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Protect Your Eyes!!!
Beth Ley Knotts, Ph.D.
Worried about your eyes?
Well maybe you should be as today we have far more than just sunlight that is causing stress to our eyes. Today, blue light is one of the primary sources of damage.

Artificial sources of blue light include smart phones, tablets, computers, Mp3 players, TV’s, indoor lighting, energy-efficient fluorescents, and LED lighting. Research shows that blue light is damaging to our eyesight and may eventually lead to age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness.

What is Blue Light?
Light is made up of electromagnetic particles that travel in waves. Blue light has a very short wavelength so it emits a high amount of energy. This high energy light is all around us from the sun. In fact, this is why we perceive the sky as blue during the day. The high energy blue light from the sun helps give us energy by regulating our circadian rhythms. Not only is artificial blue light from technology potentially disrupting our natural circadian rhythms (such as watching TV or looking at your smart phone before bed), but the extra blue light exposure can also mean more eye strain, headaches, over-stimulation, and retinal damage over time that contributes to macular degeneration.

Light-sensitive cells of the retina are particularly susceptible to damage from oxidative stress caused by blue light exposure. A toxic compound called A2E absorbs blue light in the retina and causes free radical damage. The free radicals caused by toxic A2E leads to the development of age-related macular degeneration. Research has found that exposure to artificial blue light is associated with a build-up of retina damaging A2E.

Protect Your Eyes with Antioxidants (and more)
Studies have found that certain nutrients can protect your eyes from harmful blue light. If you’re like the average American who stares at a screen for 6 hours a day, make sure you get enough of these nutrients to protect your eyes.

Research has found that carotenoid antioxidants compounds, lutein, zeaxanthin, and astaxanthin, help filter blue light in the retina.

Dietary supplements of these nutrients, when consistently consumed, have been shown to deposit in the macular pigment and protect eye health. Studies have also found that these carotenoids can even help to prevent AMD by offsetting gene weaknesses associated with the disease. Astaxanthin and lutein accumulate in the eye where they can help to protect the eye from harmful blue light and UV radiation. Astaxanthin also protects the eyes from strain.

Negatively charged phospholipids, phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylcholine, can prevent the cell death induced by A2E. In addition, Alpha lipoic acid and resveratrol have been shown to protect the retina against the A2E oxidative stress that leads to permanent damage and causes macular degeneration.

The DHA compound in fish oil is also a necessary nutrient for macular health. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that eating oily fish at least once per week cuts the risk for developing age-related macular degeneration in half. High-quality, mercury-free DHA supplements are beneficial for eye health. Supplements are available for all of these potent protectors.