Night Vision

Night Vision

As we age, many of us notice deteriorating night vision. Some researchers say we lose 10% of our rate of dark adaptation every decade. Today many experts believe that a combination of exercises, herbs and/or supplements may be the panacea we were looking for.

During daylight, our retinal cone photoreceptors allow us to see in color and to discriminate fine details. However, during the evening hours, when there is very little light present, the images that we see are primarily relayed to the brain by rod photoreceptors. They deflect light and dark and are scattered throughout the periphery of the eye. Gradually, an individual can lose his or her ability to adapt to nighttime vision most likely caused by dietary deficiencies. This contributes to people disliking the glare of oncoming headlights and failing to adapt to the dark.

During World War II British Royal Air Force Fighters were given a tasty jam made of bilberries to eat. One such noted side effect of this jam was that the pilots experienced better night vision and were able to adeptly complete tactical maneuvers at night. Upon the completion of the war, scientists conducted studies on the diets of the RAF pilots and found that bilberry contains natural bioflavonoids, anthocyanosides. While these antioxidants did what any other antioxidant would do including preventing damage by free radicals, it also led to an improved rod photoreceptor function and adaptation to the dark.


While there are many treatment options, you have to find the right combination that works for you. There are three key principles behind these recommendations. One is to strengthen cell membranes and two is to improve circulation to the eye and finally protect the eye from damage caused by free radicals.

I created “Able Eyes” with just these things in mind. DHA is a major part of retinal cell membranes and improves electrical conduction. Vitamin A and Vitamin E support cell membrane function. Lutein, the most concentrated member of the carotenoid family in ocular tissues, and its isomer zeaxanthin protect the cone cells from UV and short wavelength radiation. Vitamin C, a water-soluble antioxidant refurbishes the fixed cell membrane antioxidants.

Magnesium is a vasodilator to improve circulation. Silymarin protects the liver, the nutrient warehouse for the eye. Quercetin is a natural antihistamine. “Abel Eyes” contains other important bioflavonoids, e.g. bilberry, zinc, and trace minerals.

Back to night vision, the five key supplement items are DHA, Vitamin A, lutein, bilberry and zinc. All are included in “ Able Eyes” from Carlson. So start seeing better at night.