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Dry Eyes: How Your Diet Plays a Role

Thursday, 11 Nov 2010 11:28 AM

Dry eye syndrome is a common problem that occurs when the coating over the surface of the eye (tear film) loses some of its protection. This leads to inflammation of the tear glands ; a gritty irritation or burning sensation that worsens as the day progresses is often a tell-tale sign that the body is running low in essential fatty acids.
A diet for dry eyes should always include food products that are rich in essential fatty acids, such as borage, black currant seed, evening primrose oil, margarine, oils made from corn and soybeans, fish oil, fatty fish (salmon, sardines, and herring) and flax seed. These help restore the lipid layer of the eye and prevent tears from evaporating quickly.

A diet plan to treat dry eyes should include nutrients such as vitamins A, C, D, E, and B6, magnesium, GLA (gamma linoleic acid), and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Other components like mucopolysaccharides and turmeric may help ease chronic and severe dry eyes.
Good sources of vitamin A such as carrots, yams, sweet potatoes, cantaloupes, and fish oil should be included in the diet. Doctors suggest preservative-free vitamin A drops and supplements with 50 mg of vitamin B6 to improve utilization of fat in the body.

Water is an essential component to ease dry eyes. It is important to drink plenty of water to improve the tear film. Research shows that women who followed a healthy diet for dry eyes and ate two to four three-ounce servings of fatty fish every week were subject to less risk of developing dry eye syndrome.
Vitamin C plays an integral role and needs to be supplemented; it is water-soluble and gets diluted when eye irritants make the eyes watery. A diet for dry eyes needs to include a few glucosamine sulfate supplements because they help build up the cornea and prevent corneal damage related to dryness. The best diet for dry eyes is having 500 mg of the supplement three times a day.

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