So, I wanted to wait until I was really sure about this, but I'm pretty sure now, so...
I found a supplement that REALLY helps. It's called 'MacuGuard' from Life Extension. Here's the link:
There's nothing there we haven't all discussed before - lutein, zeaxantin, astaxantin, etc. - but it really works for me. I've tested it a couple times now - and I'm really sure it helps, and here's how I know...
It turns my fingers a little yellow. It has saffron, beta carotene, and red/yellow algae in it, and at first I wasn't sure what was making my hands yellow so I went to the doctor. He said "your liver is fine, so what have you been eating, have you had a lot of Indian food or squash" and it took me a little bit to put two and two together. The old formula didn't have saffron, this one does. And I take double the recommended dose, because I wanted 20mg of lutein and 8mg of zeaxanthin instead of the 10/4 in a single pill. That also puts 12mg of astaxanthin in my system, which might be what really does the trick here, as well as 2.5 mg of beta carotene (contributes to the yellowing effect).
So, I stopped taking it for about 10 days. Long enough for my fingers to not be yellow at all. And my eyes got MUCH worse in that time. Took it again and in just a few days my eyes felt better.
I'll take that trade-off. I'm not turning into a canary or anything, my fingers can be a little yellow if it mean my eyes work.
I also take bilberry extract, which is pretty harmless and also pretty cheap, but honestly I could just eat a bunch of blueberries for the same effect and they're yummy. So that may or may not have anything to do with it, but here's a link to the bilberry in case anyone thinks it might help:
I take two of those also.
I don't want to call myself a success story, because I have good days and bad days, but things I can do now that I couldn't before:
- Use my work laptop and Microsoft Teams (which we switched to from Slack).
- Drive my wife's Subaru with the super bright LED screen on instead of off.
- Watch my FireTV with zero discomfort.
- Play video games on occasion.
- Use my iPhone 7+ (with skinomi techarmor matte) for hours without discomfort.
- Watch a movie on the plane on the shitty screens they have, without discomfort (other than from the plane seats).
- Occasionally use the soft yellow LED we installed over the sink (against my better judgment) since the fluorescent tubes were flickery.
- Shop at the grocery store without freaking out due to their insistence on LED's for coolers (although I note with some satisfaction that they pulled the awful garish "covered in LED" displays from the checkouts after the customers and cashiers all noted that they were painful to look at!)
I don't attribute this enrtirely to supplementation. I've worked hard to reduce sources of strain, minimize my time around LED's, etc.
But my daily regimen is:
- Probiotics for gut health (probably unrelated, I've needed these my entire adult life...)
- MacuGuard & Bilberry
- Allergy Meds (Allegra or Zyrtec, depends on the season)
- Prilosec (only needed until I lose a few pounds and rid myself of the acid reflux)
- Magnesium (to counteract the Prilosec which tends to rob you of magnesium)
- Fish Oil (because I'm middle aged)
- Anti-inflammatory as needed (again, middle aged and I do martial arts and I'm overweight, so Advil is my friend)
- Whisky (because ... whisky)
- Tai Chi in the morning, karate in the afternoon
- 8 hours a night of sleep, no matter what
COVID has seen me gain weight, for sure. I need to lose literally 50lbs. But I'm feeling a lot better about the future. I hope this helps someone. Cheers!