Flaxseed oil and fish oil have been proven to prevent or control dry eyes. Flaxseed oil contains high levels of an omega-3 called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Upon digestion, it is converted into two different omega-3 fatty acids: EPA & DHA. These fatty acids are used throughout the body to protect cell membranes. Flaxseed oil is a natural alternative to help alleviate the discomfort of dry eyes.
What causes dry eyes?
Dry eyes are often caused by an imbalance in the tear-flow system of the eye. It can also be caused by situations that dry out the tear film, including dry air from air conditioning, heat, or other environmental conditions. There are a few other possible alternatives as to why you are suffering from dry eyes, including menopause, side effects to a medication, and diseases that include rheumatoid arthritis.
Flaxseed Oil Benefits
According to a 2006 study,a 2006 study showed that flaxseed oil may be as effective as commonly used dry eye medication doxycycline for the treatment of dry eye. The study compared oral flaxseed oil capsules (3,000 mg daily or 3 capsules a day) with the antibiotic doxycycline (100 mg twice a day) for the treatment of dry eye in patients who had undergone LASIK eye surgery. Eighty-one patients (152 eyes) were treated with either 3,000 mg daily of flaxseed oil or 100 mg twice daily of doxycycline for seven days before and after LASIK surgery.
Study results indicated that flaxseed oil was as effective as doxycycline in preventing dry eye after LASIK eye surgery. An added benefit is that flaxseed oil has fewer side effects than doxycycline, making it a good alternative.
(Colin C. K. Chan, M.D., and Brian S. Boxer Wachler, M.D.: 2006 annual meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery).
Flaxseed oil can be taken in a variety of form but the most common and simplest is orally. For better absorption, take flaxseed oil with liquids, cottage cheese, and yogurt.