Why is macular pigment important? and what is MPOD?
Macular pigment is comprised of Zeaxanthin and Lutein, two types of carotenoids found in foods like fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, kale, corn, green beans, peas, oranges and tangerines. Carotenoids provide important antioxidant functions which guard the body from damaging effects of free radicals, which are unstable molecules that can destroy cells and play a role in many diseases. Zeaxanthin and lutein are obtained through our diet and are found in the center of the macula (fovea) at a natural 2:1 ratio.
MPOD (Macular Pigment Optical Density) is important for three specific reasons:
Visual acuity – ability to see clearly, especially in fine detail situations like needlepoint or reading in low light situations
Contrast sensitivity – ability to discern objects from their background (i.e. seeing a white golf ball or baseball clearly against a light blue sky)
Light sensitivity – visual discomfort in sunlight or when exposed to bright light
Glare recovery – recovery from temporary “blindness” caused by high intensity lighting, such as automobiles or stadium lights
How do I know if I how much macular pigment my eyes have?
At Holliston Vision Center, we value healthy living. A well-balanced diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables provides important nutrients for the eye! The American Optometric Association recommends the following foods which contain key nutrients for eye health:
Lutein and zeaxanthin: To help reduce your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), eat one cup of colorful fruits and vegetables such as broccoli, spinach, kale, corn, green beans, peas, oranges and tangerines four times a week.
Essential fatty acids: Studies suggest omega-3 fatty acids such as flax oil or fleshy fish like tuna, salmon, or herring, whole grain foods, lean meats and eggs may help protect against AMD and dry eye.
Vitamin C: Fruits and vegetables, including oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, papaya, green peppers and tomatoes, can help minimize the risk of cataracts and AMD.
Vitamin E: Vegetable oils, such as safflower or corn oil, almonds, pecans, sweet potatoes, and sunflower seeds are powerful antioxidants that can slow the progression of AMD and cataract formation.
Zinc: A deficiency of zinc can result in poor night vision and lead to cataracts; therefore, consuming red meat, poultry, liver, shellfish, milk, baked beans, and whole grains on a daily basis is important.
Small changes in our diet and lifestyle can have a big impact on our eyes and overall health. Admittedly, there are times when we have "gaps" in our diets. For some people, additional supplementation through oral nutraceuticals is an option. Because we've had so many questions from our patients on "what brand is the best?", we are finally happy to finally make a qualified recommendation!
At Holliston Vision Center, we've chosen to offer nutraceuticals from EyePromise, one of the leading companies in ocular nutrition. EyePromise is dedicated toward preventing age-related macular degeneration through science-based nutraceuticals and also offers supportive nutrients for dry eye, retinal health and night driving. Ask us more about details!
EyePromise places the highest priority on product quality. Their products are pharmaceutical-grade, contain the highest-quality ingredients, and are manufactured to the exacting standards of the FDA current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) requirements.
For your convenience, you can purchase supplies of EyePromise nutraceuticals in our office. You can also follow the link below to order directly or find our more about EyePromise products and nutrient information. Check out their website for lots of information about ocular nutrition!
QuantifEye MPS II -- MPOD Measurement Instrument
The QuantifEye MPS II measurement instrument is the most reliable and accurate device for measuring Macular Pigment Optical Density (MPOD). MPOD measurement allows the assessment of a key AMD risk factor, low macular pigment, as well as other visual performance challenges.
QuantifEye MPS II features include:
Healthy MPOD is important for three specific reasons:
Holliston Vision Center
841 Washington Street, Holliston, MA 01746