Optometric Management

FEB 2017

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42 F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 7 • O P T O M E T R I C M A N A G E M E N T . C O M CLINICAL NUTRITION A S HIGH-energy short wavelength visible light can cause cumula- tive damage to retinal cells and is associated with an increased risk of AMD, we should inform our patients how they can mini- mize their exposure to blue light and, thus, protect their ocular health and maintain optimal vi- sual function. Here, I provide three steps to pass on to patients. 1 LIMIT TECHNOLOGY USE Explain to your patients that tablets, smart phones and computer monitors emit high amounts of potentially harm- ful blue-violet light, which can damage their eyes, and thus, the use of these technologies should be restricted. (For digital media use guidelines for children, visit tinyurl.com/pedtab. ere ap- pears to be no such guidelines for adults.) In addition, educate patients that applications are available on these devices that decrease the amount of blue light they emit. For example, iPhones have a "Night Shi" mode. 2 BUY BLUE-LIGHT LENSES Discuss the availability of high- quality blue light lenses for the outdoors and computer lenses and how, specifically, they work to decrease the wearer's exposure to blue light: "You can minimize the amount of blue light that enters your eyes by also wearing glasses that filter some of the harmful blue light. Most ophthalmic lens companies offer a high-quality blue light coating." (See "Blue Light Prod- ucts" list in the online version of this article.) 3 INCREASE CAROTENOIDS Before making recommenda- tions to increase carotenoid intake, measure the patient's macular pig- ment optical density (MPOD) via MacuScope (Marco) or QuantifEye (ZeaVision). e results will deter- mine whether dietary changes and/ or supplementation would be ben- eficial to increase one's intake of lutein and zeaxanthin, which act as blue light filters in the macula. Regarding dietary changes, kale is the top food choice for blue light protection, as 1 cup of this eye food contains 10mg of lutein. Watercress, pea shoots and Chinese broccoli are other oen overlooked, good leafy green choices. Further, consum- ing orange peppers, both raw and cooked, and eggs four times per week will also help to increase the concentration of lutein and zeaxan- thin in the body and macula. When it comes to supplemen- tation, select products that have scientific research to back them and quality assurance policies to ensure that ingredients are low in contaminants. MAKE AN IMPACT Following in the phrase "See- ing is believing," you can increase patient compliance to these steps by utilizing digital imaging, ei- ther retinal photography or OCT, to show patients their macula and explain its role in protecting the retinal cells from blue light. I have found that most patients want to take a proactive role in their fu- ture ocular health when given the education and opportunity. OM BULWARKS FOR BLUE LIGHT HELP PATIENTS SAFEGUARD THEIR VISION WITH THESE THREE STEPS LAURIE CAPOGNA, O.D. DR. CAPOGNA is the founder of Eye Well- ness in Niagra Falls, ON and co-author of "Eye- foods: A Food Plan for Healthy Eyes," "Eyefoods for Kids: A Tasty Guide to Nutrition and Eye Health" and author of "Cooking with Eyefoods: Recipes to Protect Your Eyes From Blue Light." Her mission is to inspire and educate eye care professionals and the public about the power of ocular nutrition and prevention. Email lcapogna@co geco.ca, or send comments to opto metricmanagement@gmail.com.

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