Stinging, itchy or burning sensation in your eye; sensitivity to light; blurred vision; mucus in or around your eye; and excessive tears are all the symptoms of a dry eye. There are various treatments that can be used to ease these symptoms.
The eyes must be covered with an even layer of tears containing the right balance of oils and water. This is necessary to maintain good vision and eye comfort. If the tears are not of the required quality and quantity, it can lead to dry eyes or ocular surface disease.
Curious to know how does fish oil help dry eyes? Yes, it does! Fish Oil is one of the best remedies for treating dry eyes. You can even go for fish oil supplements which offer similar benefits. Fish oil is a rich source of Omega 3 fatty acids which promote vision and health of the retina. (1),(2)
Fish oil contains 2 kinds of Omega 3 fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid, and eicosatetraenoic acid which offer various health benefits. Research suggests that people who took fish oil supplements have shown fewer symptoms compared to those who didn’t.
It appears that omega-3 fatty acids can improve the eye’s oil film that’s produced by the meibomian glands which are small glands on the edge of the eyelids. This reduces dry eye symptoms and the need for artificial tears.
Diet is also another source of getting fish oil. Various healthcare experts recommend the intake of fish two times a week. Fatty fish like Halibut, Catfish, Striped sea bass Albacore tuna and Salmon are rich sources of Omega 3 fatty acids.
Some fish have high levels of mercury. Eating these kinds of fish is no harm for a healthy adult but women who are pregnant or are planning to be pregnant should be careful. It is better to take the advice of your doctor or healthcare expert about the types and quantity of fish you should eat.
Research also suggests these same fatty acids may reduce the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
Fish oils and fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and sardines are excellent food sources of omega-3 fats that are very essential to maintain brain and eye health.
Fish oil is available in capsule and liquid forms. Some contain different flavoring or are processed in other ways to reduce any “fishy” taste.
Cod liver oil is another good source of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids.
[Also Read: Natural Ways to Treat Dry Eyes]
How Much Fish Oil Is Advisable for Dry Eyes?
180 milligrams of eicosatetraenoic acid and 120 milligrams of docosahexaenoic acid is the recommended dosage should be taken twice a day.
Another way to obtain fish oil benefits is by eating grilled cold-water fish or a grilled Salmon at least thrice a week.
As with any nutritional supplement, it’s a good idea to consult with your family physician or eye doctor before taking significant quantities of fish oil for dry eyes, particularly if you take any prescription or non-prescription medicines, as there is a chance of adverse drug interactions.
Be extra cautious if you take blood thinners like aspirin, as taking fish oil might increase the risk of bleeding and reduce clotting of the blood. It is better that you seek an expert’s advice.
Long-term use of fish oil may cause a deficiency of vitamin E in some individuals. So, it is good if you look for those fish oil supplements that also contain Vitamin E.
[Also Read: Vitamins for Dry Eyes Treatment]
How to Prevent Dry Eyes
Apart from using eye drops, taking fish oil supplements and using other ointments to prevent dry eyes, there are various other ways to prevent the occurrence of the same.
Below are the most important precautions.
Avoid windy places. Limit your exposure to hair dryers and fast-moving fans. You can wear wraparound sunglasses when you go out on windy days. These protect your eyes from drying out.
During winter, turn on a humidifier in your room as home heating systems may dry your eyes too. A humidifier helps the air in your room to stay moist.
Frequent watching television, excessive computer usage, and excessive reading can dry your eyes. Take breaks from these tasks which will give your eyes time to regain moisture. Adequate rest for the eyes is also very important.
The smoke from a cigarette can irritate the eyes and worsens the condition of dry eyes. Moreover, smoke is one of the major causes of developing dry eyes. So, stay away from smoking and smoke-filled areas.
Before washing your eyes or eyelids, use a warm compress and wash your eyes with a very mild wash. This will help the glands in the eyes release some oil and improve the quality of tears. Ensure that you wash your eyes cautiously.
Don’t forget to blink your eyes regularly when staring at a computer screen or when reading for long periods of time.
Dry eye is a condition in which a person doesn’t have enough quality tears to nourish and lubricate the eye. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the eye and to provide clear vision. Omega 3 fatty acid supplement can be used by most healthy adults. Talk to your healthcare expert before using it just to make sure that it is right for you. If you are allergic to fish, please don’t use this.
Apart from including fish oil or its supplements like Omega 3 fatty acid supplement that can be used by most healthy adults, it’s important to talk to a healthcare expert before including them into your diet. Moreover, follow the above-mentioned precautions to keep your eyes safer and stay away from the symptoms of dry eye.