Vision and eye health are among the first things to depreciate as we get older. This can happen because the lenses inside the eyes become less and less flexible, and the zonules connected to them tend to weaken, making them less effective1.
But in addition to these "normal" changes, the eyes can sometimes also become the target of free radicals, and the damage caused by these unstable atoms can cause a wide range of vision and eye health problems2.
Eye Strain and Blue Light
Most people experience some degree of eyestrain from time to time, especially when their work involves sitting at a computer, reading small print for long periods of time or using smart phones.
Our eyes are remarkable organs that allow us to connect and view the outside world around us. They are exposed to large amounts of stimulation daily yet work efficiently to process this information and stimulation without us thinking much about it. Unfortunately, digital screen time, lifestyle, and aging can slow down the eye’s efficiency and cause stress on the eyes. One of the biggest offenders to eye health is what is known as, “blue light.”
What is Blue Light
Visible light is defined by how long the wavelengths are and how much energy is produced. The longer the wavelength, the less energy is produced (safer), but the shorter the wavelength, the more energy is produced (potentially dangerous). Red light, like from a heating lamp, is an example of a long wavelength, low energy, light. Blue light, from digital devices like computer screens, phones and TVs, has the shortest wavelengths and therefore, the highest energy produced. Blue light is damaging to the eyes because unlike other UV rays that are blocked by the cornea and the lens, virtually all visible blue light passes through and goes straight to the light-sensitive retina, causing damage.
While we are exposed to a small, healthy amounts of blue light from sunlight during the day, excessive exposure happens when we spend exorbitant amounts of time in front of electronic devices at night, which emit significant amounts blue light. Staring at a screen for long periods of time can cause eye fatigue and other symptoms such as eyestrain, dry eyes, headache, fatigue, blurred vision, and difficulty focusing and sleeping3. A Harvard Medical School study found that blue light exposure at night suppressed melatonin production for about twice as long as green light and shifted circadian rhythms by twice as much4.
How Diet Affects Eye Health
Diet plays a large role in eye health, because it is through our diet that we humans get most of the antioxidants we need. When one's diet consists largely of processed foods and little to no fresh, whole fruits and vegetables, then the body's antioxidant level is going to be weak, leaving their eyes with little protection from free radicals5.
The body does produce some level of antioxidants naturally, but this also slows down as we age. Because of this, a constant supply of new antioxidants needs to be obtained through our diet in order to balance the overwhelming numbers of free radicals in the body6.
The best foods to eat for eye protection include fruits and vegetables that are orange or dark green, because these have high concentrations of beta-carotene, an essential antioxidant for eye health. These foods include carrots, kale, spinach, oranges, sweet potatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and others. Drinking green tea and adding more salmon, walnuts, and eggs to your diet will also help protect the eyes.
Can an Antioxidant Supplement Improve Eye Health?
Astaxanthin is an antioxidant-rich supplement that has been proven to offer valuable eye health support*.
Astaxanthin is one of the most powerful antioxidants available and supports eye health*. Considered nature's most powerful antioxidant, astaxanthin has the ability to benefit cellular health*.
Astaxanthin is the red pigment in nature and a very powerful antioxidant and carotenoid. It is found in some seafood like salmon and shrimp, and in fresh-water algae, Haematococcus pluvialis, which is most commonly used in dietary supplements. Studies have shown that astaxanthin can help the eyes in many ways, including helping with increasing higher accommodation amplitude (the adjustment in the lens of the eye that allows it to focus)7.
Astaxanthin, along with macular antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin, support eye health after long periods of digital screen time and improvise visual performance after excessive blue light exposure*. We recommend the supplement EyeAstin, a well-rounded eye health formula, designed to support healthy vision and protect eye health after excessive blue light exposure*.
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
- 1 https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-does-eyesight-deterio/
- 2 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249911/
- 3 http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0139004
- 4 https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/blue-light-has-a-dark-side
- 5 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3649719/
- 6 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249911/
- 7 https://healthcareweekly.com/astaxanthin/