Prevention & Treatment
The most important aspects for people suffering from dry eyes is the prohibition against sugar and/or artificial sweeteners. Sugar increases the risk for dry eyes. Consumption of more than 11 teaspoons of sugar per day (most of which is hidden in processed foods) has been linked to dry eye syndrome. A single can of soda contains about nine teaspoons of sugar and sugar is hidden throughout processed and refined foods in cereals, including a substantial amount of sugar in ketchup and salad dressings.
Avoid the toxic fats in commercial red meats, dairy products, fried foods and hydrogenated oils (such as margarine and shortening). These fats interfere with the proper metabolism of essential fatty acids in the body and are indirect causes of dry eye syndrome.
If you suffer from Sjogren's syndrome, you are deficient in gastric acids, particularly hydrochloric acid and pepsin. Acidophilus, bifidus and other friendly bacterial flora supplements are recommended to improve the function of the gastrointestinal tract. We recommend about six billion viable organisms (in a probiotic supplement) three times a day.
Vitamins & Minerals
The following are some of the essential nutrients for treating dry eyes:
Vitamin A: In parts of the world where vitamin A deficiency is widespread, severe dry eye syndrome is a leading cause of blindness. Vitamin A is needed for the health of all epithelial (surface) tissues; it is actually found in the tear film of healthy eyes, and is fundamental to the production of the mucous layer of the tears.
It is recommended eye drops containing vitamin A because they protect the eyes from free radicals, such as toxins, irritants, allergens and inflammation. In addition, take a daily dose of 10,000 I.U. of vitamin A and 25,000 I.U. of beta-carotene (also called pro-vitamin A because it converts to vitamin a in the body).
Note: before beginning a regimen of vitamin A or beta-carotene, have your thyroid activity checked by the doctor. Hypothyroid patients - people with underactive thyroids - are always vitamin A deficient. They cannot convert beta-carotene to vitamin A, nor can they convert vitamin A to the form usable by the eyes. One way to check this yourself is to take your temperature under your arm when you wake up in the morning, but before you get out of bed. If it is regularly below 97.8 F degrees , you might have any underactive thyroid.
Vitamin B6: All of the B vitamins are important in treating dry eyes, but vitamin B6 aids in the proper absorption of magnesium. Magnesium helps the body produce a hormone called prostaglandin E-7, which is necessary for tear production.
Vitamin C: Vitamin C is concentrated in the tear film to a higher level than that found in the blood.
Potassium: Probably the most important mineral for dry eye symptoms, potassium is usually very low in dry eye patients. This is usually linked to low intakes of folic acid, vitamin C and vitamin B6 along with high sugar consumption. You can take in at least 500 mg per day by increasing your consumption of fruits and vegetables (one banana contains 400 mg).
Essential Fatty Acids: These are important for the production of both the oily, lipid and the watery aqueous layers of the tear film. After only ten days of taking essential fatty acids plus vitamins B6 and vitamin C, dry eye sufferers have seen an increase in tear production.
Take care, for more info please do see an optometrist, best wishes!
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