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May 17, 2008

Naturopathy: Give the eye a break

MY son spends hours playing computer games during the weekends. I worried about the damage this would do as he is also short-sighted and wears glasses. Can you suggest some ways to improve his vision?

A: YOU have valid reasons to be concerned because sitting for long hours in front of a computer screen can lead to eye discomfort, fatigue and blurred vision.

Taking a break from the computer every 20 minutes for 20 seconds will minimise the development of eye-focusing problems and irritation caused by infrequent blinking.

Traditional herbs like bilberry, eyebright and lycium are good for the eyes.

Bilberry improves capillary blood flow and increases the generation of enzymes responsible for energy production in eyes while eyebright helps relieve itchy and irritated eyes.

Lycium is rich in carotenoids which is beneficial to the eye.

A good eye supplement contains all the three herbs. A good supplement should also contain about 25 per cent of anthocyanidins, which is the active ingredient in bilberry.

Eat plenty of fresh, raw, green leafy vegetables. Apricots, mangoes, carrots and yams are elixirs for the eyes.

Consume foods or supplements that contain beta-carotene, vitamin A, C, E and mineral zinc and selenium to protect against the harmful effects of free radicals.

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