When I was a kid, my mother’s glasses were a constant topic of conversation.
It was always something…
“Have you seen my glasses?”
“I have to run back home to get my glasses.”
“I don’t have my glasses, what does this say?”
I was so annoyed by it. But, as cliche as it may sound, I have become my mother.
I’m now the mom who needs reading glasses, and boy-oh-boy are they hard to keep up with. I see my kids giving me the looks I used to give my mother.
But thankfully, other than for reading, I still have pretty good vision. And I’d like to keep it that way…
But at this very moment (while I’m typing this email and while you’re reading it), we are playing Russian Roulette with our vision.
You see… there’s something called “blue light” that’s emitted by your cell phone, tablet, computer and flat-screen TV that has vision experts worried.
This dangerous light has been shown to…
• Damage (or even completely destroy) the cells in your retina — which destroys your vision and makes it difficult to focus and recover from glare…
• Trigger the production of free radicals that immediately launch an attack on your delicate eye cells and cause even more damage…
• Increase your risk of age-related eye diseases — including age-related macular degeneration which can steal your vision completely…
The largest source of blue light is sunlight… and the blue light exposure you receive from screens is small compared to the amount of exposure from the sun. But there is concern over the long-term effects of screen exposure because of the close proximity of the screens and the length of time spent looking at them.
Thankfully, there are a few things you can do to protect your eyes from blue light and preserve your vision overall…
Limit screen time. In my line of work, it’s very difficult to limit screen time… but I do take breaks to rest my eyes. There’s something called the 20-20-20 rule that I follow. Every 20 minutes I take 20 seconds to look at something that’s about 20 feet away.
Wear blue-light-blocking glasses. Computer glasses with yellow-tinted lenses that block blue light can help ease eye strain by increasing contrast. I keep a pair of these on my desk at home and at the office.
Take supplements that work. Here’s what science says about supplementation and vision:
#1 — Lutein and zeaxanthin
If you haven’t heard of them, lutein and zeaxanthin are powerful carotenoids — plant pigments that give them their bright red, orange and yellow hues.
You can also find these pigments in the macula and retina of your eyes where they work to filter the blue light that can cause damage and rob you of your vision.
Studies also show that these two nutrients may help to keep your eyes healthy in order to stave off cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
In fact, one study even found that people who already suffer from cataracts can benefit from carotenoid supplementation. The results of the research showed that cataract patients who took 15 mg of lutein three times a week benefited from better vision over a period of two years.
#2 — Omega-3 fatty acids
Your retina needs a high concentration of omega-3s, particularly DHA, which optimizes “fluidity” of photoreceptor membranes, retinal integrity and visual function.
A review of a whopping 31 studies found that eating a diet high in oily fish was protective against diabetic retinopathy — damage to the blood vessels at the back of your eye due to uncontrolled blood sugar.
And studies also show that omega-3s may help those living with the dryness, irritation and blurred vision caused by dry eye disease by increasing tear production.
An often overlooked nutrient for cataract prevention, riboflavin is also known as vitamin B2. This antioxidant works to lower oxidative stress throughout your body, eyes included.
And a scientific study found that a diet that included 1.6 to 2.2 mg of riboflavin per day reduced the risk of cataracts by up to 51 percent.
Good sources of riboflavin include:
#4 — Vitamin C
Like riboflavin, vitamin C is a free radical fighting antioxidant that could help to reduce damage from oxidative stress in your eyes.
A number of studies have also linked the citrus powerhouse to a lowered risk of cataracts, with one study delivering results of a 75 percent reduced cataract risk with an intake of 490 mg or more of vitamin C per day.
Grab your vitamin C boost from grapefruit, oranges, bell peppers or even broccoli.
To keep your vision healthy and preserve your eyesight be sure to take it seriously. It’s easier to preserve what you have than to get back what you’ve lost. Your peepers will thank you!