Article

FOCUS

Help Protect Against Blue Light

Supplementation may aid patients exposed to the wavelength

In this Focus column, the author answers questions about a new supplement, based on firsthand experience in prescribing it.

1. Can you describe Ocuvite Blue Light eye vitamins?

Ocuvite Blue Light eye vitamins are specially formulated with 25 mg of lutein and 5 mg of zeaxanthin isomers. These are carotenoid pigments found in the macular pigment epithelial layer that help absorb blue light. The supplement is designed to support and protect this layer. It is an alternative to other Ocuvite products.

Photo courtesy of Bausch + Lomb.

2. For what patients is the eye vitamin formulated?

This supplement was formulated to help patients who may be susceptible to an increased exposure to blue light. Sources of blue light include sunlight, CFL and LED light bulbs, as well as digital devices, such as smartphones, tablets and computers. Ocuvite Blue Light was specifically evaluated an adult patients.

3. For what patients is it contra-indicated?

The supplement is contra-indicated in patients who have a known sensitivity or allergy to an ingredient included in the product. (A list of active ingredients can be found at bit.ly/OcuviteBlue .)

4. How is the supplement taken?

Patients are instructed to take one soft gel in the morning with water during a meal.

5. What results can an O.D. expect?

Recent research, such as a study in July’s Scientific Reports, suggests chronic exposure to blue light may result in increased free-radicals in the eye and potential retinal injury. Ocular vitamin supplements are believed to support macular pigments due to their antioxidant properties. Although a direct relationship between macular pigment and potential injury from blue light has not yet been fully verified, research is certainly trending in that direction, with clinical trials pointing to a body of evidence that supports antioxidant therapy for blue light protection, for example, “The Photobiology of Lutein and Zeaxanthin in the Eye” published in the Journal of Ophthalmology.

6. How is the supplement dispensed?

Ocuvite Blue Light is available OTC at retail pharmacies. In recommending the product, I provide a coupon to make the journey from my practice to product purchase as easy as possible.

7. How do you educate patients on the product?

We have a variety of patient education tools in our practice, including videos from Rendia and handouts that we create. It’s critical to send more information home with the patient, as studies show that patients recall a limited amount of information presented by the doctor.

8. What follow-up procedure do you use?

In our practice, most patients who receive a recommendation for a nutritional supplement are scheduled to return in three to six months so we can assess compliance and impact.

9. What marketing efforts do you utilize for the supplement?

Marketing actually starts during the patient history, when questions are asked about digital device use and time spent outdoors. The answers to these questions trigger our clinical assistant to talk with the patient about vitamins available to support their extended screen time, even before they see the doctor. Also, we include information about blue light protection via our on-hold messages, social media channels and practice website. OM