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Blue Light Exposure: How Eye Exams and Supplements Can Help

Blue LightIn today's world, digital devices have become an integral part of our lives. According to recent studies, the average American spends almost 7 hours a day staring at a screen. While they have made our lives easier, excessive exposure to the blue light emitted from these devices can lead to serious eye problems.

A recent research article sheds light on the impact of blue light on the eyes and how certain nutrients can help prevent blue light damage and support eye health. Below, we will discuss these findings and explore supplements that are beneficial for healthy eyes.

What is Blue Light?

Blue light is a high-energy visible light (HEV) with a wavelength between 380 to 500 nanometers (nm) and a high frequency. It is a natural component of sunlight but is also emitted from electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, computer screens, and LED lights. Blue light has a shorter wavelength than other colors in the visible spectrum, meaning it has a higher energy level and is more likely to scatter in the atmosphere.

Blue light can have both beneficial and harmful effects on the body. The beneficial effects include regulating circadian rhythms, promoting alertness, and improving mood and cognitive performance. However, prolonged exposure to blue light, especially at night, can negatively impact our sleep patterns and eye health.

The Effect of Blue Light on Eye Health

When blue light penetrates the eye, it can reach the retina and potentially cause damage to the light-sensitive cells. This is because blue light is more likely to cause oxidative stress, damaging the cells in the retina.

Studies suggest that prolonged exposure to blue light can increase the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Moreover, prolonged exposure is believed to cause or worsen severe retina-related conditions like vitreomacular adhesion and epiretinal membrane.

Vitreomacular adhesion (VMA)

Vitreomacular adhesion (VMA) is a condition that occurs when the vitreous, a gel-like substance that fills the eye, adheres too strongly to the macula, the central part of the retina responsible for detailed vision. This can cause various symptoms like blurry vision, distorted vision, and difficulty seeing fine details. The exact cause of VMA is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to the natural aging process and changes in the vitreous.

Epiretinal Membrane (ERM)

Epiretinal membrane (ERM) is a condition in which a thin layer of scar tissue forms on the retina's surface at the back of the eye. The membrane can distort the central vision, leading to blurred or distorted images. The exact cause of ERM is not fully understood, but it is commonly associated with aging. It can occur due to a posterior vitreous detachment (PVD), a natural age-related change in which the jelly-like substance in the eye shrinks and pulls away from the retina.

It is believed that prolonged exposure to blue light may contribute to developing or exacerbating these conditions. This is because blue light has a higher potential to induce oxidative stress and accelerate the aging process in the eyes.

The Importance of Regular Eye Exams

It's no secret that regular eye exams are crucial for maintaining good eye health and preventing eye problems. However, what many people may not know is that getting regular eye exams can also assist with preventing the development of eye problems caused by blue light exposure.

At South Coast Optometry, Dr. Quon and Dr. Yoo use the MPOD test to evaluate the health of your eyes and provide guidance on preventing future eye problems.

Macular Pigment Optical Density (MPOD) Test

During an eye exam, the MPOD, which stands for Macular Pigment Optical Density, is used to measure the density of pigments in the macula. It is done by using a specialized instrument called a heterochromatic flicker photometer. A device that presents two different colored lights to the eye and measures the speed at which they alternate.

Two pigments, lutein and zeaxanthin, act as a shield against harmful substances that can damage the retina, protecting the macula. These pigments help reduce the risk of eye diseases and conditions by preventing oxidative damage to the retina. Thus, the density of these pigments in the macula is crucial for maintaining good eye health.

The MPOD test is an objective way to measure the density of macular pigments, helping Dr. Quon and Dr. Yoo to evaluate a patient's risk for ey-related problems. If a patient has a low density of macular pigment, they may be advised to increase their consumption of nutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin.

Supplements for Maintaining Good Eye Health

Many fruits and vegetables contain nutrients that are beneficial for eye health. However, consuming the recommended daily intake of these nutrients through diet alone can be challenging. Luckily, certain supplements can help increase your intake of nutrients lacking in your diet.

Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2, or AREDS2, is a clinical trial sponsored by the National Eye Institute that investigated using nutritional supplements to treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

The study focused on a specific formulation of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C and E, zinc, copper, lutein, and zeaxanthin. This formulation, known as the AREDS2 formula, effectively reduced the risk of progression to advanced AMD in people with the disease.

PRN Macular Vitamin

PRN Macular Vitamin is a specialized dietary supplement supporting macular health. The supplement contains a range of nutrients, including lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and copper, all essential for healthy vision. The supplement is available in a convenient soft gel form and taken daily to support long-term eye health.


MacuHealth is a dietary supplement containing a unique blend of carotenoids, including lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin. The supplement is taken daily in capsule form to support long-term eye health. Clinical studies have demonstrated that the combination of lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin found in MacuHealth can increase macular pigment density and improve visual function in people with early-stage AMD.

Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA)

Research suggests that docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish oil, can assist with preventing glaucoma. DHA has been shown to protect retinal ganglion cells, which are responsible for transmitting visual signals from the eye to the brain, from damage caused by oxidative stress and inflammation. Additionally, DHA has been found to reduce intraocular pressure, a major risk factor for glaucoma.

Anyone, not just the elderly, can benefit from these supplements to prevent blue light damage and support overall eye health, especially people heavily using digital devices daily. It's important to remember that prevention is always better than treatment.

Eye Exams in Costa Mesa

Whether you're in your 30s or golden years, it's essential to prioritize your eye health. Drs. Quon and Yoo provide comprehensive eye exams for patients of all ages. Contact South Coast Optometry to schedule your next eye exam and take the first step toward optimal eye health.