Ultraviolet radiation is all around us. It is emitted by the sun and other natural and artificial light sources. While some ultraviolet radiation is necessary for life, too much can be harmful to our eyes. In this post, we will discuss the dangers of ultraviolet radiation and how to protect your eyes from it with better habits and the help of eye-protecting nutrients.
Vision problems caused by UV rays
You may not realize it, but your eyes are constantly bombarded with ultraviolet (UV) rays. These invisible rays coming from the sun can be just as damaging to your eyes as they are to your skin. Ultraviolet rays are a severe threat to our eyes and can cause permanent damage if we are not adequately protected. In fact, UV rays are one of the leading causes of vision problems and eye diseases.
Age-related macular degeneration
Age-related macular degeneration, or AMD, is a condition that affects the eyesight of millions of older adults around the world. It is the leading cause of central vision loss in adults over 50. One of the risk factors for developing AMD is exposure to UV radiation from the sun.
UV radiation damages the macula, the part of the retina responsible for central vision. The damage accumulates over time, eventually leading to the development of AMD. While there are other risk factors for AMD, such as genetics and smoking, studies have shown that exposure to UV radiation is a significant contributing factor.
Common symptoms include:
– difficulty seeing details
– distorted vision
– sensitivity to light and glare.
While there is no cure for AMD, a combination of lifestyle modifications, medical treatments, and optical aids can help to mitigate its effects. For example, eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help to reduce inflammation in the eye, making it less prone to damage from AMD.
Additionally, certain nutritional supplements help to prevent and manage the condition. In particular, studies have shown that a specific combination of vitamins and antioxidants helps to reduce the risk of developing AMD. Regular exercise has also been shown to be beneficial for maintaining eye health.
Researchers at the University of Buffalo conducted an 8-year study on adults between 45 and 64, divided into groups consuming different diets. They found that those eating diets that lacked particular nutrients were three times more likely to develop late-stage AMD over 18 years.
This condition should be a concern for everyone because staying away from UV light is not possible. Older adults at risk for AMD should make lifestyle choices that promote good eye health. With proper care and management, the impact of AMD can be minimized.
Protecting your eyes with proper nutrients
Two monumental studies have helped create a list of specific nutrients essential in preventing and AMD as well as cataracts. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS) results were first published in 2001, with the second part, AREDS2, being conducted between 2006 and 2011.
From these studies, it was concluded that the combination of nutrients proven to slow down the progression of cataracts and AMD was Vitamins C and E and zinc. Lutein and zeaxanthin (both antioxidants) were also found to be critical in eye disease prevention.
The supplement Retaron contains:
– an extract of the Aronia berry
– lutein and zeaxanthin
– zinc and selenium
– Vitamin C and Vitamin E
– Omega-3 essential fatty acids
Zinc, selenium, and vitamins C and E protect cells in the eye from damage by oxidative stress (inflammation caused by free radicals). Vitamin E supports vitamin A activity in the eye, which is essential for maintaining visual acuity. Aronia berry extract, lutein, and zeaxanthin provide important nutrition for the eye. In addition, the essential omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA present in Retaron protect the blood microcirculation of the eye.
Retaron is taken orally once a day, and it helps to provide the nutrients that our eyes need to stay healthy.
The sooner you take steps to protect your eye health, the better. Avoid intense sunlight at its peak hours, and always wear sunglasses with UV 400 protection. Take steps to protect your eyes from the sun, such as wearing a wide-brimmed hat when outdoors.
By reducing your exposure to UV radiation, you can help reduce your risk of developing AMD. In addition, visit your eye doctor at least once a year and whenever you have concerns.
Dighe, S., Zhao, J., Steffen, L., Mares, J. A., Meuer, S. M., Klein, B. E. K., Klein, R., & Millen, A. E. (2020). Diet patterns and the incidence of age-related macular degeneration in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study. British Journal of Ophthalmology, 104(8), 1070–1076. https://doi.org/10.1136/bjophthalmol-2019-314813
AREDS/AREDS2 Clinical Trials | National Eye Institute. (n.d.). Retrieved 29 April 2022, from https://www.nei.nih.gov/research/clinical-trials/age-related-eye-disease-studies-aredsareds2/about-areds-and-areds2