Itchy and dry eyes may not be considered a major disease. But, wow, they sure can ruin your day. It’s like having an itch you can’t scratch.
Some days it feels like you’re carrying around a sandbox under your eyelids. You know you shouldn’t rub the poor things, but you just can’t help it. And that only makes things worse.
Dry eyes can make it tough to drive, difficult to sleep, and almost impossible to sit through a movie.
Eyedrops can sometimes help. But they’re messy and inconvenient (not to mention expensive if you have to use them often). And they’re just a temporary fix.
So today, allow me to share another option.
This solution works from the inside. That means squirting liquid directly onto your eyeballs, then blinking at the world through water-logged eyes until they clear up again, isn’t your only choice.
Instead, you just get soothing relief from an unexpected source.
“SEA” solution eases dry eyes without drops
For most of us, fish oil isn’t the first thing that comes to mind for relieving itchy, dry eyes. But a new study could soon change that.
Your eyes depend on omega-3 fatty acids, like the kind you find in fish oil, for several things. One of the most important is cranking out the oil essential for making the tears that keep your eyes moist and lubricated.
Plus, omega-3s are natural anti-inflammatories.
In other words, it makes sense that fish oil might help relieve dry eyes. And that’s just what the new study confirmed.
Researchers put fish oil to the test in some pretty tough cases. All the volunteers were suffering from dry eye disease or meibomian gland dysfunction. Both conditions lead to severely dry eyes.
They found the fish oil helped in several important ways. First of all, the omega-3s increase tear breakup time or how long it takes for the cornea to dry after a blink.
In addition, they saw measurable improvements in the participant’s ocular surface disease index scores and MGD scores, both of which are used to measure how severe your dry eyes are.
Fish oil could be a long-term fix
There is one downside to using fish oil to relieve dry eyes. It doesn’t work immediately.
Unlike drops that can be used for some quick relief, it takes some time and patience to see the results when swallowing supplements.
In the study, it took four weeks for some of the benefits to kick in and up to eight weeks for the others. So that’s something to bear in mind if you’re going to try a fish oil supplement.
But if you battle dry eyes, it’s worth considering since this isn’t the first study we’ve seen that’s found omega-3s could be beneficial. Plus, unlike eyedrops which are still good for immediate relief, omega-3 fatty acids could turn out to be a long-term solution for some folks.
Supplements aren’t the only way to boost your levels. Consider adding more omega-3-rich foods to your diet too. Some good options are mackerel, salmon, herring, and sardines.
Don’t forget fish oil doesn’t just tackle dry eyes. It has some other important benefits, too. Omega-3s have been linked to better brain health. They could help ease anxiety and depression. And they’ve even been used to reduce joint pain.
Plus, fish oil also helps support healthy circulation, potentially reducing your risk for major cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. I wrote about some of those heart benefits in my earlier report here.
Don’t just live with your dry eyes. Give fish oil a try.