By David Blyweiss, M.D., Advanced Natural Wellness
February 10, 2016
- Modern technology overworks your eyes
- Slash dry eyes, irritation and burning
- Quench your eyes with this dynamic foursome
I don’t know about you, but these days I seem to use my Smartphone almost as much as much as I use my computer. Between the two, my eyes take a beating… and by the end of the day they often feel dry and gritty.
If you spend more than an hour or two a day using your electronic devices – or even doing other forms of close work – you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Your eyes get scratchy and irritated, then your vision starts to blur. You find yourself constantly rubbing them to generate moisture and regain your focus. At the same time, your neck and shoulder muscles begin to tense.
Now, it helps if you remember to blink regularly to keep your eyes moist. A 20 second break after every 20 minutes of work helps, too. It gives your eyes a chance to relax and refocus.
But sometimes this just isn’t enough for your overworked eyes.
That’s because staring too long at blue light video displays places a strain on your eyes. When this type of light hits the lens of your eye, it causes surrounding objects to go in and out of focus.
This can cause you to keep your eyes open wider than normal, trying to zero in on the text or image. And once you get in “the zone” you probably forget to blink. Next thing you know, all of the moisture has been sucked right out of your eyes.
Symptoms can become much worse if you don’t get enough of the nutrients that your eyes crave. Thankfully, there’s any easy way to fix this.
One of the best things you can do to banish eye dryness is to make sure you’re getting enough omega-3 fatty acids. In particular, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is found in high concentrations in the retina.
These healthy fats can go a long way in preventing dry, irritated eyes that go hand-in-hand with long hours of eye-intensive work. In fact, they’re so powerful that in just a month they can slash the rate of tear evaporation and increase secretion.
Both of these result in a big improvement when it comes to dry eye symptoms. And omega-3s work just as well when it comes to resolving computer-related dry eye.
As an added eye bonus, eating just a single serving of omega-3 rich fish each week can cut your chances of ages of macular degeneration by as much as half. Your best bets are sardines, salmon, tuna, anchovies, halibut and herring.
Or, you can get your omega-3s by supplementing with a high quality fish oil that’s been purified and molecularly distilled.
I recommend 1200 mg of EPA and 1200 mg of DHA daily to get the added benefit of extending your telomeres. This is an important advantage, since shortened telomeres in the lens cells of your eyes are associated the formation of cataracts.
For additional eye support, there are two carotenoids that are essential. These are lutein and zeathanthin.
They’re well well-known for their ability to protect against macular degeneration and cataracts. But the antioxidant value of these two nutrients packs a lot of punch. In particular, regular supplementation can help increase visual acuity and contrast sensitivity.
Even better, when you add bilberry to the mix the combination can work its magic in other areas, like clearing up shoulder and back stiffness and getting rid of that “heavy headed” feeling that often accompanies dry eyes.
For best results, take 12 mg of lutein, 2 mg of zeaxanthin and 100 mg of bilberry fruit extract along with your daily dose of omega-3s.
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Bhargava R, et al. Oral omega-3 fatty acids treatment in computer vision syndrome related dry eye. Cont Lens Anterior Eye. 2015 Jun;38(3):206-10.
Augood C, et al. Oily fish consumption, dietary docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid intakes, and associations with neovascular age-related macular degeneration. Am J Clin Nutr. 2008 Aug;88(2):398-406.
Babizhayev MA, et al. Telomere-dependent senescent phenotype of lens epithelial cells as a biological marker of aging and cataractogenesis: the role of oxidative stress intensity and specific mechanism of phospholipid hydroperoxide toxicity in lens and aqueous. Fundam Clin Pharmacol. 2011 Apr;25(2):139-62.
Richer S, et al. Double-masked, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of lutein and antioxidant supplementation in the intervention of atrophic age-related macular degeneration: the Veterans LAST study (Lutein Antioxidant Supplementation Trial). Optometry. 2004 Apr;75(4):216-30.
Kawabata F, et al. Effects of dietary supplementation with a combination of fish oil, bilberry extract, and lutein on subjective symptoms of asthenopia in humans. Biomed Res. 2011 Dec;32(6):387-93.