As temperatures continue to warm up, it feels like summer is within reach. This means longer days accompanied by vacations, picnics, bike rides, hiking, pool parties, lake trips and countless more activities that only happen during the summer months. But with longer days come a longer exposure to blue light, which can add to the trouble experienced by your patients.
Blue light is a year-round problem, but it can be more prominent in the summer time. The sun is the most powerful and prominent source of blue light with higher dosages occurring during the longer daylight hours. Because patients will most likely spend more time outside exposed to the sun in the coming months, it is important to understand how to mitigate patient risk of oxidation caused by blue light. We have 3 suggestions:
1. Proper Outerwear Protection
Like sunscreen, it is important to encourage your patients to wear the proper eye protection when spending time outside. Hats and sunglasses are regular summer accessories, but they can do more than add to your patients’ chic beach outfit. Hats shade the eyes from direct sunlight, but leave them exposed to glare or reflections. Adding sunglasses can improve protection and block harmful ultraviolet (UV) light, but some brands can also protect against harmful blue light. There are even specific blue light lenses or lens filters for corrective transition lenses to be certain your patients have the protection they need.
2. Eating Well
As well as external protective wear that patients can add to their wardrobe, they also have a pair of internal sunglasses. Macular pigment works to shield the retina from oxidation caused by harmful blue light, but this protective pigment can thin over time. The two dietary carotenoids that make up macular pigment, zeaxanthin and lutein, are found in foods like eggs, corn, kale, peppers and spinach. An increase in these eye-healthy foods can help to support healthy, or dense, macular pigment.
3. Nutritional Supplementation
It is difficult to get the amounts of zeaxanthin and lutein needed to maintain optimal macular pigment optical density (MPOD) through diet alone. Numerous studies have shown that the right nutritional supplements can help bridge the gap and reduce the risk of blue light damage and age-related eye health issues. EyePromise® is the only line of eye health nutraceuticals guaranteed to increase MPOD, but supplementation should be an addition to a proper diet, not a substitution.
Enjoying the outdoors is a staple of summertime, but it can possibly lead to problems for patients down the road. Early protection is vital for keeping vision sharp and healthy. Proper protection, both internal and external, can help patients preserve their eye health for years to come. For a more detailed look at blue light and its effects on the body, sign up for the Blue Light Whitepaper Series.