A study by a team of Spanish researchers put the power of the Mediterranean diet to the test when it comes to alleviating dry eye symptoms. Their findings suggested that
“not only will your cardiovascular health improve, your eye discomfort will too.”
The impact of Omega-3 essential oils has long been known to have benefits for healthy eye and brain function. High dose supplements have also been shown to improve the symptoms related to meibomian gland dysfunction, a condition which aggravates dry eye, and were effective in stabilising the tear film.
You need a little patience
However, any benefits will not happen overnight. Most scientific studies allow about 6-12 weeks to experience any change that is going to occur. Although dietary and life style changes will take time, your optician will combine these recommendations with some more immediate dry eye relief management, this might include eye drops, heat therapy and cleansing. Opticians with a focus on dry eye are likely to use a multi-pronged approach to get the best results for their patients.
Foods rich in Omega-3 oils
It is really worth considering looking at your diet to help support any dry eye recommendations your optician has given you. But it can be hard to get the quantity needed from your meals alone, especially if a fishy diet is not for you. That is where dietary supplements can play their role as part of your everyday diet. In Dry Omega, the Omega-3 fatty acids are blended with natural marine and plant oils, keeping them stable and effective for longer with no fishy after-taste or side effects.
What do Omega-3 oils do in the body?
Unlike so many other fats we need to stay healthy, Omega-3 oils or fatty acids are different. They cannot be made by our bodies from other sources and are therefore known as essential fatty acids. This means they need to be part of a healthy balanced diet.
Their importance becomes clear when you consider how they are used by your body. Every cell in your body has a membrane and essential to its structure is Omega-3 oils, these membranes control what goes in or out. Omega-3 also combines with other components to produce hormones which play many roles in the body, including the control of inflammatory responses.
More recent studies have linked Omega-3 to the regulation of genetic function by allowing receptor sites in cells to be activated. This might go some way to explaining why they might play a role in preventing in cancer and other conditions.
There is more than one type of Omega-3 oil
In fact, there are three types of Omega-3 and although very similar in structure they have different roles in the body. ALA (alpha-linolenic acid) (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
ALA is found mainly in plant oils such as flaxseed, soybean, and canola oils. DHA and EPA are found in fish and other seafood. There are also studies which link DHA and the development of the retina (eyes) and brain in children. EPA and DHA are the most important in controlling the inflammation related to dry eyes.
A high Omega-3 meal idea
Mackerel salad (enough for 2)
3 tbsp of Dry Omega Liquid
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp of lemon juice
1 tsp of Dijon mustard
½ tsp of salt
½ tsp black pepper
2 mackerel fillets
8 small new potatoes (boiled)
1 tbsp flaxseeds
Bag of mixed leaves
To make the dressing: mix in a jar and shake or with a small whisk the Dry Omega, olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper.
Place all the leaves in a large bowl with the flaxseeds, the potatoes quartered and the mackerel. The mackerel needs to be flaked keeping any skin as this is a rich source of Omega-3 oils. Pour the dressing over and mix so that all the leaves are covered.
Your meal is now ready to serve – delicious and part of a holistic approach to dry eye management.
Share your dry eye busting menu ideas with the Dry Eye Zone on social media.
If you are experiencing dry, tired feeling eyes then you should ask the advice of your eye care professional.
Molina-Leyva I, Molina-Leyva A, Riquelme-Gallego B, Cano-Ibáñez N, García-Molina L, Bueno-Cavanillas A. Effectiveness of Mediterranean Diet Implementation in Dry Eye Parameters: A Study of PREDIMED-PLUS Trial. Nutrients. 2020 May 1;12(5):1289. doi: 10.3390/nu12051289. PMID: 32369989; PMCID: PMC7282256
Jo YJ, Lee JS. Effects of dietary high dose DHA omega-3 supplement in dry eye with meibomian gland dysfunction. Int J Ophthalmol. 2021 Nov 18;14(11):1700-1706. doi: 10.18240/ijo.2021.11.08. PMID: 34804859; PMCID: PMC8569578.
Giannaccare G, Pellegrini M, Sebastiani S, Bernabei F, Roda M, Taroni L, Versura P, Campos EC. Efficacy of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation for treatment of dry eye disease: a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials. Cornea. 2019;38(5):565–573.
L. Jones et al. TFOS DEWS II Management and Therapy Report. The Ocular Surface xxx (2017) 580e634
The BBC Food Guide - The best sources of omega-3 By Nicola Shubrook – Registered nutritionist
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Cheatham, C.L., Colombo, J., & Carlson, S.E. 2006. N-3 fatty acids and cognitive and visual acuity development: methodologic and conceptual considerations. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 83, (6 Suppl) 1458S-1466S available from: PM:16841855
The best sources of omega-3 by Nicola Shubrook – Registered nutritionist.