Protecting Vision As We Age
Each of our five senses – touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight – is a precious gift that helps us experience the joys of life. When asked which sense we would be most afraid to lose, however, the majority of people immediately say “sight.” Sight allows us to take in the beauty and colour of our surrounding world.
For many Canadians, the risk of losing their sight is all too high. One threat is age-related macular degeneration or AMD. In more recent years though, with our increase in screen-time, our ocular health has been put further into jeopardy. Protective measures need to be taken.
AMD is a condition of the eye that can affect us as we age. Age-related degeneration or damage to the retina can result in a loss of vision in the center of the visual field (the macula). Macular degeneration can make reading, watching television or recognizing faces difficult, often leaving only enough peripheral vision to conduct basic activities of daily life. AMD is the number one cause of vision loss in Canada, affecting over one million Canadians and over one-third of the population between 55 and 74.1
Our vision is affected now more than ever in our highly digital age. People of all ages are looking to prevent potential oxidative damage to our eyes, due to the influx in screen-time and blue light exposure we are all experiencing.
Compared to decades ago, the amount of time spent in front of screens has grown exponentially! Beyond accelerated deterioration of ocular health, increased screen time can also can to poor sleep, insulin resistance, obesity, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, poor stress regulation, depression and suicide. We have developed a relationship with technology that resembles substance dependant behaviours!2
Vision impairment may be only the tip of the iceberg, but is an element we have control over that will have a trickle down effect. Nowadays our lives revolve around screens, so aside from reducing time spent on devices, what else can we do to mitigate the effects of our digital lives?
Reducing Our Risk of Vision Loss
Avoid smoking, reduce exposure to pollution, lower stress levels, and wear UV protective sunglasses and blue light blocking glasses. Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help too.
According to the Computer Vision Syndrome Questionnaire evaluated in January 2021, e-learning has contributed to an increase in ocular problems in children. Digital Eye Strain (DES) can appear in children and adults alike in the form of dry eyes, itching, watering, blurring of vision and headaches, due to the increase in digital device use.3
A few ways to protect eyesight include blue light blocking glasses, taking regular screen breaks, reducing overall time, using the one-two-ten distance rule and implementing the 20/20/20 rule. The one-two-ten rule dictates that handheld devices should be no closer or further away than 1 foot, desktops and laptops 2 feet away and televisions at a distance of 10 feet. The minimum distance should always be an arms length away. This is to reduce the disparity between viewing distance and convergence.
Similarly, the 20/20/20 rule states that every 20 minutes, take a break to look 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This exercises the eyes to shift and focus, reducing the occurrence of screen related eye strain.4 Preventative lifestyle changes can play a large part in maintaining ocular health as we age.
Studies on antioxidants have shown that a specific combination can reduce incidence of AMD in high risk patients by an incredible 25%. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), the largest eye nutrition study ever conducted, supports the use of vitamin and antioxidant supplements for prevention.
An Age-Related Disease Study (AREDS) Formula
AREDS closely followed 4,500 participants with varying stages of AMD. The results showed that the AREDS formulation, while not a cure for AMD, played a key role in helping people at high risk of developing advanced AMD maintain what remained of their vision. The daily dose of vitamins and minerals evaluated was beta carotene (25,000 IU), vitamin C (500 mg), vitamin E (400 IU), zinc (80 mg) and copper (2 mg).
In the years following the breakthrough AREDS study, follow-up studies aimed to replicate the impressive results of the AREDS guidelines with an even safer formula.
The follow-up study, known as AREDS2, completed in 2013, found that the benefits of the original AREDS formula could be achieved without beta carotene and with a lower level of zinc. The new formula added a combination of two powerful, natural marigold-source antioxidants, lutein and zeaxanthin (10 mg and 2 mg per day, respectively).
Health First Vision Supreme is based on the AREDS2 research, as well as the Lutein Antioxidant Supplementation Trial (LAST). LAST proved that lutein supplementation, alone or paired with other nutrients, improves visual function. Vision Supreme exceeds the requirement for lutein and zeaxanthin, without the use of beta carotene and with a reduced level of zinc.
Benefits of the Vision Supreme formula:
- Helping to maintain eyesight and support eye health in conditions associated with sunlight damage, such as cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
- Helping to slow the progression of disorders of the eye, such as diabetic and hypertensive retinopathy, and macular degeneration.
- May help to support ocular health specifically in those that are exposed to blue light from electronics.
Vision Supreme contains preventative doses of vitamin C, vitamin E and copper, as well as a powerful dose of natural antioxidants, bilberry and goji berry, which have been shown to prevent dry eyes and eye fatigue, and improve visual function.
If you are serious about preserving your vision, take preventative action right away by reducing screen time whenever possible, practicing the 20/20/20 rule and supplementing with Health First’s Vision Supreme. Vision Supreme is the clear choice as Canada’s best clinically-proven eye supplement!
Available in easy-to-swallow vegetable capsules.