Common Dry Eye Treatments
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.