The Blue-Light Blues

Sunday 19 June 2022

Recent research indicates that many adults spend an average of more than 12 hours a day in front of our smartphones, computers and TV. Over-exposure to blue light emitted from our digital devices have negative effects on our health, such as:

(a) Sleep cycle disruption

Our sleep routine is at risk of being disrupted when we are over-exposed to blue light at night. Blue light shifts our circadian cycles. It also suppresses melatonin (a hormone that regulates our sleep cycle), making it difficult for us to fall asleep.

(b) Dry eyes and strain

Blue light tires out the retinas due to the rapidly changing glare that forces our eyes to focus harder. 

Symptoms include:

  • Burning or stinging sensation, eye irritation, redness and sensitivity to light.
  • Headaches, blurred vision, neck and shoulder pain.
  • Computer vision syndrome or digital eye strain, with symptoms like headaches, blurred vision, back pain, fatigue, double vision or dizziness.
Here are some simple Preventive Methods:
  • Blink more often as it helps to moisturise and refresh your eyes.
  • Use artificial tears to lubricate your eyes.
  • Follow the 20-20-20 rule i.e. look at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
  • Cut down on glare by adjusting the lighting around you and the brightness of your screen.
  • Use blue light screen filters.
  • Wear blue light glasses.
  • Cut down on screen time.
An ophthalmologist Dr Leow Sue Ngein recommends consuming a good form of antioxidant, which prevents inflammation from exposure to blue light, as one way to maintain healthy eyes.

A study published in May 2020 in the journal Marine Drugs showed that a natural red carotenoid found in the micro algae Haematococcus pluvialis called astaxanthin has "the advantage to directly address the main pathogenic factors underlying ocular diseases, such as cumulative oxidative stress and chronic subclinical inflammation."

On top of that, Astaxanthin also has these benefits:
  • Good safety profile with no adverse events being reported in any clinical studies.
  • Improves accommodative function of the eyes by controlling the contractility of the ciliary muscles.
  • Alleviates eye fatigue by reducing cellular inflammation that emerges because of persistent eye stress and contraction of ciliary muscles.
  • Improves capillary blood flow in the retina, which helps improve the eyes' internal balance, nutrition, oxygenation and waste removal.
  • Strong antioxidant potency, being (i) 6,000 times stronger than vitamin C, (ii) 4.9 times stronger than vitamin A (beta carotene) and (iii) 2.6 times stronger than lutein.
  • Can suppress 5 inflammatory signalling pathways in the body, and thus, is able to protect against all inflammation in the eyes.
(Source: The blue light blues, Datuk Dr Nor Ashikin Mokhtar, Starhealth 10/1/2021)

Which eye supplement should you take?

I highly recommend Yung Kien I Plus. It's an excellent health food to protect your eyesight because not only does it contain Astaxanthin, it also has Lutein, Zeaxanthin, blackcurrant, bilberry and wolf berry extracts.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin are the carotenoids naturally occurring in macular area, also known as macular pigment. They are mostly found in yellow and green vegetables. The blue light can penetrate deep into the back of the eyes. But the eyes can protect itself by filtering blue light using macular pigment. Supplementing with Lutein and Zeaxanthin is just like applying a layer of sunscreen to provide a natural defence to protect the sensitive photo-receptors of macular region from the potential hazards of blue light.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin are also powerful natural antioxidants that help resist the damage of free radicals to the eyes, delay the ageing of eyes and prevent diseases related to eyes. Recent studies have confirmed that they have a positive effect on the Macular Pigment Optical Density. MPOD is related to visual acuity. Long-term supplementation with Lutein and Zeaxanthin is able to increase and maintain the macular pigment, which is beneficial to prevent the symptoms of macular degeneration such blurred, deformed or decreased central vision.

Our body does not naturally produce Lutein and Zeaxanthin so it's important to obtain them from diet or supplements. Yung Kien I Plus features a rich content of Lutein which is extracted from marigold flowers in its purest form FloraGLO through the most advanced patented technology of the 21st century. 

Given the fact that Lutein can readily become oxidised in its normal exposure, and the quality tends to be affected during normal manufacturing process, FloraGLO Lutein in Yung Kien I Plus is extracted in the crystallised form and produced through precision process, which is resistant to oxidative damage. This explains why, compared to lutein from normal source, it exhibits a much higher absorption rate by the human body.

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