A significant causative factor of dry eyes is inflammation of the tissues of the eye surface and the glands that help produce our tears. The best foods to eat plenty of are:
The recommended quantities by Dieticians Australia is 2 pieces of fruit and 5 serves of vegetables a day. (1 serve =1/2 cup)
These have multiple health benefits including prevention and control of dry eyes. Other benefits include a lower risk of heart disease and a reduction of chronic inflammation that can lead to a variety of serious diseases, including cancer and stroke. Chronic inflammation also has been indicated as an underlying cause of osteoarthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. Daily supplements of flaxseed oil and fish oil, when used alone or in tandem with lubricating eye drops, appear to reduce dry eye symptoms, including burning, stinging, redness and intermittent visual disturbances. For this reason, we recommend flaxseed oil and fish oil supplements for our patients who suffer from dry eyes. Research also suggests these same fatty acids may reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
Vitamin A is essential for the formation of healthy epithelial cells, and therefore for the maintenance of healthy skin and mucous membranes, such as those lining the surface of the eyes and under the eyelids. Epithelial cells form a protective layer on internal and external body surfaces. Many epithelial cells produce mucus which is necessary to lubricate body surfaces and strengthen the defence system provided by these cells. In this way, Vitamin A supports the maintenance of a healthy immune system. Vitamin D is essential for the optimal uptake of calcium from the intestine into the blood and helps maintain normal blood and bone levels of calcium.
A recent pilot study indicated that 70% of dry eye patients were asymptomatic after 90 days taking fish oil (450mg EPA/300mg DHA) and 1000mg flaxseed oil daily.
Therefore we recommend Blackmores 2 x Omega 3 tablet, 1x Flaxseed Oil tablet and 1x Cod Liver Oil tablet daily for supplementary dry eye treatment. We will then review progress monthly. It can take at least 90 days to feel the full benefit.
Flaxseed oil is also available in liquid form from health food shops and pharmacies. These can be poured over salads or vegetables.