Natural health:Computer work gives me tired eyes

I struggle with tired and sore eyes due to working long hours on the computer. Is there something that I can do to help with this, as I don’t really want to end up needing glasses?

High antioxidant berries, particularly those with a very dark skin, are excellent for eye health. Bilberries have a strong reputation for addressing eye issues, including strain, screen overuse, and even cataracts.

You can purchase a bilberry supplement to help with tired and sore eyes, but you could also collect these wonderful berries in the wild and get the benefits of a fresh and local wildcrafted remedy. Of course, as with all wildcrafted herbs and foods, it is important that you learn to correctly identify this roadside plant found throughout the south-west before harvesting berries.

The active ingredient in bilberries is a bioflavanoid called anthocyanoside, and it works by protecting the retina and lens from oxidation damage. Bilberries are also believed to improve night vision, and were reputedly used to that effect during WWII by the British Air Force pilots. We do know for sure that the combination of bilberry along with vitamins C and E assists in halting the progression of cataracts.

The other top players when it comes to eye health are lutein and zeaxanthin, both key nutrients in preventing degeneration and maintaining healthy eyesight. These are found in leafy greens, eggs, and brightly coloured fruits or vegetables, however this is probably best taken as a supplement as well for maximum benefit.

Remember to take regular breaks from the screen, taking time out to focus on objects at differing distances, since the computer screen forces us to remain fixed at one point of focus, which is a big part of the problem.

Remember to blink, as the eyes dry out easily when staring at a screen since we tend to blink far less. Using an application such as Flux, which changes the screen to a softer light at sunset, really helps to reduce eye strain, and has the added benefit of helping you to remain aware of how long or late you work at the computer. Higher Nature’s Visualeyes, providing Lutein, Zeaxanthin, Zinc, Selenium, and vitamins A, C, and E, are available from health stores, where 90 capsules cost €29.60.

I suffer from psoriasis, and have tried almost everything to no avail. Is there anything that can help treat this? I feel embarrassed whenever I wear clothing that reveals any skin on my chest, arms, or legs because it always attracts looks and comments from people.

Research has shown that one of the main issues with psoriasis is a need to establish healthy circulation. A supplement best known for its use in helping fight the signs of ageing, pcynogenol (pine bark extract), has been shown in an Italian study to help significantly reduce psoriasis symptoms and improve the hydration of the affected areas of skin. The subjects in the study were given 150mg (milligrams) of pine bark extract daily, and the symptoms measured for change included erythema, induration, and desquamation. The results showed a 32% increase in healing, with results best in those with more severe cases of psoriasis.

Pycnogenol has also shown promise with melasma (also known as chloasma), a problem with hyperpigmentation occurring as a result of sun damage, or hormonal changes.

This is one of the most common complaints I receive from women following pregnancy, or menopause, and it seems that there are a host of skincare products and medicated solutions falling short of their promises to restore an even skin tone. Pycnogenol has shown to be far more powerful than even vitamins E and C when it comes to skin health and repair, plus it actually recycles vitamin C, regenerates vitamin E, and protects against further sun damage. The dosage is half of that recommended for psoriasis, at only 75mg daily taken in three doses of 25mg each. The general rate of effectiveness was an impressive 80%, with no reported or observed side effects.

Megan Sheppard

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