When you think of what vitamin helps eyesight, you may instinctively think of vitamin A. It is indeed an essential nutrient for the eyes. Vitamin A is a broad term used for a group of compounds called retinoids. Retinol is the form of vitamin A derived from animal foods. In the eye, retinol is taken up by the retinal cells to make a pigment called rhodopsin. Rhodopsin is used by rod cells in the eye to enable vision in low light. When vitamin A is deficient, problems with night vision can develop. Xerophthalmia is the term used to describe the constellation of symptoms that arise from vitamin A deficiency, including night blindness and dry eye, among others.