bilberry helps dry and tired eyes from computer and cell phone screens

The greatest eye herb of them all is up to the challenge of the modern world: it's the answer to the strain that digital screens put on your eyes.

More and more of our time is being spent in front of video display terminals, whether we are working on our computers, staring at our cell phones or playing video games. When you stare at electronic video screens, you actually blink less, causing dry eyes and eye discomfort.

Bilberry is the greatest eye herb of them all. It is an important herb for cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. It can also help with near sightedness, eye strain and adjusting to light and dark. So, can it also help the modern problem of screens and dry eyes?

Eleven people were given a bilberry extract that was standardized for anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are the active component of bilberry: they are powerful antioxidant flavonoids. The dose was 80mg twice a day. Another 10 people were given a placebo. The study was double-blind and lasted for 4 weeks. Everyone in the study was healthy except for suffering from visual fatigue or eye strain.

At the end of the study, the people taking the bilberry had significantly more tear secretion from their right eye and from both eyes combined (the increase in the left eye alone was not significant) compared to the start of the study. The placebo group had no significant improvement. The improvement in tear secretion was significantly better in the bilberry group than in the placebo group in the left eye, the right eye and in both eyes combined. People with more severe dry eye had the greatest improvement.

An earlier study also found that bilberry significantly reduced eye fatigue, pain and heaviness in people with computer-induced eye fatigue ((J Nutr Health Aging 2015;19:548-54). A relative of bilberry, known as bog bilberry, has also been shown to help eye strain from staring at a screen.

Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2017;21(10):2518-2525

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For much more on preventing and treating eye diseases, see our book The Family Naturopathic Encyclopedia.

For more on what bilberry can do for you and how to use it, see our book Healthy Herbs: Your Everyday Guide to Medicinal Herbs and Their Uses.

For comprehensive help with eye strain and other eye diseases, make an appointment to see Linda Woolven now.

The Natural Path
 is intended for educational purposes only and is in no way intended for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. For health problems, consult a qualified health practitioner for a comprehensive program.

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