How Carotenoids Can Keep Your Eyes Healthy

Who doesn’t want to enjoy a lifetime of excellent vision?

But besides having routine eye exams and having your eyeglasses prescription and contact lens prescription updated when changes occur, is there anything else you can do to keep your eyes healthy and maintain optimum vision?

According to nutrition research, an important key to healthy eyes and good vision may be getting enough carotenoids in your diet. In particular, carotenoids may help protect your eyes from the damaging effects of blue light and reduce your risk of macular degeneration later in life.

What Are Carotenoids?

Carotenoids (kuh-RAH-teh-noids) are pigments that give fruits and vegetables their vibrant red, orange, yellow and green colors. They act as antioxidants and have significant cancer-fighting properties.

How Do Carotenoids Work To Keep Eyes Healthy?

The most sensitive part of the retina in the eye is called the macula. The macula has the highest concentration of photoreceptors in the retina and is the portion of the retina where our sharpest vision is produced. It also is responsible for our ability to perceive colors.

Three dietary carotenoids: lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin — form the pigment in the macula (“macular pigment”) that protects the millions of photoreceptor cells located in this small region of the central retina.

In particular, the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the macular pigment reduce oxidative stress on the retina caused by high-energy blue light, which is believed to contribute to the development of macular degeneration.

Also, blue light has shorter wavelengths than other visible light, which scatter more easily in the eye, causing glare and reducing contrast sensitivity and visual acuity. The macular pigment selectively filters out image-degrading visible blue light for sharper vision.

(More in our next article next Monday)

Very important: Always make sure you discuss and make decisions about your eye care based upon a formal appointment with your optician.

For more information and to book and eye examination please contact us:

McKenna & Scott Pinelands

Tel: 021 531 1953

pinelands@mckennascott.com