inside of the eye
5. Eye surgeries or injectable eye medications
3 Supplements for floaters and eye health
1. Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Lutein and Zeaxanthin are potent antioxidant carotenoids naturally found in the macula of the eye.
Making sure you are consuming plenty of these two through your food or supplements may aid in healthy eye aging, and can combat eye damage from light sources like blue light.
While these aren't specific to fighting floaters, they are a mainstay for general eye health and wellness.
Orange and yellow fruits and vegetables and leafy greens are good food sources of Lutein and Zeanxanthin.
Pure Encapsulations makes an EyeProtect Basics formula that contains both Lutein and Zeaxanthin.
You can purchase EyeProtect Basics from Pharmedico Pharmacy: Here.
Bromelain is an enzyme found in pineapples that works to help break up proteins.
This can be beneficial when you eat pineapple with a meal since it can aid in the protein digestion, and it may benefit eye floaters by helping to break up the clumps of material floating around in the vitreous fluid.
According to one study done on rodents that were fed pineapple juice, the researchers state that bromelain may help with cleaving the cellular debris and collagen fibrils that make up eye floaters.
You may be able to get benefits from just eating a decent amount of pineapple, or you can find bromelain in supplement form.
The Bromelain supplement from Thorne is a good place to start for supplementation. Each capsule contains 500mg Bromelain, and the directions suggest that you can take 2 capsules 1-3 times daily, or as recommended by your healthcare provider.
You can purchase Thorne Bromelain from Pharmedico Pharmacy: Here.
3. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is the necessary vitamin that you can get from the sun, through your diet, or in supplement form.
Unfortunately, many people are deficient in this nutrient, so keeping a close eye on your level is important.
While most people know about the importance of vitamin D for bone health, there are also many other functions and benefits, one of which may include your eyes.
When it comes to vitamin D and your eyes, it is the most important to make sure you are not lacking in your levels to encourage general eye health. A deficiency in vitamin D has been linked to increased risk of glaucoma, dry eyes, diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and macular degeneration.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, so you do have to be careful about over-supplementing. Talk with your doctor about testing your vitamin D levels, and they will likely suggest a supplement plan to help you get your levels to normal (and keep them there).
Pure Encapsulations makes a good, flexible-strengthed 1,000IU Vitamin D capsule, and you get 180 capsules inside each bottle for only $26.
You can purchase the Pure Encapsulations 1,000IU Vitamin D from Pharmedico Pharmacy: Here.
When should you talk to your doctor about eye floaters
Most of the time, eye floaters are a common occasional occurrence as you get older.
But, if they are happening very often, are severe, or come along with other issues, they may be a sign that something else is up.
If you are experiencing any of the following, it is a good idea to bring up the floaters with your doctor:
- Loss of vision in the periphery of your sight
- You have a new "grey curtain" or blurry area in your vision
- You have flashes of light along with the floaters
- You suddenly develop many more floaters
- You have a lot more eye floaters than usual
Written by: Jill Barat, PharmD