Importance of Nutrition in Dry Eye Disease

Posted By Key-Whitman Eye Center || 16-Jul-2014

nutritionSMALL14Nutrition is a key ingredient for healthy eyes. Vitamins and minerals found in many whole foods can help prevent a number of health conditions. In recent years, researchers have also made a connection between nutrition and dry eye disease.

Dehydration can make dry eye symptoms worse, so staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can also help alleviate symptoms of dry eye syndrome. According to the Institute of Medicine, women need about 91 ounces of water per day to stay hydrated, while men need about 125 ounces per day.

Fatty acids have been linked to lower incidence of dry eye disease or improvement of dry eye symptoms. Daily supplements of fatty acids in the form of fish oil or flaxseed oil have been shown to reduce symptoms of dry eyes.

It is the omega-3 fatty acids in flaxseed oil and fish oil that are beneficial in improving dry eyes. They may even reduce risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.

Tips for choosing the right omega-3 supplements

Flaxseed oil contains an omega-3 called alphalinolenic acid (ALA) that is converted to EPA and DHA during digestion. Fish oil, on the other hand, contains EPA and DHA that do not need to be converted in the body.

When buying flaxseed oil, be sure to look for a brand that is cold-pressed and keep it refrigerated, as heat, light and oxygen can easily destroy the nutritional value of flaxseed oil. You can also grind whole flax seeds in a coffee grinder and eat them over a salad or in a smoothie to get the same benefits of flaxseed oil.

Flaxseed oil can be found in many over-the-counter eye lubricants, including TheraTears Nutrition by Advanced Vision Research, Dry Eye Formula by EyeScience and Tears Again Hydrate by Ocusoft.

You can get fish oil in your diet or buy taking a capsule or liquid fish oil supplement. Better yet, get your omega-3s in food form instead. Great sources of fish oil include oily fish such as sardines, cod, herring, salmon and tuna.

Fish oil is also found in eye supplements including TheraTears Nutrition, BioTears by Biosyntryx and HydroEye by ScienceBased Health.

If you have questions about nutrition and your eye health, or to find out if there are supplements you can take to improve symptoms of dry eyes, talk to your eye doctor.

Categories: Eye Conditions, Eye Health
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