Can diet have an impact on dry eyes?
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) — Dry eye syndrome is a chronic condition in which your body doesn’t produce enough tears or the tears don’t lubricate your eyes enough.
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It affects approximately 16 million people in the United States. New research suggests that your diet may improve symptoms.
If your eyes are constantly irritated, itchy, red, or painful, you may have dry eye syndrome. Eye drops are a treatment option, but what you eat can also help or hurt your eyes.
“There’s definitely a correlation between a poor inflammatory diet and worsening dry eye, so things that are inflammatory. So dairy products are inflammatory. Meats are inflammatory. Eggs are inflammatory,” Dr. Rolando Toyos, from the Toyos clinic.
Toyos said people should avoid processed foods as much as possible. What should you eat? Omega-3 fatty acids – found in fish like trout, salmon, sardines and mackerel – can reduce inflammation and dry eye symptoms.
“If they don’t eat fish, we’ll start them on an omega-3 supplement,” Toyos said.
Vitamin C has also been shown to protect the eyes from pollution and improve tear production. It is abundant in broccoli, Brussels sprouts and citrus fruits.
Vitamin E – found in sunflower oil, almonds, pumpkin and spinach – helps protect the retina from injury and helps maintain the tear film layer in the eye.
Vitamin A, found in carrots, squash, and tuna, may also help reduce dry eye symptoms and improve tear quality. New research shows that the caffeine in beverages like coffee, black tea, and green tea can stimulate tear production.
Studies also show that vitamin D deficiency may be linked to worsening dry eye symptoms. The best way to get vitamin D is to spend 10-15 minutes in the sun every day.
Continued: Health Stories
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