The Skinny on Fatty Acid Supplements and Dry Eyes
The importance of nutrition to your vision, and the rest of your body, can never be overstated. When it comes to dry eye disease, omega fatty acids used with lubricating eye drops have appeared to reduce symptoms.
Two main types of omega fatty acids are found in the foods we consume: omega-3 and omega-6. Omega-3 is found primarily in the sea (salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines). Walnuts and flaxseed also contain omega-3, but in smaller amounts. Omega-6 comes mostly from plant oils such as corn, soybean, and sunflower oils, as well as plants, nuts and seeds.
Not only is omega-3 good for your heart, there has been growing evidence to support that omega-3 supplements can help relieve dry eye symptoms. Omega-3 fish oil is widely considered the most effective, yet some doctors are now recommending flaxseed oil supplements as well.
A combination of omega-3 and omega-6 has also been found to be effective. As a treatment or preventative, omega-6 may be used more sparingly since large amounts have been found to block omega-3’s benefits.
Why supplements instead of consuming the actual food source? Supplements are more effective because they’re so concentrated. You’d have to regularly consume large amounts of certain foods to get the same effect.
What’s more, supplements are cheaper than buying large amounts of groceries. The important thing to know is that some supplements are better than others, and what type you take can depend on your health and daily medications. So make sure you talk to your eye doctor or family doctor before taking fish oil, flaxseed oil, or any supplement for that matter.