At A Glance:
The macula (part of the retina) is an essential element of good vision
Three critical nutrients make up the pigment of the macula
Only one dietary supplement, MacuHealth, contains all three nutrients
Enriching the macula will (1) improve quality of vision and (2) protect eyesight throughout life
MacuHealth is backed by science and peer-reviewed studies
After cataract surgery, your vision is restored and you see amazingly well. What can you do to keep your vision from changing again?
That's a question frequently asked after successful eye surgery. Surgeons usually tell you to exercise, eat well, eliminate tobacco, control blood pressure and lipid levels, wear ultraviolet protection and stay healthy. But knowing that your aging eyes will inevitably change, is there a way to slow down that process? What will preserve good vision for the long term?
The Greatest Threat To Older Eyes
The main cause of blindness in older people of developed countries is age related macular degeneration1 (ARMD). In the United States, advanced ARMD causes 50 percent of legal blindness,2 and incidence will rise as longevity increases.
Although there are multiple factors in the onset of ARMD, cumulative oxidative stress to the eye's central retina (called the macula) is considered a trigger for the disease.
Early Prevention of Oxidative Damage Is Key
To preserve the quality of vision achieved by cataract surgery, the focus must be on the health of the macula and prevention of macular degeneration.
The center of the macula, called the fovea, represents the central five degrees of vision and is key to reading, facial recognition and other important vision tasks. The fovea is the location of 99% of the eye's three types of cones, which allow the eye to see in color.
Three macular pigments are present in the fovea: lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin. They are thought to serve two main functions: as a naturally occurring antioxidant, and to filter short wavelength blue light.
Protect Long-Term Eye Health and Improve Short-Term Visual Function
A denser macular pigment layer will protect the retina cells under it from oxidative stress, helping to preserve vision.
In addition, short wavelength blue light scatters, which decreases the eye's contrast sensitivity and increases glare. A denser macular pigment layer blocks this harmful blue light, improving contrast sensitivity and overall quality of vision.
Improved contrast sensitivity has a positive impact on many vision tasks, such as driving in dim light or fog.
How Do I Get The Macular Pigments My Retina Needs?
Research shows that the three components in alth supplement can reduce the risk of AMD and even improve visual performance. In some cases, AMD advances so slowly that people do not notice the change in their vision. For other people, macular degeneration progresses faster and may lead to a loss of vision in one or both eyes.
[Learn more about MacuHealth supplements.]
Lutein and zeaxanthin are in foods such as carrots, corn, citrus fruits and dark green leafy vegetables. But the third macular pigment, meso-zeaxanthin, is not commonly found in the Western diet. It's believed to be converted enzymatically from lutein within the body, although as many as 20% of the population do not have these enzymes and therefore are deficient in meso-zeaxanthin.
Meso-zeaxanthin is particularly important because it is heavily concentrated at the very center of the fovea — the most central part of our vision. Thus, all three carotenoids are needed to maintain a healthy macular pigment layer, and lessen the risk of macular damage. This is an important consideration after cataract surgery.
Studies Show the Benefits to Good Vision of Macular Health
Supplementation with lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin has been shown in studies to optimize vision by enhancing contrast sensitivity and slowing the progression of macular degeneration. The only commercially available product containing all three of these carotenoids and used in peer-reviewed, published studies is MacuHealth.
MacuHealth® is a natural food-based nutraceutical that contains 10mg of lutein, 10mg of meso-zeaxanthin and 2mg of zeaxanthin. If taken once per day for one year, it has been shown to improve contrast sensitivity and visual function.7
Everyone wants the best possible vision, especially as they age. Cataract surgery removes a temporary impediment to that goal — a clouding of the eye's natural lens — and restores youthful, vibrant, full-spectrum vision. A dietary supplement with all three macular carotenoids will maintain and even improve visual performance as well as protect the cells in the fovea from oxidative damage.
Preserving vision using proven science is a sensible approach for everyone, especially those who've experienced the miracle of cataract surgery.
Page published in February 2019
Page updated in March 2022