Usage of devices or gadgets with a visual display has progressively become the centre of our lives within the past decade. We use computers at work, watch television at home and actively focus on our smart phones whenever we are free. Even families sitting at tables waiting for food have resorted to keeping their children busy and quiet with smart phone or tablet games. The birth of modern technology has brought upon various benefits in terms of communication and access but the rapid blossoming of devices with a visual display terminal (VDT) has also brought along various health complications such as visual system dysfunction, musculoskeletal disorders, adverse pregnancy outcomes and etc.
With the visual system dysfunction most discussed about, over usage of VDTs at work or in daily activities is reported to bring about an array of visual discomfort such as sore, irritated eyes; watery and glare-sensitive eyes, double or blurred vision, shoulder stiffness and so on. These symptoms of discomfort are loosely referred to as asthenopia or eye strain and are usually reported after periods of concentrating on a visually intense task such as continuously focusing on a book or VDT. However, such symptoms are often neglected because they have become a norm in the society be it among students, desk-bound executives or the elderly with deteriorating visual health.
How does prolonged usage of VDTs bring about adverse effects? While this open ended question poses answers which are debatable, the cause is commonly suspected to be electromagnetic radiation emitted from these devices that causes free radicals to form and damage our eyes. While the free radical subject is nothing new, its nature of destroying our cells remains unavoidable due to routine daily activities such as the breakdown of food, sun exposure, smoking, exercising and exposure to radiation from VDTs. Another possible cause is the prolonged usage of VDTs causes the ciliary muscle in our eyes to endure an unnatural struggle, focusing on objects at a fixed distance.
Astaxanthin – A Powerful Antioxidant for Eye Support
Haematococcus pluvialis is usually found in temperate regions around the world. Their resting cysts are often responsible for the blood-red colour seen in the bottom of dried out rock pools and bird baths. This colour is caused by astaxanthin which is believed to protect the resting cysts from the detrimental effect of UV-radiation, when exposed to direct sunlight.
Astaxanthin is a natural carotenoid extracted from microalgae that is able to withstand and survive harsh conditions. Astaxanthin is also a natural anti-inflammatory agent and helps increase blood flow to the eyes. Deemed the new-age antioxidant, astaxanthin is like a shield in protection from free radicals in various parts of the body especially delicate areas such as the eyes. Astaxanthin could ameliorate or prevent light induced damage, photoreceptor cell damage, ganglion cell damage, and damage to the neurons of the inner retinal layers. AstaReal® astaxanthin is manufactured by Fuji Chemical Industry from Haematococcus pluvialis microalgae. The microalgae are cultivated in state-of-the-art photobioreactors in pollution-free environments in Gustavsberg, Sweden. Fuji is also the leading patent holder related to the use of AstaReal® astaxanthin in human health. AstaReal astaxanthin is the most studied brand of astaxanthin in the world for applications such as muscle endurance, eye fatigue, diabetes type 2, gastric health and more. AstaReal® astaxanthin is approved as a dietary supplement in the US, Europe and Japan.
Bilberry Extract for Good Night Vision
The bilberry fruit is high in a substance called flavonoids chemically known as polyphenols. Bilberry’s flavonoids are antioxidants known as anthocyanosides which gives the bilberry fruit its blue red colour. Anthocyanosides improve microcirculation which is circulation to the very small blood vessels such as those in the retina and helps prevent free radical damage to delicate structures within the eyes. The retina is where the major functions of vision occur. Anthocyanosides have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects, and strengthen the structural integrity of blood vessels throughout the body and promote healthy circulation, particularly to the small capillaries that deliver oxygen and nutrients to the eyes. Bilberry extract may help your night vision and adaptation to the dark, and promote visual acuity and capillary integrity. Bilberry extract may help your night vision (especially noticeable while driving) and makes reading, computer use, and other activities easier on your eyes.
Vitamin E – Maintenance of Good Eye Health
Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, preventing the damage done by oxidation of nutrients and other chemicals in the body. Antioxidants like Vitamin E are a major part of the body’s immune system. They provide protection against diseases and conditions that are associated with aging by preventing free radicals from damaging cells of the skin, eyes, liver, heart and other bodily organs. Specifically, it seems to prevent damage to the eyes from age related macular degeneration, reduces the risk of heart disease and helps prevent certain cancers. It helps to protect the eyes against the formation of cataracts and macular degeneration. Vitamin E also protects the Vitamin A (Retinol) present in your eyes, from damage by free radicals.
Whether you are a senior citizen, VDT (including computers, television, smart phones and tablets) user, student or adults experiencing eye fatigue problems, the need for great antioxidants such as astaxanthin, bilberry extract and vitamin E never ceases. As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure”. Supplementation becomes important as nutrients are usually delivered in its concentrated form, where you will not be able to obtain as much from diet alone.