Eye Health

eye health
Orange colored fruits are great for your eye health.

Written by MacuHealth
Reviewed by Jim Stringham, Ph.D.

Everyone from your doctor to talk show hosts has told you the importance of good nutrition as it relates to your heart and waistline. But chances are you’re unaware of how the right foods can contribute to good eye health and visual performance. Certain fruits and vegetables have ingredients that can reduce your risk for certain eye diseases, including cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD), and enhance contrast sensitivity and vision in glare.

If you’re looking to manage the symptoms of early AMD or simply want to boost your visual performance, consider including these foods in your diet.  

Raw bell peppers

Studies show that the vitamin C in bell peppers can improve blood flow through the tiny vessels in your eyes and lower your risk of developing cataracts, according to WebMD. The brighter the color, the better, but try to eat them raw. Heat breaks down vitamin C.

Almonds and sunflower seeds

Vitamin E is one of the key nutrients in AREDS2 supplements. It has been shown in peer-reviewed studies to slow down the symptoms of AMD and reduce the risk of developing cataracts. One ounce of sunflower seeds or almonds has half the daily recommended amount of this powerful nutrient, according to WebMD. 

Dark green leafy vegetables

Remember when your parents told you to eat your greens? There was a reason for that: they have the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are proven to rebuild the macular pigment and lower your risk of AMD. Next time you’re at the grocery store, stock up on kale, spinach, and collard greens to give your eye health a boost.

Salmon and other fish

Seafood such as salmon, tuna, and trout are rich in the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. Not only do these oils boost your brain and heart health, but they also help decrease dry eye symptoms.

Orange-colored fruits and vegetables

They say carrots can help boost your eyesight. These and other orange-colored vegetables are rich in the carotenoid beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A, a key player in preserving visual function. It’s also been shown to prevent blindness and maintain the health of the cornea (the clear front of the eye). Sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin, cantaloupe, mangos and apricots are also high in this essential nutrient.

Poultry and lean meats

The mineral zinc is essential to bringing vitamin A from your liver to your retina to make melanin, a pigment vital for eye health. Chicken, pork, beef and oysters are rich in this nutrient, but keep in mind that the FDA has set the daily tolerable limit for zinc at 40 mg. 

Legumes

Are you looking for a vegetarian option for your daily zinc intake? Beans and other legumes can help your eye health as they are rich in this essential mineral. Chickpeas will give you what you need, but black-eyed peas, kidney beans, lentils and even a can of baked beans will do the job.

Eggs are good for eye health

If you’re looking for a meal that will supercharge you and your vision in the morning, cook up some eggs. The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin are in the yolk, which is perfect for your eye health as these ingredients increase your macular pigment, which is vital for protecting your central vision and preventing AMD.

Squash

And speaking of lutein and zeaxanthin, they can also be found in squash. Summer squash also has vitamin C and zinc, vital antioxidants for maintaining eye health. There are also omega-3 fatty acids in winter squash, which can help naturally reduce dry eye symptoms.

Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts

If you’re looking to protect your eyes from the free radicals that can damage your vision, you can’t go wrong with these two veggies. They have the carotenoids you need to protect the retina.

We need the carotenoids Lutein, Meso-Zeaxanthin and Zeaxanthin for optimal visual and cognitive health and performance. Thankfully, supplementation can help us reach the levels we need to realize all the benefits.  Eye vitamins such as MacuHealth and MacuHealth Plus+ are specifically formulated with these ingredients to enrich and restore macular pigment to optimum levels.

Eye Health

carotenoid levels
LifeMeter uses a patient's fingertip to measure their carotenoid levels.

Written by MacuHealth
Reviewed by Jim Stringham, Ph.D.

High carotenoid concentrations have been shown to lower the severity of arthritis, improve heart and brain health, and reduce inflammation systemically and locally in tissues such as the retina. But how can doctors measure a patient’s carotenoid level so they can accurately gauge someone’s general nutritional health?

Enter LifeMeter. This innovative medical device is a simple, precise and non-invasive test that consistently and objectively measures carotenoid levels in your patients in less than three minutes using a customized spectrophotometer. Knowing a patient’s LifeMeter level facilitates the “nutrition discussion” and helps them make positive nutritional changes.

This exciting technology has matured out of the laboratory and is ready for clinical implementation. Below are several ways your practice (and patients) can benefit from LifeMeter.

Accurate and Reliable

Similar devices measure carotenoid levels from different locations on a patient’s palm, leading to a different outcome every time. LifeMeter utilizes reflection spectroscopy to measure the concentration of carotenoids in one area: the fingertip. The result is a concentration, not a carotenoid total. This means you’ll get an accurate and repeatable result regardless of fingertip size. The LifeMeter level correlates significantly with macular pigment level, circulating carotenoids, and the concentration of these vital nutrients in other bodily tissues, such as the heart and brain.

Encourages Compliance

It’s one thing to tell a patient to take a medication or supplement, but you can never really know if they’ll comply. With LifeMeter, once you’ve initiated a carotenoid supplement regimen, any improvement in carotenoid status can be seen within a month. And if their score stays the same or goes down, it means the patient hasn’t been compliant with their new regimen. By using LifeMeter, you’ll have quick and accurate feedback on any nutritional status changes. When patients see their LifeMeter level go up, they’ll get excited and know they’re on the right track.

Preventative Measure

LifeMeter promotes a proactive – not reactive – approach to health. Those with a low carotenoid concentration report having trouble driving at night and struggle with vision in glare, and tend to have poor contrast sensitivity, less protection against infection and disease, reduced speed of visual and cognitive processing, increased chance of sunburn, and higher frequency of eye strain and fatigue.

 

Studies show that adding and monitoring vital carotenoids in the body enhances visual and cognitive performance and overall health. Additionally, these nutrients are proven to aid in managing symptoms of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss for older adults.

Measure the Carotenoid Levels of All Patients

LifeMeter isn’t for one segment of your patients. It’s for everyone! There are over 30 peer-reviewed publications demonstrating its validity and effectiveness in over 2,000 subjects of varying races, ethnicities, and ages.

No Commitment

Unlike similar equipment, there are no sales goals to meet when purchasing or financing a LifeMeter. The device is yours, and to use it how you see fit.

 

With continued use, you and your patients will see the value of measuring carotenoid levels with LifeMeter. For more information on this latest innovation, visit LifeMeter.com. 

Eye Health

LifeMeter
Introducing LifeMeter

Written by MacuHealth
Reviewed by Jim Stringham, Ph.D.

What would you change about your life if you learned how many vital antioxidants your body was actually getting? Would you try to increase them in your diet?

We’re proud to introduce LifeMeter, a portable, non-invasive device that determines the concentration of carotenoids in your skin. You can use the results to empower you and your healthcare provider to discuss treatments to improve your overall health and performance. These carotenoids include Alpha-carotene, Beta-carotene, Beta-cryptoxanthin, Lycopene, Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin.

The Science Behind LifeMeter

Studies show that specific carotenoids accumulate in the largest organ in the human body – the skin. The level of these nutrients in the skin reflects the intake of fruits and vegetables in the diet. This amount also indicates the concentration of carotenoids in other tissues in your body, such as the retina and brain.

LifeMeter utilizes reflection spectroscopy to measure the concentration of carotenoids in the patient’s fingertip. The LifeMeter level is significantly correlated with their macular pigment level, circulating carotenoids, and the concentration of these vital nutrients in other bodily tissues, such as the heart and brain.

Why Knowing Your LifeMeter Level Is Important

Those with a low carotenoid concentration have been shown to have trouble driving at night, poor contrast sensitivity, reduced protection against infection and disease, lower speed of visual and cognitive processing, increased chance of sunburn, brain fog and higher frequency of eye strain and fatigue.

Targeted nutritional supplementation can enhance your quality of life. It can also offer reduced inflammation and health benefits to the heart and brain, and significantly improve visual health and performance outcomes. And once you’ve initiated a nutrition regimen, improvement in your carotenoid status can be seen within a month.

Are You Ready?

Over 30 peer-reviewed publications support the science behind LifeMeter, with studies demonstrating its validity, consistency and effectiveness in over 2,000 subjects of varying races, ethnicities, and ages.

Are you ready to make a positive nutritional change? Then visit your local medical professional to know your LifeMeter level so you can take the necessary steps to enhance your life.

Eye Health

what does blue light do
What does blue light do to the retina? Read the answer below.

Written by MacuHealth
Reviewed by Jim Stringham, Ph.D.

The optics of your eye projects an image onto the retina, much like an old-fashioned camera does with film. And just like a camera, any number of factors can cause harm to that system and change how you see the world. This includes the high-energy blue light that comes from your digital devices. So what does blue light do to your retina? We’ll look at how this vital area of the eye works and how our phones, tablets, and computers can affect our optical system.

How Does the Retina Work?

The retina, located in the back of the eye, is part of the central nervous system. Thus this area consists of several layers of networked cells and their “wiring.” One part of this network are photoreceptor cells, often referred to as rods and cones. These capture the light that reaches the retina, which initiate a cascade of chemical and electrical events. The brain communicates them to the optic nerve and translates all of these signals into visual perception.

The macula is a term to describe the center of the retina. Because this region is cone photoreceptor-dominated, it enables daylight and color vision and gives detail to what we see. The remainder of the retina is dominated by rods, which promote sensitivity to dim-light conditions, such as vision at night.

What Can Blue Light Do to Damage the Retina?

As stated above, the photoreceptor cells in the macula convert light to electric energy. Then the brain interprets these transmissions. This high metabolic activity is very demanding and requires a lot of energy and nutrition to fuel the entire process.

Additionally, the photoreceptor environment is necessarily rich in oxygen and requires exposure to visible light to see, adding to the macula’s metabolic demands. These twin stresses can lead to damage.

What does blue light do to harm the retina? Blue light is composed of relatively short wavelengths, which have higher energy. Because chronic exposure to this high-energy light can produce photo-oxidation, it can compromise retinal health and performance. And over a lifetime, chronic blue light exposure can damage your macula, degrade your visual performance, and could potentially contribute to the development of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

But there is a way to protect the eye. A single layer of cells behind the retina, known as retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE), nurtures the photoreceptors and removes waste products. One of these waste products from photoreceptor damage is known as lipofuscin (a yellow age pigment). This pigment accumulates over time in RPE cells and compromises their ability to function optimally (or at all).

As we age, lipofuscin fills the RPE cells, causing these cells to give out and extrude their contents. These cells, seen as lipids and proteins, are called drusen. The collection of these yellow deposits is a typical symptom of early AMD. Blue light interacts with lipofuscin to produce additional oxidative stress. This also causes further stress to the retina, increasing drusen formation and furthering the development of AMD.

What Does Macular Pigment Do?

What does blue light do to your vision in the long term? It’s scattered in front of the retina, contributing to glare and a reduction in contrast sensitivity, leading to a decline in visual performance.

You can find blue light in:

  • Sunlight
  • Smartphones, tablets and other hand-held electronic devices
  • Television and computer screens
  • Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs)

In front of the photoreceptors is macular pigment, which means it filters light before it reaches photoreceptors and RPE. This protects them from free radicals and photo-oxidative damage. It is composed of the carotenoids Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin. The highest concentration of cone photoreceptors is in the center of the macula, known as the fovea. This area is responsible for sharp central vision and color. Macular pigment protects the entire macula. However, Meso-Zeaxanthin protects the center (and most vulnerable) region. This conveniently gives the fovea the best antioxidant protection of the three macular carotenoids.

Low macular pigment can cause photo-oxidative stress to the macula. Because more blue light is exposed to the cone photoreceptors, particularly in the fovea, an insufficient amount of antioxidants are available to neutralize the damaging free radicals. Studies have shown that deficiencies in the carotenoids that make up the macular pigment are associated with poor visual performance and age-related macular degeneration.

What Can Be Done to Prevent Eye Damage?

How can we protect our eyes from what blue light does to our vision? The only way to replenish these vital antioxidants is through diet. Research shows that Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin can be found in foods such as spinach, broccoli, corn, and eggs. These vital nutrients can also be replenished through supplementation.

Peer-reviewed research proves that supplementation with Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin rebuilds macular pigment and enhances vision in diseased and healthy eyes. MacuHealth and MacuHealth Plus+ are specifically formulated in the same 10:10:2 ratio found in natural macular pigment (10mg Meso-Zeaxanthin, 10mg Lutein, 2mg Zeaxanthin). These supplements enrich and restore macular pigment to optimum levels with continued use.

Eye Health

fish oil supplement
One thing to look for in a fish oil supplement is where the ingredients are caught.

Written by MacuHealth
Reviewed by Jim Stringham, Ph.D.

As healthcare providers and optometrists continue to prescribe omega-3 supplements for eye, heart and brain health, many low-quality formulas are hitting the shelves at your local pharmacy or healthcare store. Despite their benefits, there are reports that many fish oil supplements don’t meet their label claims or have rancid ingredients.

 

What sets formulas like TG Omega-3 apart from other leading brands? We’ll dive into why patients need a high-quality fish oil supplement like MacuHealth’s to improve their quality of life.

Re-esterified Triglyceride (rTG) Form

When shopping for a high-quality fish oil supplement like TG Omega-3, check if the base formulation is “re-esterified triglyceride” (rTG) or “ethyl ester” (EE). Re-esterified triglyceride is the natural form found in fish such as salmon. It also has high bioavailability recognized by the body. Ethyl ester must be metabolized by the liver and is cheaper, easier to produce and utilizes ethanol as its backbone. It has half of the bioavailability (at best) of the rTG form.

Small Batch Manufacturing

Have you ever wondered where your fish oil supplement comes from? With TG Omega-3, you can find out! Our premium quality formula comes from fish caught in small batches in the cold waters off the coast of Chile. And because MacuHealth prioritizes ethically acquiring raw materials and environmental sustainability, we offer the ability to trace the source of our ingredients. Can your fish oil supplement make the same claim?

Does Your Fish Oil Supplement Have Delicious Taste and Texture?

If you’ve researched fish oil, you’ve undoubtedly read about an unusual aftertaste or “fishy burps” that occur when starting a supplement regimen. But the truth is that you shouldn’t be experiencing these side effects. These unusual tastes indicate you’re using a low-grade supplement, or the product is rancid.

 

TG Omega-3 won’t have these undesirable tastes or side effects because it’s manufactured with fresh, refined ingredients. Our easy-to-swallow softgels are Supplement Certified™ and Friend of the Sea Certified to ensure quality and freshness.

High Concentrations of DHA

You’ll find that many lower-cost fish oil supplements have an Omega-6 called gamma-Linolenic acid, or GLA, as an ingredient. GLA can produce good results for the body as it has some anti-inflammatory properties. But it can also have potentially unhealthy consequences. The body can convert GLA into arachidonic acid, or ARA, which tends to be inflammatory. And because this ingredient is in poultry, eggs and red meat, Americans potentially already have too much ARA in their diet. That can cause more inflammation, not less, which can lead to all sorts of health issues.

 

If you want a fish oil supplement with benefits for the brain and eyes, DHA is critical for enhancing neural performance. It increases the speed of nerve signals, improving visual and cognitive function, leading to improved reaction time and contrast sensitivity. And when EPA, which is shown to lower inflammation, and DHA work together, it provides optimal benefits to the body.

Conclusion

Taking a pharmaceutical-grade fish oil supplement delivers a safe and proven way to boost your eye, brain, and heart function. Because of evidence showing the benefits of taking EPA and DHA, MacuHealth developed TG Omega-3 Fish Oil to help patients optimize their health.

 

TG Omega-3 is a natural re-esterified triglyceride formulation that is purified up to five times to eliminate toxins, impurities and fishy taste. TG Omega-3 offers 2,200 mg of EPA and DHA combined per serving. Next time you shop for fish oil, check the label to see if it stands up to the rigorous qualifications that TG Omega-3 does.

Eye Health

vision aids for macular degeneration
Regular visits to your eye care professional can help you find the right vision aids for macular degeneration.

Written by MacuHealth
Reviewed by Jim Stringham, Ph.D.

Are you at risk of severe vision loss?

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 93 million Americans are at risk of profound vision loss at some point in their life. Even worse, only about half of this number have visited an eye doctor in the last 12 months.

Macular degeneration represents one of the leading causes of severe vision loss. The American Academy of Ophthalmology reports that 2.1 million Americans aged 50 or over have vision-threatening macular degeneration.

In this article, we’ll examine what vision aids for macular degeneration are, how they can help, and the types of aids available today.

What are Some of the Vision Aids for Macular Degeneration?

Fortunately, being diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration doesn’t have to mean losing control of your life. Various support options are available, including multiple sight aids for macular degeneration.

Devices for macular degeneration help you to make the best of what vision you have and ensure that your life keeps running smoothly. It might take a little time to adjust, but by taking advantage of sight aids, you can continue to enjoy a free and independent lifestyle.

Why are Macular Degeneration Vision Aids Important?

If you have been diagnosed with macular degeneration, you may experience changes to your vision. Regular appointments with your eye doctor will help you manage these changes over time.

Doing everything possible to preserve your eye health and protect your vision is critical. However, vision ads can support you in optimizing your sight. As devastating as vision loss is, living with macular degeneration doesn’t have to mean missing out on your favorite things.

Technological advancements are helping patients to work, study, and enjoy their lives with minimal fuss and inconvenience.

Vision aids cannot prevent macular degeneration or halt its progress. There is no cure for this type of condition, but vision aids for macular degeneration can empower you to adapt and overcome.

The first step is selecting the best visual aid for you.

8 Vision Aids For Macular Degeneration

Coping with macular degeneration means getting creative. There’s no single best macular degeneration aid for everybody. You may want to try several visual aids for macular degeneration to see which one(s) works best to help your vision.

Magnifiers

Low-vision magnifiers are the most common type of aid for macular degeneration. Small magnifiers are easy to use and can suit any purpose, including watching TV, putting on makeup or reading.

You’ll find various macular degeneration aids for low vision, including small pocket magnifiers and full-page magnifiers. Like most products, magnifiers vary in size, price, and quality. As a non-prescription product, do your research to find a suitable magnifier for your needs.

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) Magnifiers

CCTV systems combine a camera and a television screen for macular degeneration patients. Point the camera at an object, and the magnified image will appear on the screen.

Look at the screen and use the image to work or enjoy your favorite activities in real-time. Like magnifiers, a range of CCTV systems is available. Many of the leading CCTV systems can even broadcast images in 4K.

Electronic Reading Tools

Reading can be incredibly challenging for people with macular degeneration. According to one study, slower reading speeds occur because patients become increasingly reliant on their peripheral vision. While you may be tempted to give up on reading entirely, there are aids for low-vision macular degeneration to maintain your reading abilities.

Electronic reading tools can help by increasing the font size, font type, and contrast between the page and the words. Most modern eReaders already contain these standard features, making it easier to enjoy your favorite books.

Low-Vision Optical Lenses

Ordinary eyeglasses can only take you so far as macular degeneration advances with age. Technology advancements have led to the development of different types of optical lenses to combat the condition. There’s no need to allow poor vision to stop you from living your life to the fullest.

Depending on the extent of your condition, you may find certain types of eyeglasses more valuable than others. Here’s a breakdown of the most common low-vision optical lenses.

Bioptic Telescopic Glasses

Bioptic telescopic glasses, also marketed as bioptic lens systems, combine a telescope with two optical lenses. These telescopes are affixed to the glasses’ lenses to boost your vision.

Bioptic macular degeneration visual aids allow you to see objects at a distance. The most common uses for these lenses include reading signs, recognizing faces, and watching television.

Low-Vision Magnifying Reading Glasses

The versatility of an eReader is unmatched, but not everyone likes looking at a screen to  read. If you prefer to read print in physical books and newspapers, you need an alternative tool.

Low-vision magnifying reading glasses act like an eReader because they magnify the font to make it simpler to consume.

Prismatic Eyeglasses

Prismatic eyeglasses are similar to low-vision magnifying reading glasses, only stronger. These extra-powerful reading glasses offer a natural focal point that takes the strain off your eyes. 

Prism glasses can help with an issue like double vision, assisting both eyes to focus on the same image. If you suffer from a more severe form of macular degeneration, prismatic eyeglasses can be a helpful reading aid.

E-Scoop Glasses

E-Scoop glasses are an advanced form of optical lens combining five unique characteristics to support your sight. These include:

  • Increasing image size
  • Improving contrast
  • Enhancing light exposure
  • Bolstering comfort
  • Improving vision

Unlike some of the other low-vision aids for macular degeneration on this list, E-Scoop glasses are designed to be worn constantly.

E-Scoop glasses are a long-term vision aid because they can be recalibrated to match your changing vision. Do remember that even this advanced technology has its limitations. They cannot restore your vision or combat advanced macular degeneration.

Binoculars/Telescopes

While binoculars and telescopes are not distinct optical lenses, they are an add-on you can mount to your glasses. Attaching telescopes or binoculars can temporarily change your vision if you struggle to see things at a distance.

These compact binoculars or telescopes can allow you to visit a museum, read menus, go to the theater or attend a sporting event. The strength of these additions can be tailored according to your current vision strength.

OrCam

OrCam is another next-generation low-vision aid developed to change how you perceive the world despite low vision. It is attached directly to your eyeglasses and connects to a larger device via a cable.

The OrCam is barely noticeable and utilizes artificial intelligence to support people with visual impairments to recognize faces, read books and more.

Additionally, OrCam has been used to help people who are blind by seeing on their behalf and speaking to them. For example, OrCam can read supermarket barcodes to tell you which product is in front of you.

IrisVision

Wearable devices powered by artificial intelligence are fast becoming the next frontier of vision aids for macular degeneration. IrisVision goes one step further by incorporating virtual reality technology.

IrisVision provides a 70-degree field of vision to allow you to perceive the world fully and clearly. Currently, the only disadvantage of IrisVision is that it remains a static device. You cannot move around while wearing it. But it is fascinating because it includes several viewing modes, allowing you to switch between each. Whether you need scene mode for admiring a landscape or TV mode for watching your favorite show, a click of a button will help you see everything clearly.

Supplements

Aids for macular degeneration provide vital support to your vision as you age. Evidence has shown that supplements can slow down macular degeneration progression, and reduce symptom severity in many patients. There are high-quality supplements that offer important benefits to eye health and improve overall health, making them an excellent addition to your diet.

Low-Vision Lamps

Light is essential for supporting someone with macular degeneration. Over time, yellow deposits in the eye, known as drusen, gradually cause light-sensitive cells within the macular to thin and die.

High-quality lighting can compensate for some of your central vision loss, whether you have the dry or wet form of age-related macular degeneration. It also reduces eye strain and eye fatigue. Ordinary options lack the control to set the light just right for your vision. Specialized low-vision lamps can control the light’s color, brightness and direction.

Low-vision lamps can also make your other aids for macular degeneration, such as video magnifiers, magnifying glasses, and CCTV systems, more effective. Some low-vision lamps are designed to be portable, so you can easily carry them from room to room as needed.

Support Your Vision with Macular Degeneration Supplements

We can’t stop age-related macular degeneration. However, slowing the disease’s progression, and reducing symptom severity can make a healthy, independent life is possible. Macular degeneration vision aids have come a long way in the last decade, with next-generation technologies revolutionizing how patients see, even when their central vision fails.

Many people don’t realize they’re at risk of macular degeneration, especially after their 50th birthday. Vision aids can help you optimize your remaining sight, but you can support your eye health daily with the right mix of supplements.

MacuHealth’s macular degeneration supplements contain the three major macular carotenoids scientifically proven to rebuild the macular pigment and manage your macular degeneration symptoms.

To learn more about the benefits of MacuHealth, contact us now.

enriching macular pigment
Nearly everyone benefits from enriching macular pigment.

Eye Health

Nearly everyone will benefit from enriching macular pigment throughout their lifetime. We’re living longer and exposed to increased amounts of blue light. Because of this, macular pigment must be continuously replenished to fight free radicals and protect the macula from oxidation. 

Enriching macular pigment provides everyone with at least two benefits:

  1. Macular pigment is nature’s antioxidant, protecting our macula from damage from oxidation throughout our life.
  2. Macular pigment naturally filters blue light. This results in improved and optimized vision when young and healthy and when macular disease is present.

Although everyone can benefit from enriching macular pigment, the following people will benefit the greatest:

Children and Young Adults

Children and young adults are more susceptible damage from high energy blue light than adults in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. Blue light is emitted by our computers, tablets, smart phones and from energy efficient fluorescent lights. Our children and students lives revolve around these devices and they are using these devices a significant amount of time each day. In addition, many of these devices are held close to our faces so the intensity of blue light is higher.

Pre- and Post-Cataract Patients

Post cataract patients have had their crystalline lens removed and replaced with an intra-ocular lens. Cataracts typically are found in the elderly. Once the lens of the eye is removed the yellowing of this lens as we age is also removed. This yellowing in our lens as we age is called ocular lens pigment which is also a natural blue light filter. Once the cataract is removed the lens of the eye goes back to its clear child-like form making the macula more susceptible to blue light.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Patients diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a disease with no cure, have significantly increased risk of blindness as the disease progresses. Enriching macular pigment can help save the vision in the diseased eye and possibly delay the onset of the disease in the other eye.

Furthermore, family members of those diagnosed with AMD are at higher risk of developing the disease. Family history and genetics are the greatest risk factors for developing AMD. Therefore, if one of your parents, your grandparents or a sibling has the disease, your risk of disease onset is also greater.

Visually Demanding Careers

People with occupations that have critical vision requirements. Enriching and maximizing macular pigment will optimize vision for athletes, military and police.

eye vitamins
Vision supplements, or eye vitamins, are for everyone.

Eye Health

Written by MacuHealth
Reviewed by Jim Stringham, Ph.D.

Macular carotenoids are powerful and specific antioxidants that our body uses to fight a battle against free radicals in the retina. Since the body doesn’t synthesize these special nutrients – Lutein, Meso-Zeaxanthin and Zeaxanthin – on its own, they must be obtained via dietary consumption of dark leafy greens and other colored fruits and vegetables. 

Often, diet isn’t enough, and low intake of these crucial nutrients can result in damage from oxidative stress and inflammation that can lead to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss in those over 60 years of age.

The problem is that the average person consumes only one to two milligrams of macular carotenoids daily. But research has proven the body receives significant benefits when taking between 20 to 25 mg daily. Additionally, modern farming conditions have caused the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables to decline.

But scientific evidence overwhelmingly shows that our eyes need Lutein, Meso-Zeaxanthin and Zeaxanthin to experience enhanced visual performance, protect our eyes from blue light and manage AMD risk and symptoms. At what age should we start taking these vital ingredients? We’ll look at when is a good time to start taking eye vitamins.

Why Eye Vitamins Are for Everyone

We’re relying more on our computers, tablets and smartphones. The drawback is that these devices emit shortwave frequencies (i.e., blue light) with high energy that can damage the macula over time. Additionally, there are other unwelcome symptoms that exposure to blue light can cause:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Dry eye
  • Sleep disruption
  • Eye strain
  • General visual discomfort

Lutein, Meso-Zeaxanthin and Zeaxanthin benefit eye health and protect the retina from blue light-induced damage by increasing your macular pigment density. In other words, they act as a defensive wall to lower the risk of various eye diseases and undesirable symptoms that can arise due to blue light exposure. When found in an extremely pure and highly bioavailable form, as they are in eye vitamins like MacuHealth, they can also have the following benefits:

  • Enhanced sleep
  • Reduced eye strain
  • Reduced headache frequency
  • Improved visual performance (e.g., contrast sensitivity, glare, speed of processing)
  • Limit the risk of long-term eye health complications

Why Eye Vitamins Are Vital for Older Adults

As we get older, the risk of developing eye disease increases. We need carotenoids to build macular pigment and protect our vision. These diseases include cataracts and AMD. By enriching macular pigment with eye vitamins, you can help manage AMD symptoms and save eyesight in a diseased eye and, in more advanced forms of the disease, possibly delay the onset of the disease in the other eye.

Additionally, when post-cataract patients have had their crystalline lens removed, it takes out the natural blue light filtration normally provided by the lens. The replacement lens is clear. While good in many ways, the new lens allows blue light to pass through to the retina, making it more susceptible to damage. Taking an eye vitamin like MacuHealth can help to guard against this damage by building up the defense provided by macular pigment.

Why Eye Vitamins Are Vital for Athletes

Have you ever tried to catch a fly ball with the bright sun in your eyes? Baseball players need strong contrast sensitivity, your ability to distinguish between an object and its background, to make the big play. And researchers and eye care professionals state that testing for contrast sensitivity is a better measure of your visual performance than the standard examination of reading letters off a chart. Good contrast sensitivity allows you to detect subtle differences in shading and more accurately track objects (e.g., a ball) moving against varying background illumination.

Visual Processing Speed

In almost any sport, there are many instances where faster visual processing speed is a great advantage. For example, it’s hard for players to predict where a rebound will go once it leaves the backboard. Also, hockey goalies must anticipate a puck’s trajectory when an opposing player makes a lightning-fast shot. But if you have high visual processing speed, you can react quicker, better predict where things will be at any given time and make better decisions as you play.

 

Glare Disability and Recovery

Sunlight and bright stadium lights can wipe out your visual field and wear out your eyes. Look at how much a quarterback squints in the fourth quarter – this is a sign that he’s struggling with glare from the sun and stadium lights. Ocular fatigue factors into how well players perform, and glare makes it hard to judge the small but vital details. Several studies have demonstrated that the more you build up your macular pigment level, the greater benefit you’ll experience in terms of glare – both seeing through glare from bright lights and recovering from exposure to bright light.

Eye vitamins such as MacuHealth and MacuHealth Plus+ are specifically formulated with Meso-Zeaxanthin, Lutein and Zeaxanthin to enrich and restore macular pigment to optimum levels with continued use. And they’re safe and recommended for anyone, no matter their age.

carotenoids
Are you getting enough carotenoids in your diet?

Eye Health

Written by MacuHealth
Reviewed by Jim Stringham, Ph.D.

You may not know carotenoids, but chances are you’ve heard of antioxidants. They’re robust components of healthy foods that take on molecules known as free radicals, which damage cells inside the body. 

There are over 700 carotenoids found in nature. Most fruits and vegetables contain carotenoids. Also, some leafy greens feature unique carotenoids that fight an intense battle against free radicals inside the retina.

“The retina, especially the macula, is thought to be an environment of high oxidative stress, meaning that there is an abundance of free radicals—molecules that damage proteins and DNA within cells. Antioxidants fight free radicals and are thought to help protect the retina from this damage,” explains Dr. Ivana Kim at Harvard Medical School.

If left unchecked, the damage from oxidative stress can lead to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of vision loss in those over 60. Interestingly, three specific carotenoids deposited in the retina are clinically proven to prevent and manage the symptoms of AMD. We’ll look at how these three carotenoids guard the eyes and can improve eyesight and cognitive health.

Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Meso-Zeaxanthin

As Dr. Kim stated above, the retina needs a lot of oxygen to fuel your eyesight. Near the retina’s center is the macula, which serves central vision. It also contains the largest concentration of photoreceptors in the eye. It’s responsible for bringing detail and color to our sight. Because the macula demands so much oxygen to perform, oxidative stress and inflammation can severely impact eye and brain performance. It can cause a decrease in processing speed, contrast sensitivity and difficulty adjusting to low-light situations.

The body is aware of this, so it places three powerful carotenoids – Lutein, Meso-Zeaxanthin and Zeaxanthin – in the macula. Collectively, these carotenoids are called “macular pigment.” Their robust antioxidant properties make them capable of protecting the macula against free radicals. 

Because the macular pigment is colored yellow, it absorbs potentially harmful blue light. This leads to improved visual performance, including sharper colors, better contrast sensitivity and enhanced night vision. Studies show these carotenoids can also potentially delay (or even halt) the progression of AMD.

Lutein, Meso-Zeaxanthin and Zeaxanthin are essential nutrients for the eye and brain. However, our bodies can’t make them on their own. The average person consumes only one to two milligrams of macular carotenoids daily. This is because modern farming conditions have caused the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables to decline.1 Numerous studies show that taking supplements with all three macular carotenoids provides far superior results than taking Lutein and Zeaxanthin. Evidence also points to these nutrients reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and slowing its progression.

Carotenoids Aren’t Just for Eyes

Studies show that carotenoids accumulate in the parts of the brain that interact with the retina, which can offer improved cognitive function. These nutrients combat oxidative stress that has built up over time. Research shows oxidative stress is the root cause of Alzheimer’s Disease, and carotenoids could be beneficial in managing the condition.

In one study3, the Nutrition Research Centre Ireland and the University Hospital Waterford divided Alzheimer’s patients into two groups. One took a carotenoid formula of 10mg of Lutein, 10mg of Meso-Zeaxanthin and 2mg of Zeaxanthin. The second group received fish oil consisting of 450 mg of DHA and the carotenoid formulation. A third (control) group of patients without Alzheimer’s Disease took only the carotenoid formula.

After a year and a half of supplementation, those who took the carotenoid formulation and the fish oil experienced improved cognitive function. The results are based on a series of independently performed tests, including functional benefits in memory, sight and mood.

Professor John Nolan, Ph.D., who led the study, explains: “Our previous work confirmed that Lutein, Meso-Zeaxanthin and Zeaxanthin are found in the eye and that enrichment of these essential nutrients with nutritional supplements can improve visual function. However, their high concentration in the healthy human brain also suggests a role for these nutrients in cognition.”

Based on overwhelming scientific evidence, it’s clear that we need sufficient amounts of Lutein, Meso-Zeaxanthin, and Zeaxanthin for optimal visual and cognitive health and performance. Thankfully, supplementation can help us reach the levels we need to realize all the benefits.  

References

  1. Johnson, E. J., Maras, J. E., Rasmussen, H. M., & Tucker, K. L. (2010). Intake of lutein and zeaxanthin differ with age, sex, and ethnicity. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 110(9), 1357–1362. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jada.2010.06.009
  2. Li, B., Ahmed, F., & Bernstein, P. S. (2010). Studies on the singlet oxygen scavenging mechanism of human macular pigment. Archives of biochemistry and biophysics, 504(1), 56–60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.abb.2010.07.024
  3. Nolan, J. M., Mulcahy, R., Power, R., Moran, R., & Howard, A. N. (2018). Nutritional Intervention to Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease: Potential Benefits of Xanthophyll Carotenoids and Omega-3 Fatty Acids Combined. Journal of Alzheimer’s disease : JAD, 64(2), 367–378. https://doi.org/10.3233/JAD-180160
macular degeneration symptoms
Are you experiencing any macular degeneration symptoms?

Eye Health

Written by MacuHealth
Reviewed by Jim Stringham, Ph.D.

Those with macular degeneration symptoms are probably unable to identify when their vision started to change. Eyesight declines gradually, so it’s not uncommon for those with the disease to keep running errands, watching television or continuing work on various projects. But suddenly, colors become darker. Seeing directly ahead becomes a struggle. Vision starts to erode. And when the diagnosis finally becomes real, it can be a devastating and depressing blow.

The struggle to stay independent is why so many stories of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) remain untold. The condition flies under the radar of those most prone to it, but with a diagnosis of AMD comes the risk of losing your driver’s license, a diminished social life, and, in later stages of the disease, the inability to recognize the faces of loved ones.

Over 11 million people in the United States are affected by some form of AMD, with those over the age of 50 being the most vulnerable. According to the National Eye Institute, that number will likely double in 30 years. Exciting new research has given AMD sufferers some hope in battling this degenerative disease. Unfortunately, however, there is still no cure.

Understanding how AMD works and when it starts are keys to slowing or stopping its progression. We’ll take a closer look at macular degeneration symptoms, some treatments on the horizon and how those diagnosed with it can effectively manage their symptoms.

What are the Causes of AMD?

In finding a cure for AMD, the field of genetics looks particularly promising. According to WebMD, researchers have discovered at least 20 genes connected to AMD. But our family histories also put us at risk of developing the disease. If a member of your family has macular degeneration symptoms, your chances of getting the disease increases.

Family History, Gender, Race and Lifestyle Habits

Gender and race are other factors that increase the risk of AMD. Nearly two-thirds of those living with the condition are women, and a third of those afflicted are white. Almost a third of those 75 and older have AMD, and your chances of experiencing macular degeneration symptoms go up after you turn 50. Other factors that increase your AMD risk include smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease.

What is the Difference Between Dry and Wet Macular Degeneration?

Dry Macular Degeneration

There are two stages of AMD. The first kind is dry macular degeneration. The macula, the part of our retina that provides clear vision to our direct line of sight, begins to thin out and deteriorate as we grow older. Those suffering from dry macular degeneration symptoms may not lose their vision entirely. The disorder can develop in one or both eyes and worsen over time.

Wet Macular Degeneration

Dry macular degeneration can progress to the wet stage. Wet macular degeneration symptoms occur when new blood vessels grow underneath and into the macula. These irregular developments may leak fluid or blood, which blocks light from reaching the retina and harms its structure. Additionally, symptoms can occur when fluid builds up between the retina and a thin cell layer called the retinal pigment epithelium, causing distorted vision.

Macular Degeneration Symptoms

It can be difficult for people to know when macular degeneration symptoms begin. Sometimes, one’s vision declines slowly, with a slight change in color or a dark spot in the center of your field of view. Other times, straight lines can appear wavy. Regular visits to your eye care professional can help detect the disease early. Some other signs of AMD to look out for are:

  • A blurred or blind spot in the center of your vision
  • Difficulty adjusting your eyes in low-lit areas
  • Printed words that are fuzzy and difficult to read
  • Difficulty visually recognizing faces
  • Reduced ability to distinguish objects from their background

Can Macular Degeneration Symptoms Be Managed or Treated?

For anyone s­­truggling with macular degeneration symptoms, there is some hope. While there currently isn’t a cure for AMD, there are treatments that can help regulate its symptoms. The most important thing you can do is to see an optometrist regularly and get tested for AMD. There are also laser therapies or invasive drugs injected into the eye, both of which can halt the growth of abnormal blood vessels that can leak fluid into the retina. Some personal changes include quitting smoking and eating a balanced diet.

Supplements are a non-invasive, natural treatment shown to help AMD patients by replenishing macular pigment levels in the eye. With continuous supplementation, patients can dramatically reduce the risk of progression and improve their visual performance. MacuHealth, which includes all three carotenoids that make up the macular pigment, has been scientifically proven to protect the eye from damage, rebuild macular pigment and delay macular degeneration symptoms.