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Vitamins for Dry Eyes: What Options Are There?

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A close-up portrait of a smiling woman covering her eye while looking through an Omega 3 fish oil capsule.

Dry eyes can be a common and uncomfortable condition that affects many people. It develops when there’s a disruption in your tear film. This can be due to the eyes not producing enough tears, or producing tears of too-poor quality. 

While there are many potential causes for dry eyes, one factor that is often overlooked is nutrition. The food we eat plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy eyes, including preventing and managing dry eyes.

Here are some vitamins and nutrients that can help alleviate dry eyes:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin D
  • Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E

Vitamin A

Vitamin A plays a critical role in maintaining good eye health. This essential nutrient is responsible for producing the mucous layer of tears, which helps keep the eyes moist and prevent dryness. Without adequate vitamin A, the eyes can become dry and irritated, potentially leading to more severe conditions. 

Vitamin A also has protective properties that can help shield the eyes from various forms of eye disease. For instance, it can reduce the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that can lead to vision loss in older adults.

Consuming adequate vitamin A through your diet is crucial for ensuring these benefits. The vitamin is found in foods like:

  • Carrots: Known for their rich orange color, carrots are packed with beta-carotene, which the body converts into Vitamin A. 
  • Sweet potatoes: Another excellent source of vitamin A, providing a significant amount of this nutrient in a single serving. 
  • Leafy greens: Spinach and broccoli also contribute to your vitamin A intake while offering additional health benefits.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is pivotal for overall health and has a crucial link to eye health as well. A deficiency in vitamin D has been associated with issues like dry eyes, which can cause discomfort and impact daily activities. Supplementing with vitamin D may help improve the condition by promoting better ocular health.

Exposure to sunlight is the most natural and effective way to synthesize vitamin D. When the skin is exposed to UVB rays, it produces vitamin D3, which is then converted into its active form by the liver and kidneys. However, for individuals with limited sun exposure, dietary sources become vital. 

Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel are excellent sources of vitamin D, providing significant amounts that can help maintain adequate levels in the body.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for maintaining healthy tears and preventing dry eyes. They help to reduce inflammation and promote tear production. Foods rich in omega-3s include salmon, anchovies, chia seeds, and walnuts. If you don’t consume enough omega-3s through your diet, consider taking a supplement.

Our online store proudly offers two exceptional products designed to support eye health: I-VU Omega-3 Plus and I-VU OMEGA-3 Liquid. Both of these formulations are specially crafted to help alleviate the discomfort of dry eyes, providing essential omega-3 fatty acids that support overall eye moisture and health.

I-Vu Omega-3 Plus is available in easy-to-swallow capsules for convenient daily use, while I-VU OMEGA-3 Liquid offers a versatile option that can be added to your favorite beverages or taken directly.

Vitamin C

A selection of fruits, vegetables, and fish containing vitamins and minerals important for eye health.

Vitamin C is not only important for our immune system, but it also plays a crucial role in eye health. This essential nutrient helps with collagen production, which is fundamental for maintaining the structure of the cornea and preventing dryness. Adequate collagen levels ensure that the cornea remains strong and flexible, thereby supporting overall eye function and health.

Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are excellent sources of vitamin C. These fruits are not only delicious but also packed with a host of other beneficial nutrients. In addition to citrus fruits, red bell peppers and broccoli are also rich in vitamin C, providing a variety of options to incorporate this vitamin into your diet.

For those who may find it challenging to get enough vitamin C through diet alone, vitamin C supplements are widely available and can be an effective way to meet your daily requirements. These supplements come in various forms, including tablets, capsules, and powders, making it easy to include them in your routine.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is another essential nutrient for maintaining healthy eyes. This powerful antioxidant helps protect your eyes from damage caused by free radicals and may even slow the progression of age-related eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

Nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils are excellent sources of vitamin E. Incorporating these foods into your diet can help boost your intake of this vital nutrient. Additionally, supplementation is also an option for those who may not be able to get enough vitamin E through their diet alone.

Boost Your Eye Health with Lowy & Sewell Eye Care

Maintaining a healthy well-balanced diet is crucial for overall health and the health of your eyes. Essential nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, and Omega-3 fatty acids play vital roles in supporting eye function and preventing various eye diseases.

At Lowy & Sewell Eye Care, we believe in the power of nutrition and its impact on our eye health. We encourage our patients to incorporate these essential vitamins into their diets and consult with our team for personalized recommendations. Our online store also offers a variety of supplements to support your eye health journey.

Written by Dr. Jeremy Sewell

Dr. Jeremy Sewell graduated from the University of Guelph, where he obtained his Bachelor of Biological Sciences with Honours in 2007. Dr. Sewell obtained his Doctor of Optometry from Indiana University in 2015.

His training included internships at Vision Care Specialist in Chicago, Illinois, WJB Dorn Veterans Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina, Indianapolis Eye Care Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Atwater Eye Care Center in Bloomington, Indiana.

During his Optometry studies, Dr. Sewell was involved in non-profit volunteer work. He provided screening eye exams at multiple homeless shelters for underprivileged persons in the Indianapolis area and at elementary schools in the Bloomington area. Dr. Sewell has special interests in retinal pathology, specialty contact lens fittings, and the treatment and management of acute red eye.

When not working at his Concord, ON, eye clinic, Dr. Sewell enjoys travel, rock climbing, hockey and guitar.

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