A new study suggests that your eyes may be a good place to start, with scientists saying you can improve your eyes’ ability to absorb and store eye pigments.
Scientists at the University of Copenhagen and the University College London have found that a combination of sunlight and a treatment for a skin disorder called epidermal hyperpigmentosis (EHP) can dramatically improve pigmentation in people with this disorder.
“The combination of light exposure and EHP causes a change in the skin’s pigmentation composition and can improve the eye pigmentation,” said study co-author Lars Rønnberg, an eye doctor at the university.
“What we have done is to test whether the same treatment can be used to treat epidermis.”
If we are able to find a way to improve the pigmentation of the eye, then we could have an eye with an increased ability to control and store pigments.
“This would make it more likely that people with EHP will be able to achieve their desired vision.
The researchers said the combination of a high-intensity light and a high concentration of skin cells that form the pigment is what makes EHP the most common eye disorder.
The research was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.”
A lot of people have problems with their eyes, and they have no way to treat them.
This study is really the first time we have been able to show that the combination can help people to improve their eyesight,” said Dr Rønberg.
The study involved a group of participants, all from Copenhagen and London, who were asked to wear a camera-based device that measures the level of melanin (the pigment in your skin) in their eyes.
The participants then wore a test to measure the levels of pigmentation.
After a two-week trial, the participants were shown videos that had the participants looking at a variety of photos of a person with eye problems, some with and some without EHP.”
We found that the more they watched the pictures of the person with EHI, the more pigmented their eyes were, the brighter their eyes looked,” said co-lead author Dr Joanna Mertens, a senior research scientist at the Danish Eye Institute and a professor of medicine at the Copenhagen Eye Institute.”
They were also able to use the same test to determine if they had pigmentation problems.
“In other words, we could predict how much of the pigment would be in their eye and the level at which that would improve.”
The study also showed that the pigments were able to absorb light, and the results showed that when they were exposed to an ultra-violet light, the levels in the eyes of the participants increased.
“Our results also show that you can increase the concentration of pigments in the eye to a very high level, which is important to control the absorption of pigment,” Dr Rönnberg said.
“There is a good correlation between the amount of pigment in the pigmented eye and your vision.”
The researchers have also found that this combination of high-light and high-pigmented eyes was also linked to a decrease in the level and frequency of skin cancer.
“These results indicate that our results are in line with previous studies and the idea that pigmentation can be beneficial for eye health,” Dr Mertins said.
Dr Rønanberg said that future research will look at how different skin pigments, like titanium oxide and titanium dioxide, could help to control or prevent the development of skin cancers.
“Titanium oxide is not the only pigment that helps us to control pigmentation but it is a powerful pigment that can also help control melanoma, which affects about 1 per cent of people in the world,” Dr Toni Sjöberg, a research fellow at the Department of Health, Education and Recreation at the Centre for Advanced Research and Development at the Medical University of Denmark, said.
The research was funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme.
The researchers have published their research in the scientific journal Science.