What Causes Dry Eyes?

Dry eyes is a common condition that occurs when your tears aren’t able to provide adequate lubrication for your eyes. The lack of tears can be due to a number of  causes. Dry eyes normally occur if you don’t produce enough tears or if your tear ducts don’t produce enough tears.

Dry Eyes Symptoms

Dry eyes have several different signs and symptoms  which usually affect both eyes, may include:

  • A stinging, burning or scratchy sensation in your eyes
  • Stringy mucus in or around your eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Eye redness
  • A sensation of having something in your eyes
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • Difficulty with nighttime driving
  • Watery eyes, which is the body’s response to the irritation of dry eyes
  • Blurred vision or eye fatigue

What are the the Best Foods for Dry Eyes?

It’s a little known fact that dry eyes can be addressed by eating foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.  Excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids (“omega-3s”) for dry eyes are the following type of fresh fish and other seafood:

  • Salmon
  • Halibut
  • Sardines
  • Herring
  • Oysters
  • Tuna

Now, for those that are vegetarians or vegans, lucky for you, there is an alternative way for you to eat foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The following fresh vegetables, grains and nuts also contain omega-3 fatty acids:

  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Flaxseed (and flaxseed oil)
  • Peanut butter
  • Oatmeal
  • Walnuts

While rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vegetarian sources of the fatty acid, however, generally don’t contain comparable amounts of the EPA and DHA types of omega-3s that have been shown effective in reducing dry eye symptoms as the seafood sources noted above.

You Can Prevent Dry Eyes Through Diet

The best way to modify your diet to help prevent dry eyes or relieve dry eye symptoms is to replace high-sugar and processed foods you currently may be eating (which tend to increase inflammation that contributes to dry eyes) with many of the eye-healthy foods listed above.