Candace Cordelia is a Pennsylvania-based journalist and on-camera broadcaster/host, with…
Many people struggle with eye issues, particularly those which are screen-related. EyePromise was formulated to help protect the eyes in a way that even blue-light glasses and computer shields cannot. President Andreas Wolf shared with Athletech News just how the company is doing so
If “the eyes are the windows to the soul,” perhaps it makes absolute sense for us to protect our vision from the inside out. Described as the #1 doctor-recommended eye-vitamin company, EyePromise was clinically made to help shield one’s eyesight from ocular harm, whether due to age or disease. Co-founded by ocular nutrition pioneer Dr. Dennis Gierhart, EyePromise products contain two very important carotenoids — zeaxanthin & lutein. Available in food sources such as leafy greens (think swiss chard and kale) and in vitamin form, both are known for protecting the eyes against macular degeneration. However, ingesting these from food alone isn’t enough to keep our peepers in tip-top shape, and that’s where EyePromise comes in.
EyePromise president Andreas Wolf believes “it’s absolutely critical” to take a preventative approach when it comes to one’s eye health. Born and raised in Amsterdam, Wolf came to the United States to study on the East Coast. The self-proclaimed aspiring athlete in race car driving initially started working in the food industry after earning an MBA degree. However, Wolf’s inclination to “help humanity in one way shape or form” steered him towards the eye care industry. Now with prior knowledge gained in food, technology and dentistry, the business leader is connecting the dots learned in said industries to make sure others take their eye health just as seriously as he does with EyePromise’s varied products.
Wolf talked with Athletech News about the importance of eye health empowerment, the all-natural benefits of EyePromise products, such as the popular Screen Shield Pro, Vizual Edge Pro and Vizual Edge Chewables for athletes, and how EyePromise may be the solution to save our eyes amid everyone’s current reliance on technology.
Athletech News (ATN): How did you come to work for EyePromise as the company’s president?
Wolf: To be honest with you, I didn’t know this category existed. I think that’s one of the big opportunities that we have as a company is that most people don’t think about supplementation for their eyes. And even if they do think about supplementation for your eyes, they think about eye drops. But to think that you can actually do something about your health from within by having the right nutrition, if you think about it, it makes a lot of sense.
One of the things I really enjoy is thinking up strategies of how to grow a business and bringing those into action and executing on them. The company [EyePromise] was really poised for a lot of growth and we made a lot of changes on the strategic side in terms of how we work with doctors and how we can help them be successful with their patience using our products and programs. We are extremely practitioner-brand focused and very much focused on providing the best kind of products to help our customers.
ATN: Why zeaxanthin & lutein for your EyePromise products?
Wolf: Zeaxanthin and lutein you typically get from green, leafy vegetables. Think kale or very colorful ones (paprika, peppers, corn). Most people, certainly on a Western diet, don’t get enough themselves to absorb and be deposited throughout your body, but specifically in your eyes. Our products were specifically formulated to provide that same ratio of natural zeaxanthin and natural lutein, which tend to be a little more expensive than some other products you can find on the market that are often referred to as isomers. We have specifically focused on the natural ones because it’s a dietary supplement.
You have those key ingredients [in our products] to build up your natural filter in the back of your eye, to block out the blue light. It’s important because blue light is very powerful. If it hits the back of your eye over time it can lead to degrading those cones and rods, which then can lead to other issues. So that’s what often happens with people who are diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration where they start getting vision-impaired.
We can’t make any claims, obviously, but there are enough studies out there. We have higher levels of zeaxanthin and lutein in the product that are very beneficial to the person taking it.
ATN: Given the rise in screen time during the COVID-19 pandemic, did you notice an uptick in interest for EyePromise products, especially when it comes to Screen Shield Pro?
Wolf: We’ve seen a tremendous interest and increase in sales of [our Screen Shield Pro] product because it does provide that relief [from staring at a screen for lengthy periods of time] that people are looking for. It’s not like you take one softgel and it works. You need to give it a few weeks for it to kick in. But you’re providing yourself with the optimal nutrition for your eye between the different vitamins that are in there [zeaxanthin, lutein, Vitamin D, Omega-3’s]. We’ve gotten tremendous feedback from our customers who’ve been taking this product, especially as they’ve been working on Zoom or Teams or Google to conduct their business and work.
ATN: What would you say to someone unsure of ingesting any of the EyePromise products for their eye health?
Wolf: Our products are NSF Certified. With Screen Shield Pro, it even goes a step further where it’s NSF Certified for sports. So if you’re an athlete, you’re really not going to put anything in your body unless something is NSF Certified for sport. So that provides that checkmark for the fact that the product has all the ingredients in there that are on the label. Nothing more, nothing less, and is of the highest quality that you can have in there.
In the case [of] already taking the right amount of vitamins, but they don’t have zeaxanthin and lutein, we also provide a product that is just zeaxanthin and lutein in a vegan capsule. Screen Shield Pro was formulated as it is: as a product that provides the perfect nutrition for your eyes. You can just take [them] on a daily basis, even if you were to take something else with it.
ATN: Given that EyePromise is NSF Certified for sport, how did EyePromise’s relationship with the Boston Red Sox begin?
Wolf: They had players on their team that had been taking it for many more years prior [to the team’s 2020 season] Initially we got involved with the Arizona Fall League (about eight or nine years ago is when we were first getting involved there). You had a lot of players who were exposed to what the product would do for them and what it could do for them. Especially within baseball and now it can even help your visual processing of being able to see the ball just fractionally sooner, the impact that could have, and how it helps with glare recovery when you’re playing multiple games outside in the sun or bright lights.
As a result, we go there every year and we bring some of the top doctors in sports vision to go with us (Dr. Graham Erickson, for instance) and speak on our behalf. So, we had a lot of players who started taking our products and noticed the difference themselves. Today we have players on every Major League Baseball team who take our products.
What happened with the nutritionists with the Red Sox was that they actually approached us and said, “Hey, we have a lot of players who are taking Vizual Edge Pro. Is there something that we could do together?” We said we’d love to. But remember we’re a smaller company. We’re growing. We’re not a Bank of America. We can’t do something crazy. I said, “We’d love to get the product and make it available to all of our players, both in the Major League and Minor League.” They recognized the importance of nutrition and they actually suggested that we become the official eye vitamin of the Boston Red Sox. We’re very proud of being partnered with them.
What was very funny was once that was announced, when it hit the wires, within the hour we had the New York Yankees calling us asking about what kind of deal we had with the Red Sox.
ATN: Is EyePromise involved at all with providing products to professional gamers in the eSports industry?
Wolf: When we were working on the development of Screen Shield Pro and started bringing that to market, we actually worked really closely with gamers and some key gamers as well who tested the product and provided great feedback. We have a whole bunch of gamers who do take our products.
I think what we’ve found, just in terms of continuously surveying some of our consumer base, is that with the majority of professional gamers typically if you get to 25 you become an elder statesman of your sport. If you look at that segment of under-25, that’s typically also the age group that feels pretty invincible in terms of their own health. It’s almost a rite of passage to some extent if you’ve grinded it out on a 14-hour session and your eyes hurt a little bit.
We are still involved in that space. We have plenty of gamers that take the products. But when COVID hit, there was more of a slight pivot to focus more on a much larger audience [young non-gaming professionals, for example] who could really benefit from taking supplementation to help their eyes because you’re spending so much more time on screens then you probably did before.
ATN: Which EyePromise product do you suggest for anyone seeking to optimize their eye health, even if they’re not suffering from any diseases that could negatively affect it, such as diabetes, or have other eye issues?
Wolf: If you don’t have a family history/real issues with your eyes, and I’m not talking about your acuity, your lense, you can’t really do much about that, but just the health of your eye, the one-a-day multivitamin best for you would be the Screen Shield Pro.
Taking the initial steps to caring about one’s eye health, whether that involves scheduling a standard eye exam or taking one of EyePromise’s favorable products appears as more than half of the battle one in regards to eye health awareness. As Wolf states, the one thing most people, in terms of their health, are afraid of losing is their eyesight. Although it’s not something many think about until they run into an issue with it, EyePromise stands as an optimal dietary supplementation to help your eyes before the possibility of deterioration.
Candace Cordelia is a Pennsylvania-based journalist and on-camera broadcaster/host, with a reporting background in wrestling, entertainment, and lifestyle. Her reporting work has been featured on websites and in publications such as Bustle, Pro Wrestling Illustrated, New York Daily News, am New York, ABC News, Yahoo!, Good Morning America, Madame Noire, Sister 2 Sister, etonline.com, Diva Dirt and The Everyday Fan. Her favorite workout influencers include Chloe Ting, Cassey Ho, Pamela Reif and Mary Braun. She still can’t stand burpees and Rebbl Dark Chocolate Immunity Elixir is one of her favorite post-workout protein sips. You can follow Candace on Twitter @CandaceCordelia and on Instagram @thatgirlcandace16.