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Yellow pigment in eye helps see better through haze

Posted on Aug 26 2014 | IANS

New York, Aug 26 : People with greater amounts of yellow pigment in the eye may be able to see distant objects better in hazy conditions, new research shows.

Researchers from the University of Georgia found this when they tested the ability of people to see distant objects through "atmospheric scattering" or haze.

"All human eyes, and many animal eyes, contain an inert yellow pigment that is reported to be both protective and also slightly enhances vision, particularly in short wavelength (blue light) settings," explained Anthony Adams from the University of Georgia.

Some people have more yellow or macular pigment (MP) than others.

Increased MP may help in filtering out "blue haze," thus making distant objects more visible, according to the study.

"The results suggest that people with high levels of yellow macular pigment may have some slight advantage in hazy and glare conditions," said Adams.

The presence of yellow pigment in the macula represents accumulations of the nutrients lutein and zeaxanthin. By filtering out short-wave light, MP may protect long-term damage to the eye.

The study was published in Optometry and Vision Science, an official journal of the American Academy of Optometry.

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