Q. After working all day at a computer, my eyes often feel tired and strained. Are there any supplements I can take to support eye health?

A: Dry, irritated eyes, blurred vision, headaches, and other symptoms of eyestrain often result from excessive time spent in front of a computer screen. If you have already optimized your work conditions for your eyes—dusting your computer screen weekly, reducing screen glare, using prescription glasses designed for computer work (if needed), and resting your eyes by looking into the distance every ten minutes—then you might want to consider some eyesight-preserving supplements.

Although dietary supplements cannot cure eyestrain, many nutrients support general eye health. Antioxidants are the leader of the pack. In particular, vitamins C and E, zinc, and carotenoids (especially lutein and zeaxanthin) can protect the eyes from exposure to sunlight-related free radicals. Bilberry extract also improves vision and has potent antioxidant capabilities. Visit your health care practitioner to determine the appropriate supplements and dosages for your situation.

This Q&A was written by Victoria Dolby Toews, MPH, author of User’s Guide to Sexual Satisfaction (Basic Health, 2003).