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Eye Nutrition: Caring for your car driving eyes

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When you have to drive a lot at night you have to deal with a phenomenon that does not occur to people who usually stay home at night. This is the need for your eyes to adapt to rapid changes of light intensity within fractions of a second and then going back to the original state again. To be able to change your eyes capability to diffuse and take advantage of light you must have healthy fast eyes, this speed and health comes from proper nutrition, part of this nutrition is the use of eye supplements like Lutein, astaxanthin and zeaxanthin .

How your eyes react to the light

 What this means is that as you drive down the road, your eyes are working with the lights produced by your headlights pointing ahead. Your eyes are in the darkness but they have enough light in front of them to see the road and any obstacles. When a car is coming at you, for a second there you are blinded by the oncoming car’s headlights and your eyes have to readjust in a fraction of s second so you are able to see what your headlights are pointing at.

One second later the car has pulled by and you are again in the darkness and your eyes must make the change again to be able to absorb light from the dark and reflect it to see what is ahead of you. These constant changes in light intensity and darkness make your eyes weary and tired after a while. They shouldn’t be though; your eyes are not muscles that should tire with exercise.

Your eyes are lenses that absorb light and transmit it to the brain for interpretation. That is all they are, when your eyes are tired it is because your optical nerve is overexposed to light because your pupil is not contracting fast enough and your retina does not have enough pigmentation to protect it from the intense light. Lutein replenishes pigmentation, blue pigmentation in the macula behind the retina. This blue pigmentation protects the eyes from extremely intense blue or white lights, like those used in modern cars. Zeaxanthin is an antioxidant but it also replenishes the yellow pigmentation that protects the eyes from intensive white and yellow light, like that produced by the sun. The prefix zea, means yellow and it is taken from the color of corn.

Antioxidants and pupil reaction

Astaxanthin is another antioxidant that helps replenish and regenerate certain elements called rods which are inside the retina. These rods are responsible for the speed in which the pupil adjusts to changes in light intensity going into the eye or around the eye. If your rods fail or take a few extra seconds than necessary to adjust while driving at night against traffic, you may have a terrible accident because you were not able to see what was happening. It only takes a second to produce an accident and your eyes may be responsible for it.

The elements mentioned above, lutein, astaxanthin , zeaxanthin among others are not only beneficial for your eyes but they could very well save your life sometime. This does not only apply to driving but to any situation where you require speed and a prompt reaction started by your eyes.



By Heather Hemmings
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