Many people who use computers for prolonged periods of time find their eyes become uncomfortably dry. Dry eyes used to be a problem mainly for older folks, but because of widespread computer use, the condition is being seen more often in middle aged and young people. Luckily, taking an omega-3 supplement may help.*
That’s the conclusion of a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of 478 adults who used a computer for at least three hours a day for the past year and who suffered from dry eyes. The study, which was conducted in India by researchers associated with several eye clinics and medical schools, was published last year in the journal Contact Lens and Anterior Eye.[i]
Researchers gave half the participants a daily omega-3 supplement containing 360 mg EPA and 240 mg DHA (provided in just ½ teaspoon of fish oil liquid or two fish oil softgels). The remaining participants took a placebo (olive oil capsules).
After three months, 70 percent of those taking the omega-3 supplement were free of dry eye symptoms, while only 14.9 percent of those in the placebo group were.* Omega-3 supplementation decreased tear evaporation rates and also improved other markers of eye health.*
The scientists explained omega-3s don’t increase the amount of tears you produce. Rather, they stabilize the tear film that coats your eyes.* They also found omega-3s increased the number of conjunctiva goblet cells, which are located in the eyelid and secrete mucin, a kind of mucous found in tears.*
There are a lot of other health reasons to get up from your computer and take a break frequently throughout the day, but it’s good to know that eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty oils or taking an omega-3 supplement may help make your eyes feel more comfortable.*
* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease.
[i] Bhargava R, et al. Contact Lens and Anterior Eye. 2015 Jun;38(3):2016-10.