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Slide Show: Eye Health Supplements for Blue Light Protection

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Blue light is relatively short but high energy light waves occupying the last part of the visible spectrum, adjacent to invisible ultraviolet (UV) light. The sun is the biggest source of blue light, but modern life has involved more and more time looking at device screens, which have become a troubling source of blue light. Increased screen time throughout the entire day is leading to accumulative chronic exposure that increases the risk of degenerative eye diseases and other vision-related problems.

Just as too much exposure to UV light can burn and damage the skin, overexposure to blue light can damage the light-sensitive retina—while UV light affects the front areas of the eye such as the lens and cornea, most blue light ends up in the back of the eye where the retina resides. The only filter of this blue light is the yellow-pigmented macula, the central region for vision. The macula contains yellow carotenoids, including lutein and zeaxanthin, that help filter blue light and address oxidative stress. Supplementation with macular carotenoids has become a tool for increasing macular pigment density and limiting the damaging effects of blue light for consumers of all ages.

This slide show was adopted from the SupplySide West 2017 Panel “Eye Health: Exploring the Blue Light Opportunity,” held on Sept. 28 at in Las Vegas. Presenters included: Diane Ray, Natural Marketing Institute (NMI); Julie Poteet, O.D., the Ocular Wellness Nutrition Society (OWNS); and James Stringham, Ph.D., University of Georgia.

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