Do you have a tough time driving in foggy weather? There’s a solution: a new study reports that the density of your macular pigment can boost your ability to see distant objects in hazy conditions.
University of Georgia researchers simulated hazy conditions to test the distance vision of participants with varying levels of macular pigment density. The study was published in the journal of Optometry and Vision Science.
Participants with denser macular pigment were better able to see distant objects throughout the haze. Those with the highest levels of this pigment could see through twice the amount of haze as those with the lowest, reported researchers.
Macular pigment is comprised of the nutrients zeaxanthin and lutein, which are found in the center of the macula (fovea) at a natural 2:1 ratio.
Healthy macular pigment functions as a set of “internal sunglasses” to protect against harmful blue light that enters the eye and negatively impacts the visual cells responsible for central and peripheral vision. Denser macular pigment can also protect vision from age-related eye health issues.
Studies have shown the density of macular pigment can have a profound effect on vision performance as optimal levels of the pigment can improve visual acuity, glare recovery, and contrast sensitivity while decreasing light sensitivity.
Research has also shown significant increases in macular pigment density can be achieved through nutritional intake and supplements containing zeaxanthin and lutein.