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The glare from passing headlights can make night driving difficult. The temporary blinding effect from headlights are followed by time for eyes to recover vision. For some drivers, the challenges might lead to avoidance of night driving altogether. When considering the seconds needed to return to previous vision, fast recovery time for eyes is a matter of safety.          

Lutein and Zeaxanthin Support Recovery

Research shows that daily supplementation with 10 mg FloraGLO® lutein and 2 mg OPTISHARP™ Zeaxanthin and the resulting increase in macular pigment optical density (MPOD) can help increase tolerance to the intensity of glaring light and improve eye recovery time following bright light.1 The study found that MPOD increased as early as two months after starting supplementation and continued to increase over six months. After six months of daily supplementation, MPOD increased an average of 39%. The response to supplementation occurred whether subjects had low or high MPODs at the start of the study.

Supplements Solve a Nutritional Problem

The human body cannot make lutein and zeaxanthin, so these nutrients must be obtained from diet or supplements. Food sources include leafy green vegetables, eggs and corn. Although many health professionals recommend 10 mg of lutein and 2 mg of zeaxanthin,2 the average diet only contains about 1 to 2 mg of these vital nutrients.3-7 Supplements may help fill a needed gap for eye health.

Car Tips to Reduce Nighttime Glare

In addition to a healthy diet and supplements, simple tips can keep glare from your car to a minimum.

  • Keep the car windshield clean on both the inside and out.
  • Check windshield wiper condition to avoid streaks that can contribute to glare.
  • Set dashboard lights to the lowest level while still effective to see monitors, while also not contributing to in light glare or distraction.

Eye Care Professionals

As with all eye health concerns, discuss night glare with your ophthalmologist or optometrist to rule out medical conditions. Your health care professional will examine your eyes, as well as eye glasses or contact lenses. Anti-reflective lenses might be a recommended to reduce glare. In some health care settings, your MPOD can be measured to provide a status on lutein and zeaxanthin levels. 

References:

1. Stringham JM, and BR Hammond. Macular pigment and visual performance under glare conditions. Optometry and Vision Science 85: 82-88, 2008.

2. Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS2) Research Group (2014). JAMA Ophthalmol. 132: 142-149.

3. Granado F, et al. (2007). Public Health Nutr. 10: 1018-1023.

4. O’Neil M, et al. (2001). Br J Nutr. 85: 499-507.

5. Lucarini M, et al. (2006). Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 76: 103-109.

6. Amanio R, et al. (2012). Seguranca Alimentar e Nutriciional 19: 130-140.

7. Hosatani K, et al. (2012). Ophthalmol. 115: 147-157.