Health

Eye health supplements: Lutein and zeaxanthin may boost eyesight – Dr Chris

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Short-sightedness, or myopia, is a very common eye condition that causes distant objects to appear blurred, while close objects can be seen clearly. As Doctor Chris warned on ITV’s This Morning, “shortsightedness is on the rise due to a lack of time spent outside during childhood”. With screen time constantly increasing, the need to look after one’s eye health is vital. While there is “no clear evidence” that vitamins can aid eye health, a supplement formulation has shown the most promise.

According to eye health body AllAboutVision, it is believed that lutein and zeaxanthin and in the macula block blue light from reaching the underlying structures in the retina.

This reduces the risk of light-induced oxidative damage that could lead to age-related macular degeneration, says the eye health body.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a common condition that affects the middle part of your vision.

In fact, a number of studies have found that lutein and zeaxanthin either help prevent AMD or may slow progression of the disease.

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AllAboutVision cites research published in Nutrition & Metabolism found that a nutritional supplement containing meso-zeaxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin effectively increased the optical density of the macular pigment in eyes of the majority of human subjects.

The macular pigment is believed to offer protection against the development of macular degeneration.

What’s more, studies published in American Journal of Epidemiology, Ophthalmology and Archives of Ophthalmology found higher levels of lutein and zeaxanthin in the diet are associated with a lower incidence of AMD.

Additionally, two studies published in Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science found that eyes with greater levels of macular pigments were less likely to have or develop macular degeneration.

Why is shortsightedness on the rise?

Doctor Chris ascribed the rise of shortsightedness to concerning changes in the way children lead their lives.

“Kids are indoors sitting in front of screens, spending a long time and close up, suffering eye strain,” he warned.

As a result, they becoming more prone to shortsightedness as they get older, Doctor Chris said.

Fortunately, increasing amount of time outdoors can delay shortsightedness in children, he added.

According to Doctor Chris, getting vitamin D from sunlight also improves eye health.

Wearing sunglasses outside is vital to protect your eyes from UV rays, however, he noted. 

How to spot shortsightedness in your child 

As Dr Chris explained, there are a number of telltale signs your child is suffering from shortsightedness.

These include:

  • Children who admit they cannot see the whiteboard very clearly.
  • Sitting closer to the TV
  • Rubbing their eyes more frequently
  • Getting headaches.

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