As we age our body changes and makes us very aware of the passing of time. But have faith there might be a solution for one common affliction to many, dry eyes. We stare at computer screens all day in our jobs and it take a stole one the one sense we need to keep keen.
Tears that lubricate your eyes are made of a film that contain water, oils, mucus, and antibodies. There are plenty of reasons why your eyes can become low on those essential ingredients and feel dry. The effects of lower levels of lubrication include blurry vision, dry eyes, headaches, and general eyestrain. Be it age, screen time, or even can be a side effect of a medication. There are a few habits and supplements that can help alleviate dry eyes in young and old alike.
For those who work desk jobs or just a lot of personal screen time on computers specifically, we can recommend lutein with bilberry. Lutein is a carotenoid that is highly concentrated in the eyes. Research has shown a connection between low lutein levels and eye problems. Bilberry contains anthocyanosides, a type of antioxidant that may help reduce inflammation to further support eye health and address macular degeneration. (1, 2, 3)
Omega-3 can address dry eye by support the glands in the eye. An omega-3-rich diet or supplements may help the meibomian glands, a small gland in the corner of the eyeli make the oily part of your tears. This oil can help by preventing your tears from drying up too quickly. If you do not eat fish or have seafood allergy we also have a vegan DHA. (4)
There are also many vitamins and minerals that have some research showing support. Like Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, zinc, and zeaxanthin that are in our Foundational Multivitamin. These help with inflammation which can be associated with not just eye but system wide irritation and inflammation. (5)
Outside of the supplements above there are some general eye care routines and practices that can help listed below.
General eye care practices include:
- Eye protection during sports or sun exposure.
- Regular eye exams to monitor eye health.
- Read your medication labels and know the side effects, or speak with your pharmacist or other health care professionals.
- 20/20 rule. For every 20 minutes staring at a computer screen spend 20 seconds looking away.
- Avoid irritants like second hand smoke, air pollutants, and known allergens.
- Avoid touching your eyes.
- And of course… eat a healthy balanced diet rich in fruits, veggies, fish, and whole grains.
- Peponis V, Papathanasiou M, Kapranou A, et al. Protective role of oral antioxidant supplementation in ocular surface of diabetic patients. Br J Ophthalmol. 2002;86(12):1369-73.
- Chu W, Cheung SCM, Lau RAW, et al. Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) In: Benzie IFF, Wachtel-Galor S, editors. Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition. Boca Raton (FL): CRC Press/Taylor & Francis; 2011. Chapter 4.
- Wang A, Han J, Jiang Y, Zhang D. Association of vitamin A and ß-carotene with risk for age-related cataract: a meta-analysis. Nutrition. 2014;30(10):1113-21.
- Macsai MS. The role of omega-3 dietary supplementation in blepharitis and meibomian gland dysfunction (an AOS thesis). Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc. 2008;106:336-56.
- Watson S, Mcgowan L, Mccrum LA, et al. The impact of dental status on perceived ability to eat certain foods and nutrient intakes in older adults: cross-sectional analysis of the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey 2008-2014. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2019;16(1):43.