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Blue Light Series – Part 4 – Supplements, By Benjamin V. Clingan, OD

AMD Before After simulation

Last week we gave you an overview of various lenses and screen filters that block blue light from ever reaching your eyes. This week we will focus on supplements designed to protect your eyes from the inside.

THE SOLUTION – Supplements

As mentioned in an earlier post, when light hits your photoreceptors a biochemical reaction occurs and a waste product is formed (free radicals). Normally, your body can get rid of these free radicals on its own, but in cases like Macular Degeneration (AMD) it struggles to keep up. The waste products build up over time and start to affect your vision. If left untreated, you can go blind.

Scientific evidence has shown that Mild AMD can be prevented from progressing to Moderate or Severe AMD by adding Lutein and Zeaxanthin to your diet in the form of a supplement (AREDS 2 formula). If you are a smoker or have quit recently, you will want to take the beta-carotene free version. This will lower your risk of developing lung cancer as a side effect of the supplement.

As it relates to our blue light discussion, your retina is most sensitive blue light, and an increase in blue light absorption is likely to increase your risk for AMD. While there is currently no study suggesting that adding these to your diet now can prevent any signs or symptoms of AMD, adding these supplements certainly won’t hurt your ocular health. Future studies may show that the supplements do in fact perform the way the manufacturers currently claim. Below is a link two such websites:

http://luteinforeveryage.com/eye-skin-brain-health/intro-to-eye-health/blue-light

http://omniactives.com/press-releases/new-study-on-lutemax-2020-supporting-vision-featured-in-experimental-eye-research-journal

To discuss your risk for developing AMD, schedule your yearly Routine Eye Exam. Also, to learn more about blue blocking technology visit our optical.

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Blue Light Series – Part 3 – The Solution, By Benjamin V. Clingan, OD

Our last post had some disturbing news about negative consequences of blue light. These next three posts will each discuss a specific way to limit your exposure to blue light.

THE SOLUTION – Lenses and Screen filters

Most of you that wear glasses are already aware of anti-reflective (AR) coatings and their benefit. Another coating to be mindful of is a blue-blocker. These can be added to your glasses or can be available as screen filters/protectors to prevent the blue light from ever reaching your eyes. Every lens manufacturer has their own blue-blocking technology and many are included in the AR coatings. Below is a link to one manufacturer:

http://shamirlens.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&layout=item&id=16637&Itemid=548

Other companies make glasses specifically for computers and this digital age. They are mostly for nonprescription glasses, but some of their frames are compatible with your prescription. Below is one such company:

https://gunnar.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIr4We8N7u2AIViYePCh3pXg8fEAAYASAAEgIoY_D_BwE

Next are screen filters/protectors, depending on your device this might be an easier option than glasses. If you are someone who has never worn or doesn’t like to wear glasses this could also be more preferable. Of course, you can use both the screens and the glasses for even more comfort. Below are some screens for small and large devices:

https://www.reticare.com/buy/en/

https://retinaguardstore.com/

Additionally, there are settings on your computers and Apps available for all devices to limit the blue light they emit. Below is one tutorial and one list of Apps:

https://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/how-to-use-a-blue-light-filter-on-pc-mac/

https://www.lifewire.com/reduce-eye-strain-with-blue-light-filter-apps-4134615

For another compilation of resources follow this link:

https://glarminy.com/2015/07/30/10-blue-light-filters-to-relieve-computer-eye-strain-help-you-sleep-better-etc/

Next time we will discuss supplements that are available to protect your eyes from the inside. Make sure to schedule your Routine Eye Exams and feel free to schedule an appointment or visit our optical to discuss how to protect your eyes from blue light.

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Blue Light Series – Part 2 – The Problem, by Benjamin V. Clingan, OD

In blue light exposure, the two major consequences are the reduction of melatonin and an increase in macular degeneration. Without getting too technical, we will explain these below.

Blue light inhibits the release of melatonin and that can affect your circadian rhythm. When your circadian rhythm is altered, many of the body’s systems can be compromised. The first side effect you may notice would be your sleep patterns. Increased trouble falling asleep and quality of sleep are most noteworthy. Once your sleep is compromised, then a lot of other systems can go off-line. You can become moody or agitated, concentrating becomes difficult, your immune system may be suppressed, cardiovascular functions are diminished, and your metabolic processes won’t function properly.

http://www.thesleepdoctor.com/2017/11/06/latest-blue-light-sleep/

All light is known to increase free radicals as your retina processes light. Every time a photoreceptor (your rods and cones) is struck with a ray of light a biochemical reaction happens. As a result of this reaction, a waste product (the free radical) is made. An increase in free radicals within the retina can lead to age-related macular degeneration (AMD) later in life. Now, your retina is most sensitive to a specific wavelength of light. Of course, this wavelength falls in the blue spectrum of light. So, an increase in blue light will likely lead to an increased risk of developing AMD.

Links for this get pretty technical; search PubMed for “blue light AND retina.” You will find some very interesting articles.

So we gave you some bad news this time, but follow us next time when we discuss solutions to the problems brought on by blue light. Make sure to schedule your Routine Eye Exams and feel free to schedule an appointment or visit our optical to discuss how to protect your eyes from blue light.