One of your most precious senses is your eyesight, and it's easy to take this gift for granted - until it starts to fail.
As important as our vision is to each of us, surprisingly few Americans know much about their eyes - the factors that can threaten their eyesight and what they can do to help maintain their vision and eye health.
One recent study of 3,500 adults shows just how little they know. Although 80% of those surveyed said they were “knowledgeable” about eye health…
- Less than 20% (fewer than 1 in 5) were able to name the three main causes of blindness.
- Only 3% were able to identify all of the common threats to eye health.
- 11% knew all of the early signs of vision loss.
- Only 37% (a little over 1 in 3) were aware that you don't always experience symptoms before losing vision to eye disease.
- 37% believed decreased vision over time is a normal process of aging.
These survey findings are alarming for several reasons. For one, the major causes of vision loss can happen without you even realizing it. The fact that your brain is very good at compensating for failing vision doesn’t help.
The truth is you don’t need to put up with a decline in eyesight or eye comfort - at any age. Knowing what your eyes need and providing the right support to help counteract everyday stressors can help you maintain your healthy vision.
Why Declining Eyesight Over Time Isn’t a Normal Process of Aging
First, you need to understand that growing older doesn’t automatically mean your eyesight is going to fail.
Rather, deteriorating vision is more of a side effect of our modern lifestyle - and a lack of the nutrients your eyes need to thrive.
Studies show many people over age 40 may need extra support - but sometimes, even before that. That’s simply because of lifestyle changes and habits that may be placing you at higher risk of developing conditions that threaten healthy vision.
Regardless of age, extra support for vision and eye health may be needed with these conditions:
Smoking ramps up free radical damage throughout your body, including your eyes. Tobacco smoking is associated with the top causes of blindness in the U.S.
- Obesity and Blood Sugar Issues - Diabetes is the number one cause of adult blindness in the U.S. High blood sugar levels can pull fluid from the lens of your eye, affecting your ability to focus. Plus, they can damage the blood vessels in your retina and obstruct blood flow.
- Blood Pressure Issues - High blood pressure can cause damage to the miniscule blood vessels on your retina, obstructing free blood flow.
- Lack of Sleep - Vision problems are three times higher for those who get three hours or less - or 10 or more hours - of sleep each night, compared to those who sleep seven hours.
There’s one other important factor, too, that affects the eye health of people of all ages…
How the Dramatic Rise in Screen Time Is Affecting Vision, Health, Sleep and More
Before humankind had artificial lighting, they primarily relied on sunlight for illumination.
Today, when it becomes dark, we turn on lights. In addition to artificial lighting, there’s no shortage of lit screens from electronic devices vying for your attention.
In fact, the average American spends 10 hours and 39 minutes each day viewing a screen on a computer, smartphone or tablet, at home and at work.
The effects of exposure to all of this unnatural light are starting to become evident.
Studies show undesirable associations between artificial exposure to light at night and both reduced sleep quality and diminished daytime alertness.
With all the complaints that have surfaced, a condition called computer vision syndrome (CVS) has been identified. CVS includes symptoms ranging from eye and neck strain to headache to eye fatigue.
There are valid reasons for these complaints. People tend to blink less when looking at screens. This can lead to dryness from the evaporation of the protective thin layer of liquid on the surface of the eye.
But that’s not all...
Artificial light can be harmful as well. Because of their efficiency, most smartphones, televisions and computer displays use LED lights. The short-wavelength blue light component in LEDs is strong, yet not intense enough to produce acute damage in the retina.
However, there is the potential for long-term, cumulative effects, including cellular damage from increased oxidative stress.
Some recent findings suggest this high-energy blue light may even have the potential to damage cells in your brain.
Luckily, there’s much you can do to help protect your eyes from these and other threats, but to truly appreciate how your eye health can become threatened, we need a basic understanding first of how our eyes actually work…
How the Parts of Your Eye Work Together
Your eye is an incredibly complex and miraculous organ, allowing you to see sharply and engage fully in life.
To gain a bit more of an appreciation of the complexity (without burying you in details), refer to the eye anatomy image, as we review the function of some of the major parts of your eyes:
- Cornea | The clear skin that covers the front of your eye.
- Sclera | The tough skin or “white” of the eye that surrounds most of the eyeball.
- Iris | The colored part of your eye that controls the amount of light entering your eye.
- Pupil | The hole in the iris that lets light into your eye, that contracts in bright sunlight and opens in darkness.
- Lens | By changing its shape, the lens changes the focal distance of the eye to create clear images.
- Retina | Your eyes’ very own upside down movie screen, your retina contains cells called rods and cones that change the light received into impulses.
- Optic nerve | This nerve transmits the electrical messages from the retina to your brain.
- Macula | Located in the center of your retina, the macula produces your central vision which allows you to perform activities requiring fine, sharp vision.
When light enters your pupil, it hits the lens, which then focuses those light rays on the back of your eyeball - the retina.
The retina is in the very back of your eye, past the vast vitreous body. Though smaller than a dime, it holds millions of light-sensitive cells. It takes the light it receives and converts it to nerve signals so your brain can understand what your eye is seeing.
Natural Strategies That Support Healthy Vision
The most common causes of many of the threats to your vision are from free radicals, or molecules with unpaired electrons, that can damage cells and tissues.
Free radicals can alter the proteins, lipids and DNA in your cells and trigger disease as well as cause harm.
The good news is antioxidants can help prevent damage from free radicals. They’re essential for balancing free radicals for proper physiological function. If free radicals overwhelm your body’s ability to neutralize them, oxidative stress can occur.*
There are two types of antioxidants - water-soluble and fat-soluble antioxidants.
You need both types of antioxidants for the ultimate protection. Taken together, these antioxidants can help protect against damaging free radicals in both the fat and aqueous (water) portions of your eyes - and your entire body.*
Fat-soluble antioxidants find their way into and protect the fat or lipid-based tissues in your body. In your eyes, they guard the tissues rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids, which are prone to lipid peroxidation, such as the photoreceptor membranes.*
Water-soluble antioxidants are those that are soluble in your blood and your cell’s watery cytoplasm.
Your body cannot store water-soluble antioxidants. Any excess is excreted from the body through the urine.
To help you take control of your eye health - and tosupport your normal eyesight- we developed a formula called Eye Support, a collection of four extraordinary antioxidants.*
The Next Generation Player for Eye Health Support: Anthocyanins from Black Currant Fruit Extract
The most noted water-soluble antioxidants for eye health are the anthocyanins found in black currant extract.
Black currant contains some of the highest levels of anthocyanins found in nature - 190 to 270 mg per 100 grams - literally blowing other top eye health antioxidants, like bilberry, out of the water.
Here are some of the reasons why black currant anthocyanins are so valuable for your eyes and vision:
- They are absorbed in your plasma as well as in your eye tissue.
- They are soluble in the aqueous humor, the thick watery substance filling the space between your lens and cornea.
- They support the ability of your aqueous humor to maintain normal intraocular pressure in your eyes.*
- They help maintain collagen levels, which is the main component of your lens and the connective tissue that supports your eye.*
We included 50 mg of Anthocyanins from Black Currant Fruit Extract in Eye Support.
Studies show this level of anthocyanins significantly improved Dark Adaptation Threshold, a measure of visual fatigue.*
Black currant extract appears to be effective at three different dosage levels of anthocyanins in supporting eye health, but only the 50 mg dosage yielded statistically significant results in one study.*
When you’re choosing an eye health supplement, we feel it’s important to include Anthocyanins from Black Currant Extract as well as some other impressive antioxidants like Lutein, Zeaxanthin and Astaxanthin.
The ‘Macular Carotenoids’ from Marigold Flower Extract for Healthy Eyes and Vision*
Lutein (from the Latin "luteus," meaning "yellow") is a naturally-occurring carotenoid that’s used by your body as an antioxidant.
Zeaxanthin, also a carotenoid, is the strongest antioxidant naturally present in your retina. Once transported to your eye, zeaxanthin moves into several tissues, including your lens and macula, to support their normal functions.*
Lutein and zeaxanthin support eye health by helping to prevent damage from blue light and oxygen free radicals. They readily pass into the oxygen-rich retina where they reduce the number of damaging free radicals.
Because of their actions, it should come as no surprise that studies show a higher dietary intake of lutein and zeaxanthin is related to greater visual health.*
The highest concentration of lutein in your eye is in your macula lutea - the tiny central part of your retina responsible for detailed central vision. Because of their value to the macula, both lutein and zeaxanthin are known as the “macular carotenoids.”
The yellow pigment that protects your macula is made up of lutein and zeaxanthin.
These natural antioxidants are believed to serve two primary roles:
- To absorb excess light
- To quench free-radicals before they damage the lipid membranes
This macula pigment acts as “internal sunglasses” to protect your macula from potentially harmful blue light, such as the light from computer and other device screens. The denser your macular pigment, the greater your resistance to blue light.
A recent scientific review shows that higher levels of lutein in your eyes is associated with greater macular pigment density and eye health.* Lutein may also enhance night vision.*
The Lutein and Zeaxanthin from Marigold Flower Extract used in our Eye Support was shown in a study to:
- Significantly increase macular pigment density.*
- Promote sleep quality.*
- Provides support against eye strain and fatigue as well as associated headache frequency.*
Beyond Vision - Other Potential Benefits of Lutein and Zeaxanthin
The potential benefits from these two antioxidants go beyond the eyes - and even sleep. They also show potential for cognitive benefits, too, in older individuals.*
Studies show that higher lutein and zeaxanthin levels in the macula are associated with supporting global cognition in tasks like word recall and verbal fluency.*
Interestingly, more recent research has found that lutein may play an important role in brain health and cognition, too, by helping to prevent DNA damage.*
Lutein and Zeaxanthin are crucial for your vision, and possibly even for cognition. So how can make sure you are getting enough?
Both are found in dark green leafy and cruciferous vegetables, but most people get limited amounts of each in their diet - less than the amount needed for supporting their eyesight.
Because your body can’t make these carotenoids, you must get them either through diet or a supplement.
While you can strive to get adequate lutein and zeaxanthin from fresh vegetables, fruits and egg yolks, studies suggest you absorb more from a supplement that can contain nearly twice the levels you get from spinach or other vegetable sources.
That’s why we decided to add both Lutein and Zeaxanthin to Eye Support. We chose Marigold Flower Extract as the source for both carotenoids.
The concentrated ingredients in Eye Support don’t stop with these… There’s another critical ingredient that we believe you absolutely must have for optimal eye health.
The Most Powerful Supporter of Eye Health: Organic Astaxanthin*
Even more powerful an antioxidant than lutein and zeaxanthin, astaxanthin may be the most potent antioxidant ever discovered for eye health.*
Produced by the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis when its water supply dries up, astaxanthin is the carotenoid that gives salmon, lobster, krill, crab and other sea creatures their pinkish-orange hue.
What makes astaxanthin so exceptional?
Several factors make astaxanthin stand apart from other antioxidants. It:
- Readily crosses into the tissues of your eyes without adverse reaction.
- Helps maintain proper eye pressure levels already in the normal range.*
- Supports your eyes’ energy levels and visual acuity.*
- Helps support the tissues of your retina during bright light exposures.*
Astaxanthin’s structure closely resembles lutein and zeaxanthin, but its unique configuration gives it enhanced antioxidant activity for free radical scavenging.*
Its unique structure lets it pass through your cell membranes so it protects both the lipid and aqueous outer layers of your cells – at the same time controlling potential damage inflicted on your cells by excess free radicals.*
Compared to vitamin E, astaxanthin has 500 times more antioxidant capacity, which means that when compared to an equal amount of vitamin E, astaxanthin is 500 times more effective.
Astaxanthin is also:
- 14 times stronger than alpha-tocopherol
- 54 times stronger than beta-carotene
- 65 times stronger than vitamin C in scavenging oxygen free radicals
And unlike some other carotenoid antioxidants that can act as pro-oxidants at high concentrations – and actually cause oxidation in your body’s tissues – there appears to be no risk of pro-oxidant activity with astaxanthin, no matter how high the dose.
What Makes Our Organic Astaxanthin so High Quality
Naturally occurring astaxanthin can offer powerful antioxidant protection for your eyes.* Where can you get it, if not from a supplement?
Its highest concentration is found in the muscles of wild salmon. Researchers believe that’s no accident. High levels of astaxanthin provide the power for salmon to swim upstream during spawning.
In contrast, farmed salmon contain 400 times less astaxanthin than wild salmon. Salmon raised in pens are fed with petro-chemically derived astaxanthin, not natural astaxanthin.
The other source of naturally occurring astaxanthin is one that few people know about – a very unique type of microalgae called Haematococcus pluvialis. This is how sea creatures, like salmon and krill, get their red pigmentation – by eating these microalgae.
Until recently, even high-quality astaxanthin was only produced by conventional means. And that meant using PVC tubing with plasticizers and potential contamination with toxic herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers.
However, we use USDA Certified Organic astaxanthin in our supplements, including Eye Support. This astaxanthin is grown under conditions that satisfy the tough auditing of the USDA National Organic Program (NOP), meeting all the requirements for minerals, nutrients and non-required protectants.
The astaxanthin in our Eye Support is:
- Organic Astaxanthin from Haematococcus pluvialis microalga, the preferred source.
- Grown in pure, clean glass tubes, rather than contaminated open ponds like other products, so there’s no potential for plasticizers from PVC tubing.
- Produced using a special CO2 extraction method that doesn’t use toxic chemical solvents, preservatives and residues.
Best of all, the controlled production process yields a pure, top-quality product and an astounding 10% astaxanthin, compared to a typical 5-7% yield for competitors.
Based on Actual Science, Eye Support Deserves to Be Your Go-to Resource for Healthy Vision*
With the combination of Lutein and Zeaxanthin from Marigold Flower Extract – along with Black Currant Anthocyanins and Organic Astaxanthin – Eye Support includes what I consider to be the best and most important ingredients known for eye health today.*
And we formulated them in the dosages tested in published trials, so you’d get a formula designed for optimal eye support.*
Here’s why I believe Eye Support is your best option for maintaining healthy eyesight:*
- It contains the optimal doses of lutein, zeaxanthin, anthocyanins and Organic astaxanthin, based on the scientific research, for effective protection against damaging free radicals.*
- It contains no synthetic ingredients and the Organic astaxanthin is grown in a pure and toxin-free environment and extracted without solvents.
- The formula is supported by published research showing its efficacy in promoting macula and retina health and reducing common complaints associated with the use of electronic devices.*
You depend on your eyes for so much, and I think you’ll agree they get a hearty workout each and every day.
Isn’t it time you gave them the protection and support they need?
When it comes to your eyes, you want to do everything you can to help support their health – and your ability to see clearly into old age.
We’ve taken the guesswork out of finding the right combination of botanicals for healthy eyes and vision.
Support your eye health the easy way – order Eye Support today.*