Eye Damage Caused by Computer Screens.

by Redstone Promotional Communications / Circkles.com.

It doesn't matter if you are spending hours or minutes in front of a video screen. You may think it's allergies: dry, watery eyes, blurred vision, a feeling like you have sand in your eyes, headaches? But if you work on a computer at all, it's more likely eye strain or a condition known as Computer Vision Syndrome, that if not addressed, can cause permanent eye damage and loss of vision as you age.

Most of us wear sunglasses to protect our eyes from harmful UV rays when outdoors, but how many of us wear or use the same eye protection when staring at computer screens? Not many. Also, Not only is harmful UV light present on sunny days, it is also present on overcast or hazy days.

While the primary source of UV light is the sun, other sources include welder's flash, video display terminals, fluorescent lighting, high-intensity mercury vapor lamps (for night sports and high-crime areas), and xenon arc lamps. UV light is divided into three segments, which are designated as A, B, and C. UVC (below 286nm) is effectively filtered by the earth's ozone layer. UVB (286-320nm) is that solar energy which is the cause of sunburn and snow blindness and is absorbed by the cornea. UVA (320-400nm) is that part of the invisible spectrum of particular concern to eye care professionals. It is the most damaging of UV radiation and it is the radiation transmitted to the crystalline lens of the human eye. (1)

UV protection is available for clear lenses as well as sunglasses as an invisible coating that doesn't change the color of the eyeglass lens. According to the American Macular Degeneration Foundation (AMDF) it is not necessarily the length of time you spend looking into a computer screen, but it's a certain type of UV ray that will cause retina damage. Many people believe you can only damage your eyes by spending long hours in front of a video screen, but recent research is saying that the length of exposure does not have as much to do with eye damage as the length of particular UV rays and our age. People over 40 start to develop eye degeneration anyway, and subjecting your eyes to the UV rays from computer screens, TVs or any video screen will cause your eyes to deteriorate that much faster.

Researchers have identified melanin as the substance in the skin, hair and eyes that absorbs harmful UV and blue light. It is the body's natural sunscreen protection. Higher amounts of melanin afford greater protection against damaging light rays, but melanin is lost as we age. By age 65, about half of the protection is gone so that we are more susceptible to eye disease such as macular degeneration
By including synthetic melanin in our sunglasses, we may be compensating for the melanin lost as we age. With such sunglasses, the colors are filtered in proportion to their damage potential and the danger of macular degeneration may be reduced. Many optical shops that sell prescription eye wear now have melanin lenses available

Who Should be Very Diligent About Eye Protection? Those who work or play in the sun. For example, construction workers, farmers, truck drivers, sports participants and spectators, police officers, skiers, life guards and beach goers. Also those in certain lighting environments. For example, if you work in an environment which is brightly lit with fluorescent light fixtures, as most work environments are, or if you spend hours in front of a computer terminal.
Those taking medications. There are many photosensitizing drugs on the market today including certain tranquilizers, diuretics, oral contraceptives, and antibiotics as well as anti-diabetic and anti-hypertensive medications, and even artificial sweeteners such as cyclamates.

Basically, everybody should protect their eyes, because once vision is gone, it cannot be restored.

Eye Protection That is Misleading:

When it comes to products for your eyes, this is not the area to skimp or buy cheap products. Misleading claims about certain glasses providing UV protection can be confusing to consumers. A pair of glasses might be labeled UV-absorbent, for example, but the label might not indicate exactly how much UVA and UVB rays are blocked. Sunglasses should be labeled UV 400. It is recommended that you protect yourself from UV radiation up to 400 nanometers, which extends into part of the visible spectrum to ensure complete blockage of ultraviolet light. This is what distinguishes "cheap" sunglasses from more expensive ones.

Ask your eye care professional if your eye wear has been treated for UV light protection. He or she will be glad to answer your questions and ensure that your eyes are adequately protected from UV radiation damage. Melanin lenses are now readily available at most optical shops which sell prescription eye wear.

Solutions :

  1. Protective eye wear: You can now purchase eye glasses made specifically for computer use in either prescription reading glasses or non-prescription. Make sure they are labeled as being at least UV400 as recommended by eye doctors for the minimal eye protection from blue light.
  2. The face should be located as far as possible from the monitor. Six meters or more (18-30 inches) is a good distance to reduce eye strain since the eye is more relaxed at that distance (you may need a large monitor and font sizes). Gazing at very close distances demands frequent eye relaxation by looking at varying distances. In other words, don't stare at a screen which is at a fixed distance for longer than say, 20 minutes, then look away at something a greater distance from you for a couple minutes. The eye is designed to fluctuate it's focus. Failure to do so not only overstrains the ciliary muscle that contracts the lens but also can make you shortsighted temporarily or permanently because it breaks down the muscle's ability to recover and thus flatten the lens. Think of the eye muscle as a spring that should not be over-expanded for long periods or it won't be able to contract backwards when released.
  3. The monitor should also be a little lower than eye level, with the top of the monitor lined up with your eyes if you were to look straight ahead. This angle will keep your neck in a more natural position, which means your eyes will be less strained to stay in their own position of looking slightly down. Slightly closed eyes also won't drying out that quickly.
  4. Turn down your screen's brightness and turn up the contrast. Screens that are too bright are hard on the eyes; if there's not enough contrast between blacks and whites on your computer screen, your eyes have a hard time distinguishing between different items and computer eyestrain can occur.
  5. Eliminate electrostatic particles that may be emitted from the computer screen. These particles can push dust toward your eyes, causing irritation and strain. Keeping the monitor at the proper distance will help, but wiping down your screen with an anti-static solution sprayed onto a cloth will help even more. Do this daily.
  6. Buy a high resolution monitor. Older monitors tend to flicker more and have a slower refresh rate, causing your eyes to constantly readjust to the image on the screen.

Vitamins and Plant-based Compounds Can Help.

Very recent research has shown a connection between two plant-based compounds called lutein and zeaxanthin and eye health. Dr. Johanna M. Seddon and associates at Harvard University found that 6 mg per day of lutein lead to a 43% lower risk for macular degeneration.(2) John T. Landrum and Richard A. Bone of Florida International University conducted a two-person study in 1995 to find out if lutein supplements would increase macular pigment. After 140 days, macular pigment increased about 20% in one man, 40 percent in the other. Although this study is minuscule, it is the first evidence that taking lutein supplements may restore lost macular pigment which also leads to macular degeneration. Here is a chart listing the foods highest in these to plant compounds.

Dr. Seddon concludes that increasing the consumption of foods rich in lutein may decrease the risk of developing advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Dr. Yale Solomon in his book Overcoming Macular Degeneration writes that lutein is particularly important because it is absorbed from the above foods and transported in relatively large quantities to the macula and the lens of the eye. In each of these areas it has a specific, helpful antioxidant action. Lutein may lower the risk of developing AMD and even cataracts, and might prevent advancement in people who are mildly to moderately impaired with these eye diseases.

According to Billy Hammond (3), studies have suggested that individuals differ in their ability to absorb nutrients from food into their tissues. Some individuals can have a relatively high intake of fruits and vegetables, and high nutrient blood levels, but low levels of retinal nutrients. The ability to measure macular pigment in the living organism may allow doctors to identify such individuals and determine whether they are at special risk for disease. Mr. Hammond writes, “In the future we may be able to use such technology to tailor our dietary recommendations based on individual responses rather than relying on averaged effects.”

1.) Resources: American Macular Degeneration Foundation (AMDF) https://www.macular.org/ultra-violet-and-blue-light1.
2.) Johanna M. Seddon et al, 1994, Journal of American Medical Association 272:1413-20.2.
3.) Co-author of an article in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (Feb. 1998, Vol. 39, No. 2)


Foods That Heal: Figs.

Do you know what foods will give you more energy, calm your nerves, act as an anti-inflammatory, help prevent cancers, or help you lose weight? Hopefully this column will help you to have a better understanding of food and its healing properties. The best diet for optimal health is a wide variation of foods, plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and minimally cooked  and processed whole foods. Sweets, fatty foods, meat, dairy and carbs in moderation.

by Redstone Promotional Communications / Circkles.com

Although considered a fruit, the fig is actually an inverted flower, and the seeds are the fruit, according to the California Fig Advisory Board.

Therapeutic Properties: Studies reveal that a compound in figs may actually shrink tumors. Figs can also rid the body of roundworm and other intestinal parasites. Makes a good laxative since they are very high in fiber.

Acid or Alkaline: Slightly acidic

Significant Nutrients: Potassium, calcium, fiber, iron.



© 2013 Redstone Promotional Communications / Circkles.com. All rights reserved to images and articles.


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HOME REMEDIES: Make your own eye drops.

The main ingredient in eyewashes is a simple saline solution and the rest is preservatives, dyes and other unnecessary ingredients. Who knows what the long-terms effects of those other unnatural ingredients are to the eye? And often, when you need eye drops or a wash, you don't have any.

Save an old eyedropper bottle from a used eye drops product. Make sure it is clean. Mix a pinch of salt with about 1/4 cup water and pour it into the used bottle. shake to dissolve the salt. Do not add too much salt or it will irritate and sting the eye. It only takes a very small amount of salt to soothe tired, dry eyes. Keep the solution in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks - remember, it does not have all those preservatives so it will need to be kept refrigerated.

If you have an eye doctor that is honest, most of them will tell you that eye drops are nothing more than this simple saline solution.



How to use herbs for maximum benefit. Short and sweet descriptions and uses written by our on-staff Nutritional Herbalist. Always remember that herbs should be treated as a medicine. Almost all of our modern-day medicines are derived from chemical compounds found in herbs and plants. If you have not used a particular herb before, try a half dose at first to make sure you do not have an unfavorable reaction to it.

Ginger Zingiber officinale.

Medicinal Properties: Very effective for nausea, and even the guys from the T.V. show Myth Busters proved it works better than anything else for motion sickness. It also stimulates digestion and can help with gas. Studies have also concluded that ginger works for allergy-related asthma and is also anti-inflammatory and may help reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke due to its ability to reduce blood platelet clumping.

Very recent studies have proven ginger can help prevent and and even reverse colon cancer. See our article in our archives by doing a search at the top of this page for ginger root.

How to Use: Tea, or my favorite is the crystallized ginger because I can keep it with me in my purse, or take it to work, and I always have some on hand. Ginger powder, used as a spice, is not very effective at all. Ginger works best in the form of the fresh root or dehydrated root. Grated ginger root is the most effective and you can sprinkle it in drinks, on salads, cereals or anything that can use a kick.

Parts Used: Root

Some Herb Basics: Most herbs work better on an empty stomach. A few exceptions are garlic, goldenseal and cayenne due to stomach upset. Herbs work in a cumulative fashion meaning they are not a "one dose wonder." They need to build up in the system a little, usually within 2-3 doses, before any real affect can be noticed. Fresh herbs always work better than old herbs and science is always proving the fact that a whole herb usually is more effective than one isolated compound of that herb.


Order our new Cookbook.

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October, 2014

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"The Doctor of the future will give no medicine but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease."
~Thomas Edison
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