Carotenoids, Screen Time (2017) & Eye Fatigue


Learn more about eye fatigue.


The use of smartphones, computers and mobile devices of all sorts has led to poor sleep quality and increased eye fatigue symptoms due to the exposure to blue light.

Researchers wanted to know whether supplementation with the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and mesozeaxanthin, which are found to help protect the macula, would reduce negative symptoms of excessive screen time.

In a placebo controlled study researchers measured the results of such supplementation in 48 young and health adults with no vision problems over a six month period. The subjects used electronic devices for at least six hours a day.

The researchers measured, at the outset and again at the end of six months, contrast sensitivity, effect of glare, flicker sensitivity, and recovery from photostress using standard testing methods. They also evaluated amount of screen time and sleep quality with questionnaires.

They found that for the subjects taking the supplements (24mg total daily) there was marked improvement in macular optical density, sleep quality, frequency of headaches, eye strain and fatigue and visual acuity.

They determined that the quality of sleep would not have been directly related to the carotenoids but certainly could be related to less eye stress, oxidation and inflammation.

Researchers: J. Stringham, N. Stringham, et al
Published: Macular Carotenoid Supplementation Improves Visual Performance, Sleep Quality, and Adverse Physical Symptoms in Those with High Screen Time Exposure, Foods, June, 2017.