Can proper nutrition relieve digital eye strain?: Nutrition in digital eye strain

Academy 2023, Poznań

Author: Anna Kraśnicka

Clinical topic
Nowadays, in optometric practice, it is not difficult to find a patient who excessively uses digital devices during his day. As specialists, we are able to recognize clinical manifestations of digital eye strain. In practice, the management of digital eye strain (DES) includes appropriate correction, blink training, the use of drops, filters, especially a blue light filter, management of accommodative anomalies. And should an optometrist also manage the diet of patient with a DES? In my presentation, based on scientific research, I want to present what micronutrients can affect the alleviation of DES. I will refer to the anti-inflammatory, antioxidant of: omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, anthocyanins and give information on what exactly these ingredients can work in relieving DES and in which food to find them.

The beneficial effects of DHA against the underlying mechanisms of dry eye disease are sup- ported by solid scientific evidence. Dry eye syndrome is one of the most common symptoms in DES. Omega-3 reduces the rate of evaporation of tears, increases tear secretion, has a beneficial effect on the meibomian glands, reduces the feeling of dryness 1-3. It is found for example, in fatty sea fish, linseed oil. Glare effects remain a frequently reported symptom of DES and studies indicate that lutein brings significant improvements in visual performance under glare conditions 4-6. In addition, lutein is a natural blue light filter and and its amount affects the density of the macula 5. Lutein is found from kale, spinach or egg yolk. Statistics in adult people indicate that the average daily intake of lutein is 2mg, while about 6 mg gives a positive effect. Reports on the role of anthocyanin in DES indicate a beneficial effect in the function of ac- commodation, namely anthocyanin can relieves the tonic accommodation of the ciliary muscle caused by near-vision tasks 7-8.

1. Diet can have a positive effect in relieving DES symptoms.
2. The effect of omega 3 in relieving dry eye is well documented.
3. Patients after supplementation with Omega 3 indicate a reduction in the feeling of tear dryness, which improves their quality of life
4. Studies indicate that omega-3 facilitates the accumulation of lutein in the blood and macula.
5. Anthocyanin can relieves the tonic accommodation of the ciliary muscle caused by near-vi- sion tasks

DES will continue to be a major public health problem. The management of DES in accordance with holistic prevention can be supported by educating the patient about proper nutrition. Each of our patients should know what foods affect the alleviation of DES. Each optometric interview could be varied with questions about the current diet and dietary supplements taken. After a detailed eye examination, refer to the interview and tell what oxidative stress is, what antioxidants are, what nutrients affect the visual system and in what food they are found. Nutrition may contribute to the alleviation of DES and, in combination with proper work ergonomics, improve the quality of functioning of patients with digital devices. Optometrists aware that they should at least minimally manage the diet of every patient who functions in a digital environment.

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