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If You’re Reading This, You Need Omega-3s 

We stare at screens. We do. We stare at a screen at the same distance for the majority of our day. Whether it's a watch, a phone, a TV, a tablet, or a monitor, the data suggest that almost everyone in the U.S. spends hours each day looking at some type of screen. In fact, the average American spends more than 7 hours looking at a screen each day. We want to focus on what that means for our eyes.

The Daily Habits of a Multi-Screen Life

Because March is National Eye Health Month in the United States, we’ve taken some time to consider eye strain and the impact of what we ask our eyes to do over the course of an ordinary day. Current OSHA recommendations state that to avoid eye strain, a person who uses a computer daily should look 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes. This is a minimum recommendation, and it doesn’t seem like enough.

Seven Things We Found Out  

After some honest soul-searching and serious calculation, we concluded that each weekday: 

  • We spend at least 6 hours looking at our screens at work. 

  • We stream shows, watch videos and play video games to fill at least three of the remaining hours. 

  • We all bring smartphones to the one place we don’t have screens: the bathroom. 

  • Therefore, we can admit that we spend at least nine hours looking at screens.

  • Published data shows that, on average, Americans spend 750 minutes per weekday, or twelve and a half hours, consuming media, including audio podcasts and radio.

  • And then there’s the weekend, which tends to feature even more screen hours for many of us. 

  • Our poor eyes seriously need a break, including time outside and nutritional support.

Our Unique and Amazing Eyes

Half of the human brain is oriented around the eyes. The eyes are the second most complex physiological system in the body, after the brain. This amazing system is built upon a scaffolding of DHA, an Omega-3 fatty acid that is a primary structural component of the human brain, cerebral cortex, and eye. 

DHA Provides Support to Your Overworked Retinas

Researchers remind us that these screens and all of the tiny impacts, like the light emitted from the screen, add up over time. Whether or not you stare at the sun or smoke, you can ensure basic nutritional support for your eyes by eating food rich in DHA or taking an Omega-3 supplement. Whether it is part of your diet or you are supplementing, DHA helps your retinas remain strong. Your eyes need to last the length of your multi-screen lifetime. You can feed your vision and support your eyesight with foods like red peppers, nuts, seeds, dark leafy greens, sweet potatoes, legumes, and fatty fish like salmon. 

Staring at the Sun, Smoking, and Ignoring Good Advice 

It’s a good idea to take grandpa’s advice and never stare directly at the sun. Also, if you smoke, the best thing you can do for your eye health is to quit right now. Also, consider the idea of counting the hours of screen time you spend in a day. If your life features three screens, your eyes will thank you.
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