Are you battling dry eyes? You’re not alone. This condition can significantly impact your day-to-day and overall quality of life, but there’s hope.
Your eye doctor can recommend supplements to help alleviate the discomfort associated with dry eyes, including Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and vitamin C.
What Is Dry Eye Disease?
Dry eye disease is a condition that develops when your eyes can’t produce enough tears to keep them adequately moist. It can also occur when the tears your eyes do make aren’t functioning as they should.
This lack of proper lubrication can lead to a feeling of discomfort. In certain instances, it can even contribute to vision complications.
Symptoms of Dry Eye Disease
Dry eye disease often occurs with various bothersome symptoms, including:
- Red eyes
- Stinging, scratching, or burning eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Overly watery eyes
- Stringy mucus
- Blurry vision
What Causes Dry Eyes?
Dry eyes ultimately occur when there’s an imbalance in your tear production. There are several underlying reasons why an imbalance can occur in the first place:
- Age: As we age, natural eye changes can influence tear production. Most people who experience dry eyes are over 65.
- Hormonal shifts: Women may experience dry eyes due to hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy or menopause.
- Medications: Various drugs, including antihistamines, blood pressure medications, antidepressants, and decongestants, can have ocular side effects.
- Health conditions: Systemic health issues like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid problems can contribute to dry eyes. Inflammation of the eyelids (blepharitis), issues with the tear-producing glands, inflammation of the eye surfaces, or eyelid malformations can also result in dry eyes.
- Environment: Environmental factors such as dry, arid climates, smoke, wind, or your work environment can lead to dry eyes.
The Best Supplements for Dry Eye Disease
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids can help improve the performance of the meibomian glands, which are responsible for producing the oil component of tears.
A deficiency in vitamin A can result in various eye problems, including dry eyes. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin that maintains eye health and helps provide eye lubrication.
Vitamin A also helps promote the smoothness and production of the tear film, the thin layer of fluid on the eye’s surface that helps focus light and nourish the eye.
Using vitamin D with another dry eye treatment can promote tear stability and improve tear osmolarity, especially in patients deficient in vitamin D. This shows vitamin D’s vital role in maintaining eye health and combating dry eye syndrome.
A 2020 study revealed that pairing oral vitamin B12 supplements with artificial tears improved dry eye symptoms.
Vitamin C, a water-soluble vitamin with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, is beneficial in preventing dry eye disease. The human tear film contains high levels of vitamin C, which could contribute to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant defense on the ocular surface.
Other Ways to Treat Dry Eye Disease
There is no one-size-fits-all dry eye disease treatment. If you’re experiencing dry eye symptoms, talk to your optometrist. They’re trained and experienced in diagnosing the root cause of your issue and recommending a personalized treatment plan.
- Supplementing tear production: Over-the-counter eye drops can alleviate mild dry eye symptoms. There are numerous options on the market, and not all may suit your specific condition. So consult with your eye doctor for advice.
- Preserving tears: Small plugs made from silicone or a gel-like substance can be inserted into your tear ducts to slow tear drainage. These plugs can be removed if necessary.
- Boosting tear production: Your eye doctor can prescribe drops to stimulate tear production.
- Addressing eyelid or eye surface inflammation: If your dry eyes are caused by blepharitis or meibomian gland dysfunction, prescription drops or ointments can help mitigate inflammation. Techniques like lid massage and warm compresses can dislodge blockages, improving your symptoms.
Personalized Solutions for Dry Eye Disease
Managing dry eye disease involves understanding the root cause and a tailored treatment plan. Relief is available with various treatments, from over-the-counter eye drops to dietary supplements and professional procedures.
Regardless of the severity or cause of your dry eye symptoms, remember that professional help is available. At Total Vision Solana Beach, we’re dedicated to providing you and your family with top-notch vision and medical eye care. Our proactive eye services aim to transform your life and restore the joy of clear, comfortable vision!
Book an appointment with our knowledgeable team and refresh your eyes!