Ayurveda takes a holistic approach to health and considers the human body a complex, interconnected system that honors each and every part of your body equally. We often tend to think about specific body parts — like our eyes — only when something goes wrong. For example, if you or a family member doesn’t need glasses, how often do you go to the eye doctor for routine exams? Probably not very often––or never in some cases!
But since the eyes are considered the ‘window to the soul,’ shouldn’t we want to take better care of them?
Eye health is more than just correcting vision and degenerative conditions. It is supporting eye function and health for the long term.
In order to properly care for your eyes, it’s important to understand the ways modern-day habits can affect vision and eye health, and what you can do to support your vision.
The ‘Unseen’ Effects of Digital Device Use on Vision and Eye Health
Over the last several years, digital device usage has dramatically increased, leading to public health concerns about the passive and sedentary nature of 'screen time’. Beyond experiencing common symptoms associated with prolonged sitting in front of a computer, there are often other unseen effects of digital device use, especially from the impacts of constant exposure to bright screens and blue light.
You may have experienced these effects yourself after a long day of work at the computer, for example. Perhaps you’ve noticed your vision is blurry, your neck or shoulders ache, or your eyes feel dry and sore. In fact, so many individuals experience these effects that this group of symptoms now has a name, “Computer Vision Syndrome,” or CVS.
CVS is also the reason scrolling on your phone in bed won’t ever lull you into dreamland! Exposure to high-frequency blue light can throw off your natural circadian rhythms, or your ‘internal clock’. Circadian rhythms are responsible for waking you up in the morning and helping your body wind down and fall asleep at night. If you notice irregular sleep patterns, it may be time to think about changing your screen time habits to support a better night’s rest.
Simple Ways to Change Your Digital Habits to Protect Your Eyes
Reduce screen glare
Special matte screen protectors can reduce glare from computer and device screens to help ease digital eye strain. Adding a screen cover is a simple and inexpensive way to support your eyes and protect your devices from scratches and damage to boot.
Increase your ‘zoom’
Instead of bringing your computer or phone closer to your face to read small text, use the zoom feature or display settings to increase text size so you can keep screens roughly two feet away from your eyes at all times.
Improve your posture
Improper body positioning can contribute to digital eye strain and fatigue. When seated at your desk for computer work, make sure your head, neck, shoulders, back, and hips are supported and in comfortable, vertical alignment. Your feet should rest flat on the floor, and your chair should support this healthy, neutral posture. Remember not to let your wrists rest on the keyboard when you’re typing!
Use the 20/20/20 rule
For every 20 minutes of work, take a 20-second eye break to look at something 20 feet (or more) away from you. This practice allows your eye muscles to gently relax and take a consistent break. This is a handy rule to remember when working on a deadline or sitting at the computer for long periods of time.
Remember to blink!
If you notice your eyes are particularly dry when you're looking at screens for long periods, you may be forgetting to blink. While this might sound silly, studies show that blink patterns may change in front of the computer. Taking a moment to consciously fully open and close your eyes every so often can help keep your eyes healthy and lubricated.
Use ‘night mode’ on your phone
Many phones today have ‘night mode’ or ‘dark mode’ settings that automatically dim their screens in low-light environments. Night shift modes can help limit blue light exposure at night that may interrupt healthy sleep patterns. Flux is a helpful computer app you can use to adjust monitor color on your laptop or desktop computer.
Go screen-free before bed
Power down your computer, digital devices, and phone for at least one hour before bedtime. If you can't go without your phone, reduce exposure as much as possible and consider adopting some new sleep routines like meditation to help your mind and body relax and prepare for a good night’s sleep.
See your eye doctor regularly
Keep eye exams and all prescriptions for glasses and contact lenses up to date. If you notice frequent eye strain, neck or shoulder pain, or trouble focusing, this could signal digital eye strain associated with CVS. Regardless of your prescription needs, visit your eye doctor regularly for routine screening to keep your eyes healthy.
The Best Herbal Eye Health Support
Along with the healthy vision tips mentioned above, we recommend herbal eye supplements to support optimal eye health. Ayurvedic herbs are fantastic to help balance the doshas, support healthy vision, and rejuvenate your eyes from the inside out.
At the top of our list of herbal eye care supplements is none other than the Marigold flower. Not your average garden Marigolds, but Organic Marigold extract. When sourcing eye supplements with Marigold, quality is key to ensure high levels of vision-supportive carotenoids.
What makes Marigolds a fantastic supplement for digital eye health? Natural compounds called lutein, zeaxanthin, and meso-zeaxanthin. These carotenoid substances are pigments known for their antioxidant activity found in certain colors in nature. These specific two carotenoids, out of hundreds, make it from our food to our eyes. Prof. John Nolan, a seasoned eye health researcher, says, "the general population is highly deficient in these three carotenoids; even the healthiest person you know is deficient. Nobody is eating enough."
Supplementing with Marigold extract can be a fantastic way to help boost carotenoids and antioxidants in your diet for optimal vision health. Supporting your wellbeing and eye health with Marigold is also a great way to help minimize oxidative stress.
The ocular protective properties of the Marigold as an eye supplement can even help ease visual discomfort and filter out harmful rays of light emitted from digital devices. In addition to supporting the eyes, the carotenoids in Marigold also support mental performance along with cognitive, mood, sleep, and skin health.
Our Digi Eye Defense is specially formulated with two Marigold varieties that are sustainably grown and ethically harvested, just like all of our seed-to-shelf herbs. Our proprietary blend of antioxidants and active carotenoids found in Digi Eye Defense work together with other rejuvenating herbs like Amalaki to support eye health. Amalaki is well known for its adaptogenic properties and healthy stress response support.
Digi Eye Defense supports vision naturally, formulated specifically for retina health and defense that helps filter potentially harmful and taxing light emitted from digital devices. This helps ease digital eye strain, providing the eyes with essential nutrients to respond to photo stress. This all natural Ayurvedic eye supplement supports healthy visual acuity, strong night vision, normal eye pressure, and healthy ocular blood flow.
This blend is ideal for long-term vision support that balances Pitta and Kapha doshas while helping the eyes recover from exposure to bright lights and photostress.
Another comprehensive eye health supplement in our vision line is our Eye Clear Advanced Vision Support. This proprietary blend also features Organic Marigold extract as well as Turmeric and Triphala for a nutrient-packed herbal blend formulated for eye health and healthy blood sugar balance.