​Protecting our Eyes from Blue Light Damage

Exposure to blue light can cause occasional eyestrain, fatigue, and headaches and can impact our vision long-term. We can protect our eyes from the effects of blue light with targeted nutrients, including lutein, zeaxanthin, and omega-3s.
Attached to our Devices
Adults spend an average of 10 hours per day in front of media screens. Children spend between five and eight hours in front of screens, and teens spend an average of nine hours on their devices. People are working and entertaining themselves at computers and staring into tablets, televisions, or phone screens. It’s not unusual that many of us spend more time on our digital devices than we do sleeping.
The quality of our vision isn’t the only health issue when it comes to all of this screen time. Exposure to blue light also reduces our ability to make melatonin, the hormone that governs the circadian rhythm. This means screen time in the hours before bedtime will likely disrupt our sleep. The loss of sleep often means we are less alert during the day, which affects not only our performance of physical tasks but also our ability to think well on the job or at school.
Carotenoids to the Rescue
The powerful carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are found in yellow, orange, and green foods, are protective against the harmful effects of blue light. Lutein is related to vitamin A and is concentrated in the macula, so it’s a necessary component of healthy vision. It also works as an antioxidant to reduce free-radical damage. Foods rich in these carotenoid compounds include kale, squash, collard greens, corn, spinach, Swiss chard, peas, and more.
Don’t Forget DHA
The omega-3 DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) also supports healthy retinal function. Like lutein, DHA concentrates in the retina. In fact, the retina is the bodily tissue with the highest concentration of DHA. This omega-3 fatty acid plays several roles in supporting healthy vision. It’s required for the normal development and function of the retina. And the rods and cones of the macula need omega-3s to function.
DHA is found in cold-water fish like salmon and tuna. And in addition to including DHA-rich foods and brightly colored fruits and veggies in your diet, a daily supplement will support your vision and protect you from the harmful effects of excessive blue-light exposure. Look for a lutein supplement containing Lutemax 2020, the same formula found in recent research, as well as the omega-3 DHA.