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How To Support Healthy Eyes: The Best Supplements for Eyes‡

Learn how to help protect your eyes from blue light impacts

Supporting eye health has become a hot topic in recent years as we have learned more about the impacts of digital devices, blue light, and screens on our vision. Having healthy well-functioning eyes and dependable vision is something many of us take for granted.

The good news is there are lifestyle habits, foods, and vitamins that may work together to support your eye
health.1 2 ‡

We do know the increased everyday exposure to screens and digital devices can affect eye health.3 The concern has to do with increased exposure to a potentially damaging type of light emitted from your device — blue light.4

Fortunately, certain nutrients that you can get from your diet and vision supplements may help reduce the impact of this exposure. Since screens don't seem to be going away anytime soon, taking steps to help protect your eyes now is a wise choice.5 ‡

Keep reading to learn:

  • What blue light is
  • How blue light affects eye health
  • The best supplements for eye support and vision health

Before making changes to your diet, nutrition, and exercise routine, consult your healthcare practitioner. Always discuss any vitamin and mineral supplements you are taking or plan to take, since these may interact differently with medications and health conditions.

As always, feel free to contact us with your questions about our vitamins, supplements, and other products.

What is Blue Light?

Blue light or high-energy visible light is the type of light the human eye sees. An estimated one-third of all visible light is blue light.6

The most significant source of blue light is sunlight. Fluorescent light, compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs, LEDs, flat screen LED televisions, computer monitors, smart phones and tablets, and other digital devices are artificial sources of blue light.6

Some blue light exposure, primarily from the sun, is good for us. It helps regulate our circadian rhythms (sleep and wake cycle), keeps us alert, and supports a healthy cognitive function. But, when you spend too much time in front of a screen, the blue light adds up quickly and can be harmful to your eyes.4

Researchers have also found that the use of light-emitting electronic devices before bedtime has a range of negative side effects:7

  • Prolongs the time it takes to fall asleep
  • Delays the circadian clock
  • Suppresses levels of the sleep-promoting hormone melatonin
  • Reduces the amount and delays the timing of REM sleep
  • Reduces alertness the following morning
  • Increases alertness before bedtime
  • May perpetuate sleep deficiencies and disrupt the circadian rhythm

These side effects can accumulate, contributing to disrupted sleep patterns, increased stress levels, low energy and fatigue, problems with concentration, and mental and physical health and wellness. This may make it challenging to maintain a balanced lifestyle with regular exercise habits and a healthful nutrient-dense diet, triggering additional trickle-down impacts to overall health and wellness.7

How Does Blue Light Impact Eye Health?

The impact of blue light on eye health ranges from eye strain and fatigue to retina damage. Consider the results of these studies into blue light exposure and eye health:

  • Eye strain and fatigue are increasingly common complaints as more time is spent looking at screens or digital devices that emit blue light. Long-term exposure to blue light has also been found to significantly impair vision. Over time, blue light is associated with retinal cell damage and vision issues.8
  • Excess screen use, especially on phones, has exponentially increased our exposure. Blue light can penetrate deeper into your eye, and nearly all visible blue light reaches the retina. This can cause eye strain, dryness, and even retinal damage.3

The Best Supplements and Nutrients Beneficial for Eye Health

A balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetable, whole grains, lean protein sources, fiber, essential fatty acids, and vitamins and minerals goes a long way in giving your eyes necessary nutrient support. However, there are times when you may not be able to get all the nutrition you need from food, and this is where supplements beneficial for eye health may help.2 5 ‡

Based on a range of scientific research, these supplements may benefit eye health:2 ‡

  1. Vitamin A
    Vitamin A is a group of nutrients known as either preformed vitamin A (found in animal products) or provitamin A (found in fruits or vegetables). It's an essential nutrient responsible for maintaining healthy eye tissue and fluid. It also helps preserve night vision, increases visual acuity, and plays a vital role in vision health as we age9 ‡

    More studies are needed to determine how vitamin A might modify the effects of blue light exposure. However, we know that this vitamin is essential for maintaining retinal health.10 ‡

  2. Lutein and Zeaxanthin
    Lutein and zeaxanthin are two carotenoids that may help protect your eyes from oxidative stress because they are antioxidants.11 ‡

    These nutrients may support increases in macular pigment optical density. In addition, they help form a protective layer that filters light, maintaining healthy photoreceptor function in the macula. Numerous double blind, placebo-controlled trials indicate that lutein and zeaxanthin support the health of the optical lens as well as the retina.2 5 ‡

    In a study of 48 young adults with at least 6 hours of daily screen time, a combination of lutein and zeaxanthin (24 mg/day) moderated the negative effects of screen exposure, including eye strain and eye fatigue.12 ‡

    Lutein and zeaxanthin are widely studied and recognized for benefits to overall eye health and potential benefits to individuals who work at a computer for extended periods on a daily basis.

While much of the research on general eye health has focused on vitamin A, lutein and zeaxanthin, it’s worth noting a few additional nutrients that also play a role in eye health.13

  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin C
  • Zinc
  • Copper

What foods and supplements are good sources for eye health?

The good news is eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein sources, essential fatty acids, fiber, legumes, and natural, unprocessed food should provide you with adequate amounts of these essential nutrients and vitamins.2

Examples of foods high in one or more of the key eye health micronutrients include:1 2

  • Green leafy vegetables including kale, spinach, collard greens, and lettuce
  • Cruciferous vegetables including broccoli,
  • Nuts, seeds, and cooking oils
  • Fatty fish such as salmon
  • Citrus and tropical fruits such as oranges, pineapple, and papaya
  • Whole grains such as oats, wheat, and fortified grain cereals
  • Lean protein such as beef and eggs

However, due to personal factors such as food intolerances, stress levels, health status, athletic and performance goals, sleep patterns, and other lifestyle factors, it can be difficult to consume a rich, nutrient-dense diet. This is when vision supplements may help to support your diet and fill in any gaps in your nutrition.10 ‡

Lifelong Eye Health and Vision

Healthy eyes and strong vision are key factors in helping you to enjoy life. Eye health is critical to almost every aspect from life. Whether it’s driving, reading, working, exercising, or running errands – your eyes are essential.

Eating a balanced diet, limiting screen time, taking supplements that support eye health, and putting a focus on overall health and wellness can go a long way in supporting lifelong eye health.

As you age, you may develop signs of age-related eye conditions – please do not ignore these signs and symptoms. Talk to your optometrist about any changes in your vision or other symptoms such as headaches or dizziness.

As you age, you may develop signs of age-related eye conditions – please do not ignore these signs and symptoms. Talk to your optometrist about any changes in your vision or other symptoms such as headaches or dizziness.

Use our Purely For You personalized supplement plan to provide you with tailored wellness recommendations to meet your specific nutritional needs.

Remember, we are here to support you in achieving optimal personal wellness. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date with the latest news, promotions, and nutritional/lifestyle content Purely For You.

 


1. 8 Nutrients That Will Optimize Your Eye Health: Healthline.com (Accessed September 15, 2021) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-nutrients-for-eyes

2. The 9 Most Important Vitamins for Eye Health: Healthline.com (Accessed September 15, 2021) https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eye-vitamins

3. Sheppard AL, Wolffsohn JSDigital eye strain: prevalence, measurement and ameliorationBMJ Open Ophthalmology 2018;3:e000146. doi: 10.1136/bmjophth-2018-000146.

4. Zhao, Zhi-Chun, Ying Zhou, Gang Tan, and Juan Li. “Research Progress about the Effect and Prevention of Blue Light on Eyes.” International Journal of Ophthalmology 11, no. 12 (December 18, 2018): 1999–2003. https://doi.org/10.18240/ijo.2018.12.20.

5. Blue light nemesis: Green veggies’ carotenoids: American Optometric Association (Accessed September 15, 2021) https://www.aoa.org/news/clinical-eye-care/health-and-wellness/blue-light-nemesis-green-veggies-carotenoids?sso=y

6. Is blue light from your cell phone, TV bad for your health?: UC Davis Health (Accessed September 15, 2021) https://health.ucdavis.edu/health-news/newsroom/is-blue-light-from-your-cell-phone-tv-bad-for-your-health/2019/05

7. Chang, Anne-Marie, Daniel Aeschbach, Jeanne F. Duffy, and Charles A. Czeisler. “Evening Use of Light-Emitting EReaders Negatively Affects Sleep, Circadian Timing, and next-Morning Alertness.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112, no. 4 (January 27, 2015): 1232–37. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1418490112.

8. Vicente-Tejedor, Javier, Miguel Marchena, Laura Ramírez, Diego García-Ayuso, Violeta Gómez-Vicente, Celia Sánchez-Ramos, Pedro de la Villa, and Francisco Germain. “Removal of the Blue Component of Light Significantly Decreases Retinal Damage after High Intensity Exposure.” PLoS ONE 13, no. 3 (March 15, 2018). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0194218.

9. Rasmussen, Helen M, and Elizabeth J Johnson. “Nutrients for the Aging Eye.” Clinical Interventions in Aging 8 (2013): 741–48. https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S45399.

10. Khoo, Hock Eng, Hui Suan Ng, Wai-Sum Yap, Henri Ji Hang Goh, and Hip Seng Yim. Antioxidants 8, no. 4 (April 2, 2019). https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox8040085.

11. Bernstein, Paul S., Binxing Li, Preejith P. Vachali, Aruna Gorusupudi, Rajalekshmy Shyam, Bradley S. Henriksen, and John M. Nolan. “Progress in Retinal and Eye Research 50 (January 2016): 34–66. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.preteyeres.2015.10.003.

12. Stringham, James M., Nicole T. Stringham, and Kevin J. O’Brien. “Macular Carotenoid Supplementation Improves Visual Performance, Sleep Quality, and Adverse Physical Symptoms in Those with High Screen Time Exposure.” Foods 6, no. 7 (July 2017): 47. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods6070047.

13. Age-related eye disease study research group.  AREDS report no. 11. Arch Opthalmol. 2003 Nov;121(11):1621-4.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.