Suffering from Dry Eyes? Flaxseed to the Rescue!

Omega-3 supplements might help your dry eyes.

Do your eyes burn, sting or have redness? These are symptoms of dry eyes and they may affect your ability to wear contact lenses or cause twitching of the eyes. Flaxseed oil could be the solution you’ve been looking for. Many doctors are now recommending a daily supplement of flaxseed oil and fish oil which both contain omega-3 fatty acids that have multiple health benefits, including prevention of dry eyes.

Protection and Prevention
Flaxseed oil contains an omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA); when digested, it is converted to two other omega-3s, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which have been shown to reduce inflammation, and may help prevent chronic diseases such as arthritis and heart disease.

Precautions
Consult with your eye doctor or family physician before taking significant quantities of any new supplement. Especially if you take prescription or non-prescription drugs, as adverse drug interactions can occur.

When used with blood thinners (even aspirin), both flaxseed and fish oils can increase the risk of bleeding and reduce blood clotting so be careful and consult with your doctor.

Vitamin E deficiency can be caused by long-term use of fish oil — if your multi-vitamin doesn’t already contain it, look for fish oil supplements that also have vitamin E .

For more information, take a look at this article.

The Wrong Eye Drops Can Damage Your Eyes

Red eyes are commonly caused by dryness, allergens, infection or tiredness. Most people seek relief with over-the-counter eye drops, but are they the appropriate remedy? Eye drops packaged as ‘relief for red eyes’ can actually worsen your condition. Commercial eye drops are decongestants, which shrink the outer blood vessels in the whites of your eyes. They decrease the redness, but dry out the eyes. Eventually, the redness comes back and more decongestant drops are used, developing a dependency on the drops to reduce redness. Additionally, decongestants mask the underlying cause of redness.

Should symptoms persist, you may have an infection or conjunctivitis, which will need a prescription. Do not self medicate. It is vitally important to have your optometrist evaluate your eyes to determine the underlying problem, obtain the suitable medication, and apply proper treatment.

Get Help for Your Dry Eyes

Many patients experience the stinging, burning, scratchy sensation that is so common with dry eye sufferers. As we get older, our tear production decreases. Many medications can also contribute to dry eye: antihistamines, decongestants, anti-depressants, hormone replacement therapy, diuretics, beta blockers. Many systemic diseases have associated dry eye: thyroid disease, arthritis, and diabetes. Environmental and lifestyle factors also play a role, such as: ceiling fans, prolonged computer use, caffeinated beverages, smoking, outdoor activities.

There are many over-the counter artificial tear products that can provide relief for the occasional dry eye patient: Systane, Systane Ultra, Optive, Genteal, Soothe. But, for those patients who have more persistent symptoms, removable silicone plugs can be inserted in the tear duct openings of the eyelids to help prevent loss of tears. Also, there are some new prescription medications that may be helpful in the management of their dry eye. Restasis, Lotemax, and Freshkote are prescription eye drops that have been successful in the treatment and long-term management of many dry eye patients. Speak with your doctor at Golden Optometric Group to determine the best therapy for your dry eyes.