Vitamins and Foods That Relieve Dry Eye Syndrome
Approximately 16 million Americans have dry eye syndrome. Symptoms of dry eye, other than the obvious dryness of the eye, include grittiness, burning, and irritation. and difficulty reading or looking at a screen for long periods of time. Studies have shown that certain foods help the eyes stay hydrated.
Certain vitamins, fatty acids, and trace elements are good not only for our overall health but also for our tear film.
Omega Fatty Acids For Dry Eye
Omega fatty acids are responsible for forming the stabilizing oil layer in the tear film. If this outer layer of the lubricating film is disrupted, it leads to dry eye symptoms like burning, redness, and itchiness. In addition, omega fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are essential nutrients.
Foods high in omega fatty acids include:
- Fish: cod, mackerel, salmon, trout
- Meat: red meat, pork liver
- Oils: canola oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, walnut oil,
- Other animal products: cheese, eggs
Vitamins for Dry Eye
We all know that vitamins are good for us, but may not know what each one is good for. There are a number of vitamins that can help with dry eye and boost general eye health.
- Vitamin A (retinol) helps protect the surface of the eye. Vitamin A deficiency, which usually occurs in developing countries, can cause an increase in dry eye. Adding foods rich in Vitamin A like carrots, pumpkins, apricots, spinach, tomatoes, dairy products, and liver can help.
- Vitamin B2 protects your eyes from cell damage. It is found in broccoli, avocados, dairy products, and whole-grain products.
- Vitamin B6 is needed for a functioning tear film. Foods such as kale, potatoes, goose, mackerel, salmon, and sardines contain vitamin B6.
- Vitamin B12 is also important for lubricating the eyes. It’s in mackerel, beef liver, calf’s liver, and pork liver. It is also found in dairy products and eggs, but in smaller amounts.
- Vitamin C protects against oxidative stress, and plays an important role in maintaining a functioning tear film. It can be found in peppers, broccoli, rosehip, acerola berries, and Brussels sprouts.
- Vitamin E is necessary to protect your eyes against cell damage as well as dry eye. It’s contained in sunflower oil, mackerel, wheat germ oil, peppers, spinach, mangos, and red currants.
Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants that help cells function correctly and and stay healthy. They help prevent many chronic eye diseases, including dry eye syndrome. Foods rich in these antioxidants include leafy greens like romaine lettuce, kale, and spinach. They are also available as supplements.
Zinc for Eye Health
Zinc plays an important role in keeping eyes healthy. It is responsible for getting vitamin A from your liver to your retina and produces melanin, a pigment that protects your eyes. Zinc is found in dairy, whole grains, nuts, sweetcorn, peas, and lentils.
Drinking Water Hydrates Your EyesLastly, drink water. While it may seem easy, may of us forget to drink enough water. Staying hydrated can help improve eye comfort. Water is great for your skin, kidneys, bowels, and your eyes.
Eating healthy and staying hydrated helps to ensure your eyes get the vitamins and minerals they need. To protect your vision, improve your overall eye health and relieve your dry eye symptoms, you may want to start adding these nutrients to your diet. Always remember that it’s best to consult your eye doctor before taking any supplements. Contact Elite Dry Eye Spa to learn more about what you can be doing to alleviate your dry eye symptoms.
Elite Dry Eye Spa serves patients from Tucson, Benson, Green Valley, and Sierra Vista, all throughout Arizona.