One of the most common eye problems we treat at The Eye Center is dry eye. The winter months can make dry eyes even more common. The combination of cold, dry air and harsh winds can cause burning, itch, watery eyes, and can even cause blurry vision.
You can help prevent dry eyes by using a humidifier or lubricating eye drops, and you can take dry eye prevention a step further by paying attention to what you eat and drink.
To protect your eyes this winter, follow these nutrition tips:
Stay Hydrated. It’s easy to remember to drink lots of water when it’s hot outside, but don’t forget that hydration is just as important during the winter months. Drinking water helps keep your whole body hydrated, including your eyes.
Eat foods rich in omega-3s. Omega-3 fatty acids can help prevent dry eyes and may also help treat dry eyes when they do occur. Omega-3s are found in fish like mackerel, tuna, salmon, cod, anchovies, and trout. The U.S. National Institutes of Health recommends eating 3.5 ounces of these types of fish to get about 1 gram of omega-3s. Omega-3s can also be found in other foods like flaxseed, walnuts, and soybeans.
Eat plenty of fruits and veggies. Fruits and vegetables, such as dark leafy greens and tart berries contain antioxidants, which protect your body in a number of ways and can help prevent dry eyes that may be cause by damage from free radicals.
Go bananas. Dry eyes can sometimes be linked to a potassium deficiency. Potassium is found in bananas, as well as wheat germ, almonds, pecans, raisins, dates, and avocados.
Use healthy cooking oils. When cooking, skip the vegetable oil and use extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, or flax seed oil instead. These oils aren’t only far healthier than vegetable or canola oil, they may also help reduce symptoms of dry eyes.
If you suffer from chronic dry eyes, contact us today to make an appointment. In some cases, dry eyes may require prescription eye drops, supplements, or other procedures to treat the painful and irritating symptoms.