Vision Health – Lose the blues of screen fatigue by getting out of artificial light and into the great outdoors – while still taking care of your eyes.

Too much Screen Time? You’re not alone.  The average adult spends up to 11 hours a day in front of a screen on digital devices, including TV.  That adds up to a lot of blue light exposure for your retinas, which can cause eye fatigue, a disrupted sleep-wake cycle, and vision health concerns down the road.

Since blue light rays are shorter and more energetic than any other type of visible light, they are more damaging to our retinas.  The natural filters in your eyes do their best to try and protect against blue light exposure, but you can reinforce those filters by adding plenty of macular carotenoids to your diet.

What are Macular Carotenoids?

Macular carotenoids are pigments found in certain foods and supplements.  When consumed, they are deposited heavily in your retinas, helping filter out blue light rays.  Lutein and Zeaxanthin are the two key macular carotenoids linked to protecting your eyes.  Studies have shown that people who consume them have a lower risk for age-related eye concerns.

Lutein: An antioxidant that accumulates in the retina to help your eyes filter blue light.  Food Sources include dark, leafy greens.  Lutein intake declines with age.

Zeaxanthin: Another antioxidant that works in a similar way to Lutein, making them a powerful duo for eye health.  Like Lutein, food sources include dark, leafy greens.

Astaxanthin: Powerful antiosidant that helps defend against oxidative damage.  Sources include red marine foods like krill and crawfish.

Beta Carotene: Also known as Vitiman A, this carotenoid supports health photoreceptors.  Food sources include carrots, liver, egg yolks, and diary products.


Indoors: 1) Limit screen time before bed; 2) follow the 20-20-20 rule to give eyes a rest: Look at an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. 3) Use night settings on digital devices to minimize blue light exposure.

Outdoors: 1) Wear a wide-brimmed hat & high quality UV-blocking sunglasses; 2) Don’t assume you’re safe on cloudy days.  UV light is invisible and can pass through clouds. 3) Avoid looking directly at the sun.  It can lead to irreversible damage to retinas.

This article reprinted with permission from Dr. Kambiz Silani, OD medical optometrist in Beverly Hills with optometrist education from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Western University of Health Sciences.

Article submitted by Pat France, MSRN Member