Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids may help relieve dry eyes symptoms. These fatty acids, found in fish and vegetable oils, are thought to reduce inflammation in the body. In theory, increasing the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet could reduce eye inflammation. More study is needed to prove this theory. But if you're interested in trying omega-3 fatty acids, discuss the benefits and risks with your doctor.
Omega-3 fatty acids are available in foods and in supplements. Some omega-3 fatty acid supplements can cause a fishy aftertaste and upset stomach. If this is a problem for you, look for pills that are odorless. Or, try adding foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids to your diet, such as:
- Palm oil
- Soybean oil
- Flaxseed oil
- Ground flaxseed
- Eggs from chickens fed with feed rich in omega-3 fatty acids
A recent study found that tear volume increased within hours after the use of caffeine. There's no specific research yet on caffeine and dry eyes, so it's not clear what effect, if any, caffeine might have on dry eyes symptoms.
Aug. 04, 2012
- Facts about dry eye. National Eye Institute. http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/dryeye/dryeye.asp. Accessed June 14, 2012
- Preferred Practice Pattern: Dry eye syndrome. San Francisco, Calif.: American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://one.aao.org/CE/PracticeGuidelines/PPP_Content.aspx?cid=127dbdce-4271-471a-b6d9-464b9d15b748. Accessed June 14, 2012.
- Shtein RM. Dry eyes. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed June 14, 2012.
- Yao W, et al. Dry eye syndrome: An update in office management. The American Journal of Medicine. 2011;124:1016.
- Stevenson W, et al. Dry eye disease. Archives of Ophthalmology. 2012;130:90.
- Treatment. TearScience.com. http://www.tearscience.com/physician/in-officeprocedure/treatment/. Accessed June 21, 2012.
- Care of the patient with ocular surface disorders. St. Louis, Mo.: American Optometric Association. http://www.aoa.org/x4813.xml. Accessed June 14, 2012.
- Rand AL, et al. Nutritional supplements for dry eye syndrome. Current Opinion in Ophthalmology. 2011;22:279.
- Arita R, et al. Caffeine increases tear volume depending on polymorphisms within the adenosine a2a receptor gene and cytochrome p450 1a2. Ophthalmology 2012;119:972.
- Robertson DM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 27, 2012.