Naturally Fight Dry Eye Disease and Support Clear Vision

Naturally Fight Dry Eye Disease and Support Clear Vision

Your eyes are a high traffic organ system that is front and center during everyday activities. With such constant use it is no surprise that outside obstacles like pollution, dust, and pollen as well as digital screens and overall yearly wear and tear can take its toll on healthy vision.

Symptoms of compromised sight include occasional bouts with:

  • Blurriness
  • Reduced focus
  • Eye fatigue
  • Itchiness
  • Night vision weakness
  • Dry eye

If you are experiencing these symptoms daily, definitely let your eye doctor know. It turns out that dry eye is one symptom that afflicts a large cohort of people.

Ophthalmology Management reported that,

“Estimates put the number of Americans afflicted with dry eye disease (DED) at more than 16 million to as many as 30 million.”

Dry eye disease symptoms, as reported by the Mayo Clinic, are:

  • A stinging, burning or scratchy sensation in your eyes
  • Stringy mucus in or around your eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eye redness
  • A sensation of having something in your eyes
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Difficulty with nighttime driving
  • Watery eyes, which is the body’s response to the irritation of dry eyes
  • Blurred vision or eye fatigue

There are excellent medications on the market to help control DED. There are also some excellent natural adjuncts. These may assist medication (barring any contraindications) or support minimizing DED symptoms as a supplemental treatment alone. Supplemental treatments may include specific dietary add-ons while shedding vision compromising subpar dietary choices such as processed foods and synthetic sugars. 

Naturally fight dry eye disease and support clear vision with these dietary choices.

Omega-3 from Fish (and vegan substitutes)

Omega-3 fatty acids have consistent lab and human trial data regarding benefits to healthy vision. 

According to Dr. Ann Bajart, a corneal specialist and clinical instructor in ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School,

“So it makes sense that a DHA [omega-3 fatty acid] supplement, or diet rich in DHA, may help slow the degeneration of the retina, including macular degeneration, the most common form of blindness in older people…it may help preserve vision, and relieve dry eye and chronic inflammation of the eyelids.”

If you eat fish, these are optimal Omega-3 choices

  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Trout
  • Mackerel
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies
  • Herring

For vegans, good sources of Omega-3 are:

  • Walnuts
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Algal oil
  • Chia, hemp and flaxseed
  • Perilla oil (used in Korean cuisine)

One Berry Carotenoid or Many

All kinds of berries score high on the antioxidant scale. Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and others offer antioxidants derived from the compound carotenoid, which gives the berry and other fruits and vegetables color. Antioxidants scavenge for oxidative stress which signals free radicals. When it comes to clearer vision, consuming carotenoids is paramount. In addition, eating one particular berry known as the goji berry may help with DED.

In a study published in Molecular Medicine Reports it was stated,

“Polysaccharides and betaine present in GBE [goji berry extract] may have important effects in alleviating dry eye disease induced by oxidative stress and inflammation. In conclusion, the goji berry is a safe, functional food with beneficial effects in alleviating dry eye disease.”

Although goji berries can be pricey, they usually come dried resembling a sweet nutty tasting red raisin. 

Lutein and Zeaxanthin Powerhouses

Two antioxidants that are naturally found in the human retina are lutein and zeaxanthin. These have been studied and recommended, particularly in the AREDS (age-related eye disease study) formula. By incorporating foods that enhance these antioxidants you could significantly affect dry eye prevention while supporting clearer vision. 

The lutein and zeaxanthin powerhouses loaded with these antioxidants are:

  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Spinach
  • Broccoli

Eat these as close to the raw state as possible for the most potent absorption which has shown to travel to the retina and begin working immediately. 

Naturally fight dry eye disease and support clear vision with these dietary choices for at least a weekly, if not daily, protocol. This is yet another reminder that a significant portion of our own healing power is located in the food choices we consume. By embracing more whole foods it may soon seem abnormal to visit a doctor and normal to enjoy feasts of fruit and vegetable colors full of life giving life.