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Blue light-filtering increases macular pigment, may protect against age-related vision loss
Date:10/26/2009

retinal injury and thereby reduce the risk of new-onset AMD and/or its progression. Evidence suggests that photo-oxidative stress is important in the development of AMD.5 The likelihood of retinal damage is highest for short-wavelength light (blue light). Several parts of the eye, most importantly the lens, act as filters to block short-wavelength light from reaching the retina.4

Macular pigment is thought to protect against AMD because it absorbs short-wavelength (blue) light before it reaches photoreceptors in the retina and because of its antioxidant properties (decreases oxidative stress by quenching free radicals). Portions of the eye behind (posterior to) macular pigment are exposed to approximately six times the amount of blue light in persons having the lowest levels of macular pigment, as compared to those with the highest levels.5 Macular pigment is obtained entirely from the diet and transported to the retina via the blood. Therefore, ongoing research is being conducted to determine to what extent a person's diet may affect AMD. However, the data available to date is in support of such a notion.5

About Cataracts and AMD

As the aging population grows and becomes a larger percentage of the overall population, age-related diseases such as cataracts and AMD will become more prevalent.6

Surgical removal of cataracts lens that have become clouded from buildup of protein is the most frequently performed surgery in the U.S.7, with more than 6 million cataract surgeries currently performed each year in the U.S. and Europe combined.7,8 While vision is almost universally improved immediately following cataract removal, implantation of lens that does not filter harmful short wavelength (blue) light may hasten the progression of AMD,5 the leading cause of vision loss in people over the age of 60 in the U.S.9

AMD is
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Contact: Iris Shaffer
ishaffer@cooneywaters.com
708-799-6284
Cooney Waters Group, Inc.
Source:Eurekalert

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