Among the most critical nutrients is vitamin A, or “retinol”, which gets its name from its utilization for light sensing mechanisms in the retina. Vitamin A deficiency in children is one of the leading causes of blindness globally , and leads to dry eyes and vision spots. This is also referred to as “blinding malnutrition”.
Another essential micronutrient is the omega-3 fatty acid group. Studies in infants and children have shown that levels of these fats, especially of DHA, are associated with improved visual acuity (sharpness)  . DHA works together with retinol in controlling how the retina senses light.
Lutein is in a similar class of nutrients to vitamin A, and like this vitamin, it can accumulate in the retina of infants and children . There, it protects the macula, a small part of retina used for sharper image focusing. Lutein has been shown to improve low-light sensitivity in infants .
Other important micronutrients that are involved in the working of the retina include copper, manganese, zinc, B-vitamins and vitamin E. Some of these are involved in protecting it from light damage, which results in a process called oxidative stress, and why they are called “antioxidant” vitamins. Oxidative stress is higher in children who are ill or nutritionally compromised.