If you’ve ever experienced dry eye symptoms, you know just how irritating they can be.
Dry eye disease can leave your eyes feeling uncomfortable, scratchy, and can even affect your eyesight. If your dry eyes have started to impact your life, you may be looking for a treatment to help relieve your symptoms.
Research has shown that omega-3 is a promising supplement that can help improve and sometimes alleviate your symptoms. But how exactly does omega-3 help with dry eye? Keep reading to learn more about dry eye disease, what type of omega-3 supplements are best for dry eyes, and how dry eye therapy can help you!
What is Dry Eye Disease?
Dry eye disease is an eye condition that is typically chronic and may be progressive. There are two types of dry eye disease, both of which result in a lack of moisture on the surface of the eye.
The two types of dry eye disease include:
- Evaporative dry eye, which is the most common form of dry eye (86%). Evaporative dry eye occurs when your tears evaporate too quickly due to a lack of oil in your tears.
- Aqueous deficient dry eye occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough tears, which can dry out your eyes and stop them from functioning correctly.
Dry Eye Symptoms
If you have dry eyes, you may experience a variety of symptoms, including:
- Stinging or uncomfortable eyes
- Discomfort wearing contact lenses
- A sensation that something is stuck in your eye
- Blurred or fluctuating vision
- Abnormally watery eyes
If any of the above symptoms are bothering you, book an appointment with your optometrist.
What Causes Dry Eye?
Your dry eye could be caused by a number of different factors, including:
- Screen use
- Aging or menopause
- Certain medications
- Dry or windy environments
- Smoking or tobacco use
- Laser eye surgery
- Certain allergies
- Poorly fitted contact lenses
The only way to find out if dry eye disease is what’s causing your symptoms is to see your optometrist for an eye exam. During an eye exam, your eye doctor can assess the health of your eyes, determine what type of dry eye disease you have, and get you started on a treatment plan.
What is Omega-3?
Omega-3s are a family of essential fatty acids that provide numerous health benefits. Unfortunately, our body doesn’t produce essential fatty acids on its own, meaning we have to get them from our diet.
If you don’t eat a diet high in omega-3’s, an omega-3 supplement is recommended. Studies show that upto 70% of the world’s population is deficient in omega-3.
Can Omega-3 Help with Dry Eye?
At See & Be Seen Eyecare, omega-3 is a common home therapy we recommend to our patients. You can increase your omega-3 intake through supplements or by adding certain foods to your diet.
There are many different types of omega-3s, but the two crucial for eye health are:
- Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
- Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
Studies have shown that these omega-3 fatty acids can:
- Help manage dry eye symptoms
- Improve the oil in your tear film
- Decrease the need for other dry eye treatments
How Can I Increase My Omega-3 Intake?
Depending on your preferences, you can increase your omega-3 intake through supplements or by adding them to your diet. However, it would be extremely difficult to ingest the therapeutic amounts required to benefit from Omega-3 from food only.
You can find omega-3 supplements at most pharmacies and grocery stores. Like most other things, not all supplements are made the same.
We know that finding the right supplement can be difficult when you have so many to choose from. To find relief from your dry eye, you should look for:
- Triglyceride form (majority of OTC Omega-3 are from a less absorbable form called ethyl ester (EE). This form results in poor absorption and the fishy taste taste)
- Fish oil supplements
- Fish liver oil supplements
- Algae oil supplements
- Flaxseed oil supplements
All of the above supplements contain omega-3’s and the type you choose depends on your personal preferences.
Foods That Are High In Omega-3
If your prefer to introduce omega-3 into your diet instead of taking supplements, try increasing your intake of the following foods:
- Small fish like anchovies and sardines
- Chia seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Edamame beans
- Kidney beans
Omega-3 Can Help More Than Just Dry Eye
Omega-3 fatty acids can help relieve your dry eye symptoms, but they can also be beneficial for maintaining your overall health. Omega-3’s can help with a variety of health conditions, including:
- Heart disease
- Alzeimer’s disease & dementia
Whether you’re looking to treat dry eye symptoms, or improving your overall health, you can’t go wrong by adding more omega-3’s into your diet.
Find Relief from Dry Eye Disease
At See & Be Seen Eyecare, our team is dedicated to helping you see comfortably and clearly. We offer a range of dry eye therapies, from home therapies to in-office treatments, so you can find relief no matter your needs.
If you’re ready to experience what dry eye therapy can do for you, book an appointment with us today! Additionally, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us. Our team is always happy to help you!