February is Age-Related Macular Degeneration Month!

Dear Friends:    
We received a great response to our last letter and editorial in the Los Alamos Daily Post:   Shin:  Annual New Years Update.
I never quite understood “aging eyes” until I personally experienced myself!   Around 40, seeing fine details, seeing in low light, driving at night, and reading up close all become more difficult.  The bad news is as we get older, we all become more at risk for eye diseases.  The good news is dietary and lifestyle changes can really make a difference in preserving vision for a lifetime. 
Eat healthier, exercise daily, stop smoking, and don’t miss your annual eye exam!  
MPOD and contrast sensitivity measurements can now be taken during your eye exams.   
Macular pigment is comprised of zeaxanthin and lutein, which are found in the center of the macula (fovea).  
MPOD (Macular Pigment Optical Density) is important for three specific reasons:
1. Low macular pigment is a key risk factor for age-related eye health issues, the leading cause of significant vision loss over age 55.  
2. Macular pigment absorbs harmful blue light, protecting the photo-receptors from damage.    
3. Macular pigment improves visual performance, including:Visual acuity (ability to see fine details and read)
Contrast sensitivity (essential for driving at night!)  
Glare recovery (recovery from temporary “blindness” caused by high intensity lighting, such as automobiles or stadium lights).  
Did you know that 78 percent of the U.S. population has less than optimal macular pigment? Healthy macular pigment acts as “internal sunglasses” to protect against harmful blue light that enters the eye and negatively impacts the visual cells responsible for central and peripheral vision.   
Significant increases can be achieved through nutritional intake and supplements containing zeaxanthin and lutein.   When I first started my practice 24 years ago, I regularly gave spinach recipes to my senior citizens!   
Sincerely, Lisa Shin, O.D.

PS  We have a new electronic medical records system!  It has been a great help for our appointment reminders and eye exam reports to your primary care physicians.  Due to COVID-19, we are operating with limited staff!   Please TEXT us at 505-662-9681 for a faster response.   

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