What is Blue Light?
Blue light is part of the visible light spectrum. Throughout our lifetime our eyes are exposed to a variety of visible and invisible light, not just from natural sunlight where most blue light exposure comes from, but from the perpetual presence of electric lights in our homes, fluorescent and LED lights in offices, our flat screen television and computer screens, mobile phones and other digital devices as well.
How Blue Light Affect Our Eyes
Blue light is the closest to invisible, ultraviolet light on the colour spectrum. Almost all visible blue light passes through the cornea and lens and reaches the retina. Early research shows that too much exposure to blue light could lead to:
Blue light from computer screens and digital devices can decrease contrast leading to digital eyestrain. Fatigue, dry eyes, bad lighting, or how you sit in front of the computer can cause eyestrain. Symptoms of eyestrain include sore or irritated eyes and difficulty focusing.
Studies suggest that continued exposure to blue light over time could lead to damaged retinal cells. This can cause vision problems like age-related macular degeneration.
How Lutein and Zeaxanthin Protect against Blue Light
Lutein and zeaxanthin are two carotenoids in the same family of nutrients as beta-carotene, but they are specifically referred to as macular carotenoids because they are deposited in the retina when consumed. Lutein and zeaxanthin also have potent antioxidant benefits and play a role in protecting your retina from the cumulative damage and oxidative stress that leads to age-related eye concerns.
Lutein and zeaxanthin filter harmful high-energy blue wavelengths of light and help protect and maintain healthy cells in the eyes. The amount of lutein and zeaxanthin in the macular region of the retina is measured as macular pigment optical density (MPOD). Recently, MPOD has become a useful biomarker for predicting disease and visual function.