In a 2005 study, women who were
suffering from dry eye syndrome consumed 5 servings of tuna weekly.
On average their dry eye symptoms were reduced by an astounding 68%
as compared to a control group of women who consumed just one serving
of tuna per week. The factor that was identified by researchers as
making the difference was the high levels of omega 3 fatty acids
found in tuna, as well as other fish and certain nuts. Interestingly,
it was also found that women who consumed high levels of omega 6
fatty acids (as found in red meats) actually had an increase in dry
eye symptoms. (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition:
Good sources of omega 3 fatty acids
include salmon, tuna, sardines, herring and cod liver oil.
Flaxseed oil is recommended for the
relief of dry eye symptoms due to it’s high levels of omega 3 fatty
acids. Flax seed oil should always be taken orally – never applied
directly to the eye. Flaxseed oil is available in a variety of forms.
The liquid form is probably the easiest to use and most cost
effective. Make sure that liquid flaxseed oil is kept refrigerated.
Actual flaxseeds should be ground in a coffee maker and then taken
with water. Toe nurse that the flaxseed you take will be best
absorbed and utilized, take it in conjunction with liquids, cottage
cheese or yoghurt.
pressed flaxseed oil is the most effective variety. Cold pressing
involves removing the oil from the seeds. Recommended dosage for use
of flaxseed oil is 1 tablespoon or 14 g per day of the liquid form,
or 3-6 capsules per day of the capsule form.
2006 study showed that flaxseed oil may be as effective as commonly
used dry eye medication doxycycline for the treatment of dry eye. The
study compared oral flaxseed oil capsules (3,000 mg daily or 3
capsules a day) with the antibiotic doxycycline (100 mg twice a day)
for the treatment of dry eye in patients who had undergone LASIK
Eighty-one patients (152 eyes) were treated with either 3,000 mg
daily of flaxseed oil or 100 mg twice daily of doxycycline for seven
days before and after LASIK surgery.
results indicated that flaxseed oil was as effective as doxycycline
in preventing dry eye after LASIK eye surgery. An added benefit is
that flaxseed oil has fewer side effects than doxycycline, making it
a good alternative.
C. K. Chan, M.D., and Brian S. Boxer Wachler, M.D.: 2006 annual
meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery).
Dry eye syndrome can be caused by
Vitamin A deficiency, though this is rare in the United States.
Vitamin A has been used to control the proliferation and
differentiation of corneal epithelial cells and preserve conjunctival
goblet cells for many years. You can improve your
mucin layer by taking vitamin A. Good sources of vitamin A include
carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, cantaloupes and fish oil. Also
recommended are preservative-free vitamin A drops. Vitamin A
is a powerful anti-oxidant that contributes to overall brain
functioning. It is also closely associated with eye health.
Deficiency of Vitamin A causes a generalized drying up of mucous
membranes and an inability to see in poor light. Vitamin A has been
used to control the proliferation and differentiation of corneal
epithelial cells and preserve conjunctival goblet cells for many
years. You can improve your mucin layer by taking
vitamin A. Good sources of vitamin A include carrots, yams, sweet
potatoes, cantaloupes and fish oil. Also recommended are
preservative-free vitamin A drops. (Opthalmologica:
of retinol palmitate as a treatment for dry eye: a cytological
Hyaluronic acid (HA, hyaluronan) is a
special protein that exists naturally in all living organisms. In the
human body, it is found in greatest concentrations in the synovial
fluid of articular joints for lubrication, the vitreous humor (fluid)
of the eye, and most abundantly in the skin. Hyaluronic
acid is known for its beneficial effects on patients suffering from
dry eye syndrome. Applied to the surface of the eye, it reduces the
symptoms and damage associated with dry eye. Hyaluronic
acid makes up 95% of the fluid inside the eye. Acts as a shock
absorber for the eye and also serves to transport nutrients into the
eye. HA plays a major role in maintaining the health of ocular
tissues such as the cornea, the retina, and the vitreous fluid that
fills the inside of the eye. It is been said that after the 5th
decade of life, the eye has lost 50% of its ability to product the
needed HA. Without out HA, we fail to have
proper eye health.
N-Acetyl-L cysteine (NAC) is a specially
modified form of the dietary amino acid cysteine. When taken orally,
NAC is thought to help the body make the important antioxidant
enzyme glutathione. Acetyl cysteine eye drops are an effective
alternative in treating people who have problems with sticky, viscous
mucus on the eye (filamentary keratitis), but they may cause
placebo-controlled crossover trial
of 26 people with Sjogren’s syndrome, use of NAC at a dose of 200
mg three times per day improved eye-related symptoms. The supplement
also showed some promise for mouth-related symptoms, but the effects
were less clear-cut. While these are promising results, a much larger
trial would be necessary to fully document the potential benefits of
this treatment approach.
MT, Rubin CE, Keightley SJ, et al. A double-blind, cross-over, study
of oral N-acetylcysteine in Sjogren's syndrome. Scand J Rheumatol
oil is extracted from the evening primrose plant (Oenothera
a wildflower found in North America, Europe and parts of Asia. The
plant's pale yellow flowers open in the evening--hence its common
name--and its seeds bear the special fatty oil that is used in
primrose has been used medicinally for centuries. The oil, pressed
from the seed, is rich in linoleic acid, an essential fatty acid
(EFA). "Essential" means that we have to consume the
nutrient because the body does not produce it. Fortunately, EFAs are
plentiful in foods, notably nuts and seeds. These polyunsaturated
fats are good fats, unlike the saturated fats that contribute to
Evening Primrose oil
has been shown to improve the symptoms of dry eye syndrome.
In a pilot study, 17 patients were
selected based on failure of tear secretion, objectively demonstrated
(Schirmer Test), clinical exam, and the chronic need/use of lubricant
drops. Patients received X500 mg capsules of evening Primrose oil
(Efamol-73% linoleic acid and 10% gamma-linolenic acid), 50 mg
vitamin B6 (pyroxidine) and 1 g vitamin C three times a day.
result was that ten of the 17 patients showed substantial improvement
of both symptoms and Schirmer test in 2-6 weeks.
DR Campbell A. Sjogren’s Syndrome and the Sicca Syndrome: the Role
of Prostaglandin E1 Deficiency. Treatment with Essential Fatty Acids
and Vitamin C. Medical Hypothesis. 6:225-232 1980).
Glucosamine and Chondroitin Sulfate are
sold as dietary supplements. They both derive from animal tissue.
Glucosamine comes from the shells of the crab, lobster or shrimp.
Chondroitin Sulfate comes from animal cartilage, such as the
cartilage of sharks. The two supplements taken together are primarily
used to alleviate the symptoms of osteoarthritis. However Glucosamine
and Chondroitin Sulfate have reportedly improved the symptoms of dry
eye also. Chondroitin is a constituent of the eye drops used during
cataract removal. People who are allergic to shell fish, however,
should not take these supplements.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic
Acid): Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant
and free radical scavenger. It is also known as a preventative of
degenerative conditions, including cataracts. Foods that
contain ascorbic acid are citrus fruits, tomatoes, strawberries,
green peppers, potatoes, broccoli, green leafy vegetables,
watermelon, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, guava, pineapple,
cantaloupe, and sweet red pepper.