Dr. Rani Banik, MD, is a board-certified ophthalmologist specializing in eye health, neurological conditions, and migraine headaches with a focus on an integrative approach and is also a fellowship-trained neuro-ophthalmologist. She is based in New York City and joins Mark Alyn, host of Late Night Health, in May during “Healthy Vision Month” to discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly increased digital device use due to social distancing requirements and the effects this increased blue light exposure has on our eye health.
Dr. Banik discusses a simple nutrition solution for potentially harmful blue light from digital devices. She shares that nature has provided our eyes with internal blue light protection with three pigments called lutein, zeaxanthin and meso-zeaxanthin, collectively referred to as the macular carotenoids, that can be found in high concentrations within the macula, or central retina. Dr. Banik says these pigments act as a frontline defense for your eyes by filtering high-energy blue light and functioning as our innate blue blockers. She stresses that meso-zeaxanthin is especially important to this filtering because it is the most potent antioxidant of the macular carotenoids.
Although lutein and zeaxanthin can be found in the diet, she says it’s much harder to get meso-zeaxanthin from food, which is why she highly recommends supplementation. She shares with Late Night Health listeners an ingredient called, Lutemax 2020, which provides all three macular carotenoids needed for blue light filtering and has been clinically researched for blue light benefits. Look for this ingredient listed on the ingredient label of blue light and eye health supplements, including gummy supplements, which Dr. Banik says is a plus for adults and especially children with whom the impact of blue light may have a similar or greater effect on vision (because a child’s eyes are still developing and may be more sensitive to blue light exposure).
Dr. Banik says with extended screen time now being the “new normal” during COVID-19 and post-pandemic, it’s important to be proactive when safeguarding our eyes from blue light, as well as ensuring optimal visual performance for our future outlook on health.
For more eye health tips, connect with Dr. Banik here: https://rudranibanikmd.com
Listen to Dr. Banik and Mark here –