Dry eyes are one of the most common symptoms that bring a patient into
the eye doctor, and they can be especially common during the winter. The
combination of cold, dry air and harsh winds can cause burning, itchy,
watery eyes and even blurry vision.
You can help protect your eyes from drying out by wearing sunglasses and
using a humidifier or lubricating eye drops, and you can take dry eye
prevention a step further by paying attention to what you eat and drink.
To protect your eyes this winter, follow these nutrition tips:
Drink plenty of water. It’s easy to remember to drink lots of water when it’s hot
outside, but hydration is equally as important during the winter months.
Drinking water doesn’t just keep your body hydrated—it hydrates
your eyes, as well.
Eat fish. A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent dry eyes, and it can
also help treat dry eyes when they do occur. Omega-3s can be found in
fish like mackerel, tuna, salmon, cod, anchovies and trout. The U.S. National
Institutes of Health recommends eating 3.5 ounces of these types of fish
to get about one gram of omega-3s.
Get your antioxidants. Eating foods rich in antioxidants protects your body in a number of ways,
and it can help prevent dry eyes that may be caused by free radical damage.
Antioxidants are found in fruits and vegetables, such as dark leafy greens
and tart berries.
Go bananas. People who suffer from dry eyes may also be low in potassium. This nutrient
is found in bananas as well as wheat germ, almonds, pecans, raisins, dates
Use healthy oils. When you cook, scrap the vegetable oil and use extra virgin olive oil,
coconut oil or flax seed oil instead. These oils are far healthier than
vegetable or canola oil, and they may even help reduce symptoms of dry eyes.
If you suffer from chronic dry eyes, don’t hesitate to contact your
eye doctor. In some cases, dry eyes may require prescription eye drops,
supplements or other procedures to treat the painful and irritating symptoms.
For more information,