Can Vitamins Help Dry Eyes?

Dr. Russel Lazarus, June 9, 2021

Do your eyes itch, burn or feel irritated? You may have dry eye syndrome. 

When your eyes don’t produce enough tears, or the tears they produce are of poor quality, dry eye syndrome occurs, causing burning, stinging, and irritation in your eyes.

Fortunately, there are several ways to manage your dry eye symptoms, including vitamin supplements.

While research on supplements for dry eyes is still evolving, studies indicate that some vitamins help relieve dry eye syndrome.

Vitamins for dry eyes

A nutritious diet is beneficial to eye health, but it is not always easy to obtain all of the nutrients you require from meals. If you’ve been diagnosed with dry eye syndrome, you should think about taking vitamin supplements to help relieve your dry eye symptoms.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps protect the cornea of the eye by becoming a protective barrier against bacteria. This barrier can reduce the risk of eye infections.

Food deprivation is the primary cause of vitamin A deficiency, which is prevalent in poor populations. Up to 50% of preschool children in various parts of the world are deficient in vitamin A.

Carrots, spinach, tomatoes, and other orange and yellow fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin A can help prevent dry eye. Your eye doctor may recommend eye drops containing vitamin A to alleviate dry eye symptoms.

In one study, researchers compared prescription eye drops to vitamin A eye drops for dry eye relief. The participants’ blurred vision and tear film were dramatically improved by both types of eye drops.

Contact an eye doctor near you who will treat your dry eye symptoms.

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Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12, a water-soluble vitamin, helps the body make DNA and nerve cells. According to a 2017 study, a B12 deficiency is associated with severe dry eye and eye pain.

A recent 2015 study found that the combination of oral vitamin B12 supplements and artificial tears improved symptoms of dry eye syndrome. That same study found that vitamin B12 may repair the corneal nerve layer, which helps reduce the burning sensation associated with dry eye.

Before taking any vitamin B12, consult with an eye doctor near you, as there is no single recommended dosage for dry eye symptoms.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that helps your boy absorb calcium and phosphorus. Your skin creates vitamin D when it is exposed to the sun. It can also be present in various supplements and foods.

Dry eye symptoms may occur due to poor tear quality and tear film dysfunction, both of which are sometimes associated with vitamin D deficiency.

According to various studies, vitamin D supplements may help by reducing inflammation on the eye’s surface, and improving the efficiency of lubricating eye drops. Research showed that taking oral vitamin D supplements improved tear quality and reduce dry eye symptoms.

Omega 3

Omega 3 fats, according to a 2019 report, reduce inflammation, which could help with dry eye symptoms like irritation and pain.

Omega 3 reduces the inflammatory response of the body and by doing so alleviates inflamed and irritated eyelids. This ensures that enough oil is secreted into the tears by the meibomian glands, which are found in the eyelids, to prevent tears from evaporating too quickly.

Omega 3s can be found in fish, leafy green vegetables, vegetable oil, soybeans, nuts, and seeds. Supplements containing fish oil and flaxseed oil may also be beneficial.

As more studies are being conducted, links between minerals and vitamins and dry eye syndrome are becoming increasingly apparent. However, further research is needed to fully understand the correlation between the two so that the optimum treatment can be prescribed to benefit those with dry eye.

People who suffer from dry eyes should consult their doctor about the benefits and risks of taking vitamin supplements.

Dry eye syndrome can be treated successfully with a variety of methods, including meibomian gland expression, heat treatments and eye drops.

LEARN MORE:  Guide to Eye Conditions

Contact an eye doctor near you to learn more about the different types of treatment options for dry eye syndrome.