Dry eyes affect 5 million Americans and those numbers are increasing as the number of Americans over the age of 55 increase. There are many causes of dry eye. Some of the causes include ingesting caffeine, hormones, anti-histamines. Systemic diseases such as diabetes, Graves Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, and Steven-Johnson’s syndrome can also create dry eyes. Some environmental factors that can increase the dryness of eyes can be fans or air vents that blow air on or near your eyes, tasks that require concentration such as driving, reading, computer work, and living in a dry climate such as Colorado. Women tend to have drier eyes than men, and the risks of developing dry eyes increases with age.
The mainstay of initial treatment over the years has been eye lubricants like Systane (Alcon), Systane Ultra, Optive (Allergan), and Soothe eye drops by Alcon pharmaceuticals that are used at least four times a day. Optometrists now have another initial treatment that may work better than the eye lubricants or, at least, greatly help the eye lubricants do their job.
Omega 3 Fish Oils are showing themselves to be an excellent first or second choice in the treatment of dry eye. Some of the better brands, like Nordic Naturals Pro Omega formula, should be your first choice. I always like to try the best treatments first as I have found over the years that some of the lesser brands are not as effective. This lack of effectiveness will give the sufferer of dry eyes the false impression that Omega 3 Fish Oils do not work. While there is no treatment that works 100% of the time, many times taking the Pro Omega formula will work where the cheaper, lower quality brands will not.
Additional benefits of Omega 3 Fish Oils are improving heart health and function, lowering triglycerides, and supporting the body’s anti-inflammatory response.
I recommend taking 1 Nordic Natural Pro Omega supplement twice a day along with using Systane eye lubricants 4 times a day. A follow-up to your Vision Source Optometrist after a month of treatment is needed to determine the effectiveness of the treatment. If these treatments do not relieve the discomfort or other symptoms of dry eyes or if I am still seeing significant signs of it, other treatments like Restasis prescription dry eye drops, punctal occlusion, or eye lid scrubs may be prescribed.
Author: Dr. George Hertneky
Hertneky Vision Source
212 Cameron Street, Brush CO