How to use nutrition to help cure dry eye disease

Do you have dry eyes? If you do have, you are not alone. While a mild case of dry eyes is common for many people and does not pose much of a problem, if allowed to progress into a serious condition, it could cause permanent damage to the cornea and lead to complications.

showing dry eyes, courtesy of bigstock
showing dry eyes, courtesy of bigstock

Previously dry eye syndrome was a condition experienced mostly by people over 50 years of age. However, in today’s world of high technology, according to Dr. Gregg Feinerman, about half of the ones who come to see him with this syndrome, are 20 to 30 years old. Crazy, right?

In order to prevent dry eyes, you should be aware of the causes. According to the American Optometric Association, there are some known contributors to the condition:

# Age. Most people over 65 do have some problems.
# Medication.
# Some medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and thyroid problems.
# Long term use of contact lenses.
# Refractive eye surgeries, such as LASIK.

In addition, dry eye syndrome can be made worse by hot, dry, windy conditions and by smoke. In fact, where you live can make a difference. Some cities are actually considered to be “hot spots” where the condition could be worse. Las Vegas is number one, followed by the Texas cities of Lubbock, El Paso, Midland/Odessa, Dallas/Fort Worth, and the Santa Monica, Ca area.

Actually, there was a study done on a team of tree trimming (visit their website to see some of their profiles)  guys out on the West Coast, and they found that the more they were around wood chips, the more likely they were going to have dry eye eyes. Sad stuff, huh?

Signs that you may have dry eyes are blurred vision, sensitivity to light, or a sensation that a foreign object is in the eye.

For mild cases, which simply means that the eyes are not producing the right amount of, or quality of tears, there are quite a few easy self-care, natural solutions. Be sure that you blink your eyes on a regular basis, get plenty of sleep, avoid smoke, increase humidity in the air, and wear sunglasses when you are outdoors. Use lubricating eye drops if necessary and drink 8 to 10 glasses of water daily.

It is also important that you get some very specific nutrients. Omega 3-fatty acids and Vitamin A are strong recommendations. As are topical probiotics for your skin, and you could even use them for your eyes. The skin application helps because the skin is the largest organ and absorbs the most amount of nutrients the quickest. And the eye application is obvious as well.  These substances and nutrients can be obtained in some foods and taken as supplements. It is probably best to plan to take the supplements since it can be difficult to be sure you get what you need each day by diet alone.

Some other helpful ideas for relieving or preventing the discomfort of dry eyes are using a warm wash cloth compress, eating spices such as turmeric and paprika, and doing eye exercises. Practice focusing near and far, stretching the eyes, yawning and doing Figure 8’s.

Your eyes are precious. Do not ignore them. For many years I did not have the knowledge to do the best for my eyes. Even though I was actually born with some serious vision problems, I believe if I had been doing the right things for my eyes throughout my life, my sight would be better today. I am very thankful to God that I can still see to read and to drive, and actually look forward to improved eyesight, with God’s help.

Please take care of your eyes. Remember that preventing a problem is so much easier than trying to get over something once it hits you.