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Best Vitamins for Dry Eyes

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A lovely woman with a radiant smile is displaying a Vitamin A capsule to alleviate her dry eyes.

When navigating the discomfort of dry eyes, the last thing you need is a lackluster list of endless supplements. Let’s cut through the noise and hone in on what matters: the vitamins that could be your answer.

The best vitamins and nutrients that support dry eye are:  

  • Vitamin A  
  • Vitamin C  
  • Vitamin D  
  • Omega-3  

You can also relieve dry eye discomfort with a balanced diet, the right supplements, and regular eye exams.  

What Is Dry Eye Disease? 

Dry eye disease is a common condition that occurs when your eyes do not produce enough tears or when the tears evaporate too quickly. This can lead to symptoms such as irritation, redness, sensitivity to light, and a gritty sensation in the eyes.

Dry eyes can occur for various reasons. These reasons include getting older, hormonal changes, taking certain medications, and being in environments with dry air. Another factor that can contribute to dry eyes is looking at screens for a long time.

To treat dry eye disease, you need to do a few things. First, make sure you are taking the right vitamins and nutrients. Second, practice good eye hygiene.

Third, use lubricating eye drops. And finally, protect your eyes from irritants. If your eyes are consistently dry, see an eye doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Dry eye syndrome is a genuine issue, not just caused by screens or dry air.

It’s not just a minor annoyance. It stems from your tear glands not producing enough natural tears or the quality of your tears not being the best quality.

What Causes Dry Eye Syndrome?  

The causes of dry eye are varied but commonly include:  

  • Aging  
  • Environmental factors like wind, dry air, and pollution  
  • Long-term screen use leads to less frequent blinking  
  • Underlying health conditions and medication

It’s important to find the root cause and not just treat the symptoms. Eating a diet with certain vitamins can help.

Vitamins for Healthy Eyes

Each vitamin brings a unique strength to the collective health of your eyes. 

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is the quintessential nutrient for eye health, notably for maintaining clear vision and preventing night blindness. Its role in averting dry eyes comes from its support in producing tears.   

You can find vitamin A and beta carotene in several different sources of foods, including:  

  • Carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin  
  • Spinach, kale, collard greens  
  • Cantaloupe, papaya, red pepper  

You can find preformed vitamin A in:

  • Egg yolks  
  • Butter  
  • Liver  
  • Salmon  
  • Cheddar cheese  

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant powerhouse. It aids in the functioning of your eye’s blood vessels, thereby supporting ocular health and warding off dryness.  

You can find vitamin C in food sources, including:  

  • Citrus fruits  
  • Bell peppers  
  • Strawberries  
  • Blackcurrants  
  • Brussel sprouts  
  • Broccoli

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is important for eye health. It can lower the chance of age-related macular degeneration.

This condition is a common cause of vision loss in older people. It also plays a role in reducing inflammation in the eyes and supporting the immune system. Sources of vitamin D include:

  • Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel
  • Fortified foods like milk, orange juice, and cereals
  • Egg yolks
  • Cheese 
  • Beef liver

Getting sunlight helps your body make vitamin D, which is important for eye health. Make sure to eat a balanced diet with plenty of vitamins to keep your eyes healthy and prevent vision problems.

Before making big changes to your diet or vitamins, talk to a healthcare provider. A link exists between vitamin D deficiency and dry eyes, but vitamin D also provides benefits. While most people get their vitamin D from the sun, taking supplements during the winter can help boost your mood and support eye health.   

Get your vitamin D through:  

  • Fatty fish  
  • Vitamin D-fortified dairy
  •  juice  

Omega-3 for Dry Eyes

Omega-3 fatty acids, such as DHA and EPA, help keep your eyes moist. They do this by lubricating your tear ducts and reducing discomfort from dry eyes.  

Find your daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids from:  

  • Flaxseeds  
  • Walnuts  
  • Chia seeds  
  • Soybeans  
  • Salmon, mackerel, and herring  
  • Fish oil supplements  
  • Algae oil supplements  

Other Essential Vitamins

Vitamins E and B-complex and minerals like zinc also play significant roles in the roster for eye health. Vitamin E, like vitamin C, helps fight off harmful substances in the body. Vitamins B6 and B12 are good for eye health. Zinc plays a role in the action by assisting Vitamin A in reaching the most needed areas in our eyes.  

Crafting Your Vitamin Vision  

Now that we’re privy to the star players, how do we strategize our dietary lineup to relieve dry eye symptoms?

Balanced vitamins are important for good vision. Eating a variety of vitamins can help you meet your daily intake recommendations and improve your eye health. 

Whole food: The primary way to absorb these vitamins is usually from the source—the foods you eat. Eating a mix of colorful fruits and vegetables is good for you. It can provide vitamins in a natural way.

Healthy proteins and fats are also important. They can help your body absorb these vitamins easily.  

Supplements can support a diet that lacks sufficient nutrients or is not optimized for them. Always consult a healthcare provider before adding new supplements to your routine, especially if you have existing health conditions.  

Hydration: Hydration is critical to actualizing the benefits of these vitamins. Drink plenty of water to keep your body and your eyes well-hydrated.  


Other Dry Eye Treatments

Your optometrist can provide treatments alongside nutrition for lasting relief from dry eye symptoms.   

Optase Eyelid Cleansing Gel – provides relief with its gentle, preservative-free formula. Enriched with moisturizing hyaluronic acid and soothing Pro-vitamin B5, this cleansing gel hydrates and soothes while being paraben and alcohol-free. 

Optase Moist Heat Mask – gently loosens protective eyelid oils for healthy tear production, providing soothing relief from dry, irritated eyes.

Optase Eyelid Cleansing Wipes – provide on-the-go cleansing and nourishment with tea tree oil, chamomile, hyaluronic acid, and aloe vera for optimal eyelid hygiene and relief from dry, tired eyes.

Eye Promise EZ Tears is a clinically proven, natural eye vitamin that provides relief from occasional dry eye within just 30 days. Formulated with pure, non-habit-forming ingredients like anchovies, green tea, turmeric, and Chilean fish oil, it supports healthy tear production from the inside out. Clinical trials have demonstrated its effectiveness in reducing dry eye symptoms, offering a safe and natural alternative to OTC eye drops.

Optase Dry Eye Intense Drops Eye Drops – provide powerful, long-lasting relief for moderate to severe dry eye, including postoperative discomfort.

OptiLight Treatment –  the first and only FDA-approved intense pulsed light (IPL) treatment for dry eye management. This non-invasive procedure offers safe, gentle, and effective relief.

A lovely woman with a radiant smile is displaying a Vitamin A capsule to alleviate her dry eyes.

Find Dry Eye Relief in Grayslake

Eating a balanced diet with vitamins and taking supplements can help prevent dry eyes. Your eyes are special. Talk to the optometrists at Vision Care Grayslake about dietary changes or supplements for your eye health.

Your eyes are unique, so it’s important to take care of them. The optometrists can provide guidance on how to maintain good eye health. Consider discussing any dietary changes or supplements with them.   Make an appointment for an eye exam and dry eye assessment to find the best treatments for clear and comfortable vision.

Written by Dr. Charlotte Nielsen

Dr. Nielsen is a member of the Illinois Optometric Association (IOA) and the American Optometric Association (AOA). She has held several offices in the IOA, including president, and received the “Young Optometrist of the Year” from the IOA in 2000. Currently, she is the Illinois Key Person Coordinator for the AOA, and recipient of the Optometric Recognition Award from the AOA. Dr. Nielsen was named Illinois College of Optometry’s Alumna of the Year in 2008.
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