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MPOD – Macular Pigment Ocular Density

How Macular Pigment Works… Macular pigment is the eye’s internal defense against blue light and UV damage. Found in the fovea, or the center of the macula, macular pigment is comprised of two dietary carotenoids, zeaxanthin and lutein. Healthy pigment functions like “internal sunglasses”, screening photoreceptors from oxidation and potential harm.

Unfortunately, 78% of the general population in the U.S. has an unhealthy, or sub-optimal, macular pigment density. The density of macular pigment affects visual function, including:

  • Visual acuity
  • Contrast sensitivity
  • Photophobia (light sensitivity)
  • Glare recovery
  • Vision in an open area and how far one can see in hazy conditions
  • Ability to see while driving at night

Macular pigment density also determines a patient’s risk of developing age-related eye health issues. To support healthy macular pigment, patients must have the proper amounts of zeaxanthin and lutein. Because the body does not make these antioxidants on its own, they must be ingested. Lutein is commonly found in leafy greens, while brightly colored vegetables like corn and peppers contain zeaxanthin. It can be difficult to get the amounts of these retinal carotenoids to support MPOD in a regular diet. This is why we are proud to offer EyePromise Nutraceutical supplements to our patients.  During your eye health examination, your macular pigment density will be discussed along with your supplementation options.

How can we measure your MPOD? We are very excited to utilize the latest in macular pigment measurement, the QuantifEye MPS II.  The QuantifEye MPS II densitometer is the most reliable and accurate device for measuring Macular Pigment Optical Density (MPOD).  The MPOD measurement allows Drs. Becker and U’Ren to assess a key age-related macular degeneration (AMD) risk factor, low macular pigment, as well as other visual performance challenges.  Schedule your eye health examination today to learn more about MPOD testing.