There are several tunic layers within your eye, containing the cornea (outermost tunic) and retina (innermost tunic) with optic tracts carrying vast bundles of optic nerve fibres between your brain and eyes to help interpret visual information.
Eye function can be likened to a camera, as light enters the eye it travels through a window called the cornea ‘the clear covering of the eye’. This light forms a visual perception which then passes through the lens for fine tuning and then to the retina. The retina is similar to film in a camera as it works with the optic nerve to the brain to form an image. The macula is a yellow pigmented area in the centre of the retina, responsible for high-resolution colour vision.
Blue light and eye health
Today we are exposed to a range of technical devices on a regular basis, everything from your tablet, computer to mobile phone. We cannot live without them, even though they all emit blue light, which is in the visible light spectrum. However, blue light exposure for long periods of time can have negative effects on our eye health as it places extra stress on the retina cells. As we have never been exposed to blue light such in such quantities before, the stress it places on our eyes is a new phenomenon. Some studies suggest that blue light can lead to reduced melatonin production (the sleep hormone), especially if devices are used at night time.
This intensely purple fruit contains antioxidants known as anthocyanosides which may help in the regeneration of eye pigments. Bilberry may also help in the regeneration of rhodopsin in the retina, assisting in rod function and light adaption. Rods and cones are photoreceptors within the eye that enable you to see different shades of light and colours.
Protect cells and tissues from free radical damage and oxidative stress. Specific antioxidants are found within the eye structure itself and these may help to support healthy eye function:
- Lutein and Zeaxanthin, yellow coloured carotenoids, are found in high concentrations in the macula portion of the eye and make up the yellow pigmented macula. These may help protect the eye and support eye function. Lutein and Zeaxanthin specifically act as your eyes ‘natural sunglasses’ and filter damaging blue light. They also have direct antioxidant effects, reducing blue light oxidative stress.
- Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant, also found in high concentrations in the eye and recycles another antioxidant, vitamin E in your body.
- Zinc, an essential trace mineral, is used in zinc dependant enzyme reactions that occur in the eye, converting free radicals to hydrogen peroxide, making them less harmful.