Flaxseed oil and fish oil may help to treat and improve the symptoms of dry eyes. They contain important dietary fatty acids that have multiple health benefits. These health benefits are believed to derive from omega-3 fatty acids needed by the body for vital functions and eyesight.
Dry eye is a chronic condition that results from insufficient production of tears or excessive evaporation of the tear film that covers the eye surface, including the cornea. Dry eye is very common and affects millions of people worldwide. Dry eye is usually associated with dryness, scratchiness, eye redness, light sensitivity or burning of the eyes.
Omega-3 acids comprise of three different types of essential fatty acids; ALA (alpha-linolenic acid), EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Flaxseed oil and fish oil are sources of EPA and DHA which are essential for good health. ALA is a plant-based omega-3 with good dietary sources, including flaxseeds, vegetable oils, walnuts, and soya. EPA and DHA are found in foods like salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, and walnuts.
Essential fatty acid omega-3, cannot be synthesised by the body and must be obtained through dietary sources. The nutritional value of flaxseed oil and fish oil come from omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed oil contains high levels of ALA, and during digestion ALA is converted by the body into EPA and DHA. Fish oil may be considered as a better source of omega-3, as it is rich in EPA and DHA.
Omega-3 fatty acids may be very helpful as a component to combat symptoms of dry eye. They are anti-inflammatory and may help tear secretion by improving the oil in the tear film.
It is recommended to consult with your ophthalmologist to help with treatment and management for your dry eyes.
Author: Samer Hamada is a distinguished consultant ophthalmologist and cornea surgeon performing eye surgeries at his practice, Eye Clinic London. With nearly two decades’ experience, Mr. Hamada is recognised as a leading expert in the field of cataract, refractive lens exchange (RLE) and corneal surgeries.
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