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Do You Have Dry Eyes

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Dry eye is a condition that affects 10 million people in the United States. The root cause of Dry Eye is inflammation. The culprits could be related to American diet which has too many Omega 6s that are pro-inflammatory vs Omega 3s that are anti-inflammatory.

A good source of Omega 3 does not have Ethyl Easter alcohol which makes the fish oil quickly rancid and hence ineffective and causes fish burps. Also need to carefully watch for contaminants such as PCBs and mercury common in some supplement.

Symptoms include:

  • Dryness
  • Burning
  • Itching
  • Stickiness
  • Watering
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Red Eyes
  • Styes
  • Intermittent Blurry Vision

Treating Dry Eye /Miebomian Gland Dysfunction

  • Using Warm moisture compress between 5-10 minutes a day will help dissolve the solidified oil that clogged the glands and increases oil secretion.
  • Massaging with proper technique and applying light pressure with clean index finger or a cotton bud to the lid margin near the lash line. Roll the finger upward on the lower lid while looking up avoiding rubbing on cornea, then roll the finger downward on the upper lid while looking down and lifting the upper lid up with other hand to avoid rubbing over the cornea. Massage can irritate the eye if done too much; twice a day when the condition is acute but only once when symptoms decrease to maintain good eye health to 2-3 /wk for long term.
  • Lid Hygiene after lid message is advised. This can be done on daily basis as brushing is done eveyday for teeth maintenance. The products recommended are based on the findings during eye exam.
  • Omega-3 – SUPPLEMENTS Adding or increasing your daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids will help maintain oil consistency. There are many food sources of omega-3 but most Americans don’t get enough, taking a triglyceride form supplement that provides high levels of EPA and DHA omega-3 has been shown to improve all aspects of eye health.
  • Omega-3- FOOD- you might prefer to get your omega-3 benefits from delicious grilled fish as well. The best fish for EPA and DHA are salmon, tuna, halibut, and sablefish.
  • Warm moisture compress followed with proper lid message technique, daily lid hygiene and diet can help the root of the problem. It’s true we can use array of preservative free eye drops to lubricate but this treats the symptoms of Dry Eye and not the signs or root of the source.
  • In some cases prescription eye drops are given to help Dry Eye Treatment along with oral medications. These regiments differ and are certainly going to be individualized for each person depending on their response to treatment.

According to studies our bodies don’t make omega-3s on their own. Omega-3s are essential for our systems to function optimally, so we need to get them from our diets. Even though you can certainly consume all the omega-3s you need from food, supplementing can be helpful when you aren’t getting the recommended 3-4 servings of low-mercury fish per week.

Some experts also claim you can get sufficient omega-3s from chia seeds or flaxseed oil. But this method isn’t as effective as eating fish or taking an omega-3 supplement. That’s because fish and fish oils contain EPA and DHA fatty acids—the ones associated with omega-3s’ many health benefits—in their pure form. Seeds, on the other hand, contain an omega-3 called ALA, which must be broken down by the body into EPA and DHA. Research shows that only 2 to 10 percent of ALA actually gets converted to EPA and DHA, so you’d have to eat a lot of seeds to get the same benefits as you would from a piece of salmon. The EPA and DHA [in fish] are more bioavailable, because they avoid going through the conversion process that ALA has to go through in the digestive tract.

Not all fish oils are the same. I like Nordic Naturals since they’re very good about sourcing their products [in an eco-friendly way] and they’re not overfishing. They also lack fish after taste due to the great way they are processed.

If you are a vegan or vegetarian, Algae-based omega-3s are the most commonly recommended option for those who don’t eat fish. This is also available with Nordic Naturals.

Dosage: For treatment of Dry Eyes recommended dose about 2,000 milligrams [per day], simply because too much can cause diarrhea and heartburn. After few months you can aim for a dose of 1,000 milligrams the least per day for the amount to be effective.
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The ratio generally recommended is a higher EPA to DHA, as research shows this is the best option for reducing inflammation and promoting health due to its anti-inflammatory superpowers for the heart ️ , the brain ?, the joints and all sorts of different health woes that may have inflammation as the underlying root. The nutrient gets a lot of love for its anti-inflammatory superpowers, and good source of Omega-3 supplemenats can help with depression, ADHD, hypertension, joint pain, eczema, or psoriasis,” says Jacqueline Schaffer, MD. Naturopath and professor of natural medicine.

Bring Us Your Omega-3 And Dry Eye Questions

As with all supplements and remedies, it’s important to seek professional medical advice before taking matters into your own hands. What works for other people won’t always work for you, so give your optometrist a call or schedule an appointment so that we can determine whether flaxseed oil or fish oil is a good dry eye solution!
Your optometrist can help you choose the best option for your eye health!

Dr Newman

Written by Dr. Newman

Dr. Newman has been in private practice since 2009. She received her undergraduate training from California State University Northridge and Doctor of Optometry degree from Southern California College of Optometry in 1996. Dr. Newman is certified to practice Therapeutic Optometry. Dr. Newman specializes in Dry Eye Syndrome and low vision rehabilitation, as well as offering vision therapy.

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