Dry eyes are a common condition where patients aren't capable of producing enough tears to lubricate the eyes and keep them comfortable. The meibomian oil glands and lacrimal gland (responsible for the tears on your eyes) may be producing insufficient tears or the quality of the tears may not be good enough to keep the eyes lubricated.
In this post, we'll be talking about the causes behind our eyes' inability to create sufficient tears, as well as the symptoms of this disease. If you're suffering from dry eyes, we'll discuss some treatments, as well as vitamins including A, D, and omega-3s.
Dry Eye Causes
There are numerous causes of dry eyes and most of them are related to the tear film. Vitamin deficiency is a major problem with dry eye and other eye-related diseases, such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
Decreased Tear Production
The first is the inability of the lacrimal gland to produce enough tears. This is usually a medical condition called keratoconjunctivitis sicca, and this aqueous deficient dry eye is due to a direct attack on the lacrimal gland. The condition is brought on by a variety of different reasons. The most common is aging, while other reasons include diabetes, vitamin A deficiency, recent laser eye surgery, Sjogren’s Syndrome, tear gland damage and as a side effect of certain medications like antidepressants, birth control, antihistamines, etc.
Imbalanced Tear Composition
The tear film needs a specific composition, which involves a certain quantity of oil, water and mucus to function correctly. An increase or decrease of any of the three can cause several issues, including dry eyes.
Increased Tear Evaporation
Tear evaporation is the more common cause behind dry eyes, and this is known as evaporative dry eye. There are mainly two reasons behind increased tear evaporation, and the first deals with environmental factors. Strong wind, smoke and dry or dusty air can sting your eyes and burn through your limited supply of tears pretty quickly.
The second is due to insufficient oil or a lack of oil being produced by the meibomian glands (oil glands in the eyelids). This is called Meibomian Gland Dysfunction, or MGD, and is one of the most common reasons for dry eye.
There are a lot of different treatments that can provide relief, but the real way to treat dry eye is finding the underlying cause of the problem. Vitamin deficiency, as discussed above, can be one of these causes.
Testing can be done to check for deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, but making sure that you are not deficient in Vitamin A, D and Omega-3 fatty acids (and other healthy oils) has been proven to help with dry eye.
A vitamin A deficiency is directly linked to dry eyes. Cutting back on food to slim down is usually how most people develop a vitamin A deficiency, and it is more prevalent in undeveloped countries.
Fixing a vitamin A deficit is pretty simple...eat more whole foods with vitamin A AND take a multivitamin with vitamin A in it. The best foods for vitamin A are leafy green veggies, sweet potatoes and, of course, carrots.
There has been some effort to add vitamin A to eye drops in order to have a quicker effect on dry eyes. But, as of yet, there isn't any evidence that suggests that this actually works.
Speaking of vitamin A, there are derivatives such as retinoids that can actually worsen dry eyes if used in large doses (think Accutane and over-the-counter retinal skin creams).
Vitamin D is another substance whose deficit is a known cause for dry eyes. Lower quantities of vitamin D effect tear function that needs vitamins to function properly. Other than that, Vitamin D improves the coating on the surface of eye and helps to protect it from environmental factors.
Most people are actually vitamin D deficient. It is not found in the food we eat in as much abundance as before, and we do not get as much sunshine as we used to. Exposure to the sun will help your vitamin D deficiency, but it will probably not completely resolve it, even in areas that have loads of sunshine all year long.
Eating whole foods with vitamin D also helps, but supplementation with vitamin D is usually recommended. Foods to eat include fatty fish, eggs, and mushrooms. Supplementation is almost always recommended if you are vitamin D deficient.
There are a ton of home remedies for dry eyes. These include over-the-counter artificial tears, using humidifiers, staying hydrated, wearing wrap-around sunglasses, etc.
You could try some of these to fix your problem, but our suggestion is to rely on things that are more concrete like hydration, changing your diet to a whole foods based diet (more veggies and fruits), and increasing your healthy fats (omega-3 supplements, avocado, etc...) and increasing your vitamin and mineral intake by taking a multivitamin.
Liquid Vitamin of Choice (for those who have trouble swallowing):Passion 4 Life
Omega-3 is a fatty acid that should be a core part of your diet and its deficiency can cause dry eyes. However, dry eyes are just a mild symptom of the deficiency. If the deficit isn't fulfilled, other symptoms of this include insomnia, joint pain and even heart problems.
Having a healthy level of omega-3 can prevent a long list of severe diseases as well. Things like prostate cancer, mental degeneration, heart attack, strokes, epilepsy and vision loss can sometimes be prevented with omega-3 vitamins.
There are two ways to treat an omega-3 deficiency. The first is by including oily fish in your daily diet. Fish eat algae to obtain a certain acid called Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), which is the most commonly known omega-3 fatty acid.
However, there might be some of you that don't like fish. If you dislike fish, you should move on to the second way of obtaining this important omega; omega-3 supplements. Now that we're on the topic of omega-3 supplements, we should talk about how all omega 3 supplements are not created equal.
Look for an omega-3 supplement that is triglyceride based and has other added nutrients to help with dry eyes. We recommend Heyedrate Omega 3 for Eye Health, which is primarily focused on eye health and helping relieve irritated eyes.
Heyedrate Omega-3 for Eye Health Advanced Ocular Vitamin
Heyedrate Omega-3 is focused on eye health. It is a triglyceride based omega-3, which means it is less processed and absorbs more quickly in the body. And Heyedrate Omega-3 doesn't contain just omega-3.
Sure, omega-3 is in abundance and makes up most of what is in the softgel, but there are several other vitamins and minerals that can aid the omega-3 in making your eyes healthier and more comfortable.
Heyedrate Omega-3 for Eye Health contains:
· Essential Triglyceride Omega-3 Fatty Acids - 515 mg EPA & 415 mg DHA that help stimulate and enhance tear production while reducing inflammation and irritation
· 40 mg Omega-7, which helps improve oil gland function to moisturize eyes, hair, and nails.
· 50 IU Vitamin E & 100 mg Vitamin C, which are antioxidants that heal the eye's protective layer.
· 10 mg Vitamin B-6, which helps boost tear production.
· 20 mg of Magnesium, which also repairs the eye surface.
· 10 mg of Lactoferrin to helps reduce redness and soreness.
You could take one per meal or all three at once. However, you should make sure that it is taken with food (like all omega-3s).
Dry eyes can disrupt your daily routine and greatly affect your quality of life. If your disease isn't severe, you should start off with increasing your water intake and changing your diet. But, if continued treatment doesn’t work, you should try adding Heyedrate Omega-3 to your daily regimen.