Dry eye syndrome is getting more common nowadays due to increased use of electronics gadgets, long hours in air-conditioned rooms and external environmental factors like pollution. It can also be caused by internal factors like sjogren’s syndrome, aging/hormones changes and corneal refractive surgery like Lasik/Cataract Surgery. Therefore, it’s important to address dry eye disease before refractive surgery.
Dry eye syndrome is a condition in which the eyes are covered in an inferior layer of tear film, because of decreased levels of tears or poor quality tears. To properly moisturize the eye’s surface, tears must consist of a balanced level of water, fat, and mucus. Eye irritation symptoms appear if this balance is lost.
Dry eye syndrome is a chronic eye disease characterized by relapses and remissions. Full recovery is not possible, but you can control the signs and symptoms. It is essential to avoid disease-contributing factors, maintain a proper diet, sleep enough, and ensure a right balance between work and rest.
The question is, what does it mean to eat correctly? And the answer is straightforward. Tears, as I mentioned earlier, are mostly composed of water and fat, and it is necessary to get enough of these substances from the food we eat. The recommended daily water intake is about half a gallon, depending on your weight. I must emphasize that this is pure water; the soup you eat or the tea or coffee you drink doesn’t contribute to this number (coffee dehydrates your body, and for every cup of coffee you drink, you need to drink another cup of water). You also need to eat foods rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (such as salmon or other oily fish). In this way, components of tears, water and fat, are provided.
Dry eye affects millions of people and is the reason for an eye doctor visit.
Your doctor can test for dry eye and the severity of dry eye by:
- TearLab – Testing the osmolarity
- The Schirmer Test – Identifies a watery tear-insufficient dry eye and if positive, encourage assessment for Sjögren’s disorder is required.
- The Tear Separation Test – Identifies evaporative dry eye
Traditional over-the-counter eye lubricants provide temporary relief of signs and symptoms of dry eye and do not address underlying causes of dry eye.
Omega-3 fatty acids work very well long term in managing dry eye syndrome. You should take 500 – 1,000 mg. of omega-3 daily, which is roughly the equivalent of 2 – 3 over-the-counter fish oil capsules (the average 1000 mg. fish oil capsule = 300 mg. of omega-3). All fish oil is not created equal, and the amount of omega-3 in OTC fish oil varies according to the brand, so be sure to check the label to make sure you’re getting sufficient quantity. Some fish oil formula is an excellent therapy in addition to eye lubricant and not only included the appropriate levels of pharmaceutical grade omega-3 but also vitamin A and other critical antioxidants to support patients with dry eye syndrome and ocular surface disease.
It is important to take care of our eye earlier to save sight years later to achieve quality of life we desire like to travel around the world, read, play with grand children and move around easily.