Most of us know that getting old is no picnic. But the worst of it may be failing eyesight.
Reading glasses is the least of it. Many of us will have to deal with cataract surgery. Or desperately trying to preserve our vision so we can continue to drive. And some of us will also have to fight macular degeneration or glaucoma, two leading causes of blindness.
One of the biggest enemies of your eyes is blue light.
About one third of the light we see is in the blue range. Blue light is everywhere. You can’t avoid it. Its sources include TVs, computer screens, phones…and sunlight.
Red and blue are the colors on either end of the visible light spectrum. Red light is at a longer wavelength and therefore has less energy. Blue light is at a shorter wavelength and has much stronger energy.1
Because blue light is so powerful, it can reach the back of the eye and damage the retina over time. This can eventually lead to serious vision loss due to macular degeneration.2
Macular degeneration is a deterioration of the macula. This is the central part of the retina. It’s responsible for your direct field of vision. You need the macula to read, drive, watch TV, or do anything that requires you to see details.3
The exact cause of macular degeneration is unknown, although there is a genetic component. What is known is that blue light aggravates the condition.4
But a new study backs up what was previously suspected… there are two natural nutrients that can help protect your eyes from blue light.
The study from the Cole Eye Institute at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation found that lutein and zeaxanthin shield the eye from blue light. Lutein (pronounced LOO-teen) and zeaxanthin (pronounced zee-ah-ZAN-thin) are powerful antioxidants.5
Lutein and zeaxanthin in both its forms—RR-zeaxanthin and RS-zeaxanthin—were found to suppress genes that are involved in the eye stress caused by blue light.
That’s in addition to the antioxidant protection they afford.
Protect your vision
Lutein and zeaxanthin are readily available in supplement form. Go for a supplement that provides 20 mg of lutein and 4 mg of zeaxanthin daily.
They are also available in a number of foods, including:
- Green peas
- Brussels Sprouts
It’s an especially good idea to make sure you get enough lutein and zeaxanthin if macular degeneration runs in your family. You’ll reduce your risk of getting the sight-robbing condition, or keep it in check if you’re already developing it.