Spending long hours staring into our digital devices and exposed to energy-efficient lighting is presenting a new challenge to visual health that goes beyond just eye fatigue. It is a growing concern and few people realize the full impact on visual health. But it is preventable. Let’s take a closer look at this growing problem and highlight an important ingredient to support a lifetime of eye health.
High-energy blue light – what is it, its sources and why the concern
High-energy blue light is part of the visible spectrum of light that bombards our eyes daily. Primary sources include electronic devices such as televisions, tablets, smartphones and computers, as well as energy-efficient indoor lighting (CFL or LED) and the sun. High-energy blue light reaches deep into the eye and can harm the macula – the region of the eye responsible for the highest visual acuity and sharpness – by promoting the production of free radicals. Short-term effects can cause eye fatigue while long-term exposure can lead to a progressive loss of visual function.
While we wear sunglasses to safeguard our eyes from the sun, most of us do little to nothing to protect them from high-energy blue light. Our increased dependence on digital devices and energy-efficient lighting is coupled with increased exposure to high-energy blue light and the potential to affect eye health. Therefore, supporting healthy vision in the digital age is paramount.
Minimizing exposure to high-energy blue light with the macular carotenoids
Lutein and the zeaxanthin isomers (RR-zeaxanthin and RS [meso]-zeaxanthin) are known as the “macular carotenoids” and support eye health by acting as powerful antioxidants and filtering high-energy blue light.1,2 They are the only carotenoids that preferentially accumulate in the macula where most oxidative stress from high-energy blue light occurs. Dietary sources containing lutein and zeaxanthin isomers are crucial because the body does not create it on its own. Despite their importance for eye health, the average dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin isomers is far below beneficial levels.Therefore, supplementation may be necessary to help fill the gap. Choosing a premium brand of macular carotenoids is just as important as consuming sufficient quantities to protect the eyes against high-energy blue light.
What should I look for?
Lutemax 2020 is lutein with enhanced levels of zeaxanthin isomers in a balanced 5:1 ratio – the same ratio found in nature – to help protect the eye against harmful high-energy blue light. With significantly enhanced levels of zeaxanthin isomers – more than many other lutein ingredients – Lutemax 2020 helps support the maintenance of healthy vision and general health over a lifetime. In studies, lutein and zeaxanthin isomers have been shown to be safe and the FDA has acknowledged OmniActive’s notification of Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS Notice [GRN] No. 385) status for Lutemax 2020. Lutemax 2020 is also sourced from premium marigold flowers, grown from non-GMO seeds. Not all lutein and zeaxanthin ingredients are the same and adding a premium ingredient like Lutemax 2020 to your diet is an effective way to protect one of your most valuable assets – your vision.
Monday’s Great American Eclipse has magnified the important—and often times overlooked—topic of sunlight exposure on vision health. The cardinal rule for eclipse watching is, of course, do not look directly at the eclipse with naked eyes. The reason for this directive is called solar retinopathy. This is a condition that occurs when the sun’s intense light floods the retina and causes irreparable damage. However, an eclipse is not the only time during which the sun can damage the eye. Although the sun is most commonly associated with UVA and UVB radiation, within the spectrum of visible light emitted from the sun hides harmful high-energy blue light.
Exposure to digital screens and artificial light sources may be disrupting sleep patterns and affecting health.