Can Eye Supplements Improve Visual Processing Speed?

When someone yells, “Duck!” we look up, even if it doesn’t make any sense. Then we have about a split second to determine if we really need to take cover. In that moment, our eyes gather information and communicate with our brain. How quickly that communication occurs has to do with our visual processing speed.

Visual processing issues.

Issues with visual processing are very different than problems which affect eyesight—or sharpness of vision. In fact, visual processing issues can occur in people who have perfectly clear vision.

When someone has difficulties with visual processing, it affects how information about visual objects is perceived by the brain, such as the ability to:

• detect the presence of an object

• distinguish between two objects

• determine the spatial relationship between two objects

People with visual processing shortcomings may also have trouble with hand-eye coordination.

It is common for older adults to experience difficulties with their visual processing speed. However, young adults, particularly those engaged in sporting activities, can also benefit from improved visual performance.

Carotenoids and eye health. 

Studies show that to improve visual processing speed, we should look to carotenoids. Carotenoids are antioxidants that protect the body from free radicals that can damage cells and cause diseases. They can be found quite abundantly in plants and are responsible for giving color to red, orange, yellow, and green fruits and vegetables.

While there are hundreds of carotenoids found in nature, there are three that can be found in the macula of the eye, the part of the retina that is vital for many visual functions such as color vision, glare reduction, and visual reaction time. The three carotenoids that are present in the eye are:

• lutein

• zeaxanthin

• meso-zeaxanthin

· Eye health nutrition.

Lutein and zeaxanthin can be found in common foods, such as green leafy vegetables—particularly kale and spinach. Other good plant-based sources include orange juice, red peppers, kiwis, and grapes. Egg yolks are also a source of lutein and zeaxanthin.

Eye health nutrition. 

Lutein and zeaxanthin can be found in common foods, such as green leafy vegetables—particularly kale and spinach. Other good plant-based sources include orange juice, red peppers, kiwis, and grapes. Egg yolks are also a source of lutein and zeaxanthin.

Lutein and zeaxanthin supplements are also available to support eye health. Research studying the relationship between macular pigmentation and visual performance has found that eye health supplements containing lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin can improve visual performance, including visual processing speed.

Diet and nutrition play a vital role in your overall health including your eye health. If you have questions about your visual processing speed, your eye doctor will be able to measure your macular pigment optional density and determine if vitamins for eye health are right for you.

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