What Are The Best Dry Eye Supplements?

Vitamin supplements can be helpful in treating dry eye. But which are the best?

What Are The Best Dry Eye Supplements? in Bellflower

Amplify Eyecare of Greater Long Beach

Vitamin supplements have been found to be helpful in reducing dry eye symptoms. What exactly do they do, and where can you get them?

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3s can help reduce inflammation on and around the eye. They can also help improve your tear quality by helping your meibomian glands, which produce oils that keep your tears from evaporating too quickly.

You can take omega-3 supplements as directed by a doctor, and they can also be found in various foods, including:

  • Fish
  • Soybeans
  • Green, leafy vegetables
  • Vegetable oil
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Vitamin C

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also referred to as ascorbic acid, is helpful for several things related to the eyes, including the health of the blood vessels in the eyes, and in preventing cataracts, in addition to promoting overall eye health.

Vitamin C can be taken as a supplement, as directed by a doctor, and can be found in several foods, including:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Tomatoes
  • Cooked spinach
  • Apples
  • Bananas 
Vitamin C

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant, and can help prevent eye damage, in addition to boosting the immune system. It too can be taken as a supplement per a doctor’s direction, and can be found in several foods, such as:

  • Peanut butter
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Almonds
  • Sweet potatoes

Zinc

Zinc is a mineral which helps get important vitamin A to the retina to produce melanin, a pigment which protects the eyes. Zinc is not naturally made by the body, and zinc deficiency can lead to several problems, including an increased risk of eye infection.

Zinc can also be taken as a supplement, per a doctor’s directions, but it too is found in various foods, including:

  • Meat
  • Certain types of fish and seafood such as oysters, anchovies, sardines, crab, shrimp, and lobster
  • Milk
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Fortified cereals
Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Common Questions

Some at-home remedies to relieve your symptoms of dry eyes is to apply warm compresses over your eyes for 10minutes. Some ways to achieve this at home is to boil an egg or potato then wrap it in a paper towel to place over your eyes to allow for consistent heat over your eyes. You can also heat up a bag of rice as an alternative warm compress. Taking omega-3 fish oil vitamins can also help. Also, if you stare at a digital device screen for long periods of time remember to take breaks; every 20 minutes look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
There are various treatments used to help people who suffer from dry eyes. The type of treatment depends on the severity and type of dry eyes (aqueous or evaporative). One treatment option is to apply warm compresses 2x a day for 10 minutes over your eyes with lid massage and lid scrubs. Also using over the counter artificial tears 2-4x a day can reduce your dryness. If your dry eyes are more severe, you can also add a gel drop or ointment at night, and/or add prescription eye drops for dry eyes, such as Restasis or Xiidra. Dry eye is a multifactorial disease of the ocular surface, and one component that causes dry eyes is ocular surface inflammation and damage; so Xiidra and Restasis work by regulating the inflammatory processes in the eye that can affect tear production. Another treatment for dry eyes is to have your eye doctor insert punctal plugs in the inner corners of your eyes, which partially closes one of your tear ducts to allow your tears to stay longer on the front surface of your eyes and keep your eyes lubricated. There are also other in-office devices such as LipiFlow, iLUX, TearCare, Intense Pulsed Light, or Blephex that your eye doctor can use to treat your symptoms of dryness. Furthermore, changing your environment can also help reduce your dry eyes, such as adding a humidifier to your room or taking frequent breaks from your digital devices.
Depending on the severity of your dry eyes there are different eye drops we would recommend. If you have the milder version of dry eyes then over the counter artificial tears such as Systane Balance or Refresh Optive Artificial Tears may be sufficient enough to help relieve your symptoms of dry eyes. However, if you have more moderate/severe dry eyes a more viscous drop such as a gel drop or ointment may be more beneficial. In the event that over the counter eye drops are not providing much relief, there are other various prescription eye drops that your eye doctor can prescribe, such as Restasis or Cequa or Xiidra. Dry eye is a multifactorial disease of the ocular surface, and one component that causes dry eyes is ocular surface inflammation and damage; so Xiidra and Restasis/Cequa work by regulating the inflammatory processes in the eye that can affect tear production.
What Are The Best Dry Eye Supplements?
Dr. Ikeda cartoon

Consult a Doctor

Before you start taking any supplements to help with your dry eye, be sure to consult your doctor. Some vitamins and minerals can accumulate in the body and cause problems if too much is taken, especially if taken as a supplement. If you are interested in taking supplements to help with your dry eye or have other questions, you can contact Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach at (562) 925-6591 to schedule an appointment for a consultation.

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