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Vitamins and Foods 1280

Vitamins and Foods That Relieve Dry Eye Syndrome

Approximately 16 million Americans have dry eye syndrome. Symptoms of dry eye—other than the obvious eye dryness—include grittiness, burning, irritation and difficulty reading or looking at a screen for long periods of time. Studies have shown that certain foods help the eyes stay properly hydrated.

Specific vitamins, fatty acids and trace elements are good not only for our overall health but also for our tear film.

Omega Fatty Acids For Dry Eye

Omega fatty acids are responsible for forming the stabilizing oil layer in the tear film. If this outer layer of the lubricating film is disrupted, it can lead to dry eye symptoms like burning, redness and itchiness. In addition, omega fatty acids have an anti-inflammatory effect.

Foods high in omega fatty acids include:

  • Fish. cod, mackerel, salmon, trout
  • Meat. red meat, pork liver
  • Oils. canola oil, rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, walnut oil,
  • Other animal products. cheese, eggs

Vitamins for Dry Eye

Below is a list of vitamins that help with dry eye and boosts general eye health.

  • Vitamin A (retinol) helps protect the surface of the eye. Vitamin A deficiency, which usually occurs in developing countries, can cause an increase in dry eye. By adding foods rich in Vitamin A, like carrots, pumpkins, apricots, spinach, tomatoes, dairy products and liver, you can prevent the development of this condition.
  • Vitamin B2 protects your eyes from cell damage. It is found in broccoli, avocados, dairy products and whole-grain products.
  • Vitamin B6 is needed for a healthy tear film. Foods such as kale, potatoes, goose, mackerel, salmon and sardines contain high doses of vitamin B6.
  • Vitamin B12 is also important for lubricating the eyes. It’s typically found in mackerel, beef liver, calf’s liver and pork liver. It is also found in dairy products and eggs, though in smaller amounts.
  • Vitamin C protects against oxidative stress and plays an important role in maintaining a functioning tear film. It can be found in peppers, broccoli, rosehip, acerola berries and brussels sprouts.
  • Vitamin E is necessary to protect your eyes against cell damage as well as dry eye. This vitamin is prominently found in sunflower oil, mackerel, wheat germ oil, peppers, spinach, mangos and redcurrants.

Lutein and Zeaxanthin

Lutein and zeaxanthin are antioxidants that help cells function correctly and stay healthy. They help prevent many chronic eye diseases, including dry eye syndrome. Foods rich in these antioxidants include leafy greens like romaine lettuce, kale and spinach. They are also available as supplements.

Zinc for Eye Health

Zinc plays an important role in keeping your eyes healthy. This mineral is responsible for getting vitamin A from your liver to your retina and produces melanin, a pigment that protects your eyes. Dairy, whole grains, nuts, sweetcorn, peas and lentils are all excellent sources of zinc.

Drink Water to Hydrate Your Eyes

Lastly, drink water. While it may seem obvious, many of us forget to drink enough water. Staying hydrated can help improve eye comfort and is vital for your kidneys, bowels and radiant-looking skin.

Eating healthy and staying hydrated helps to ensure your eyes get the vitamins and minerals they need. So go ahead and protect your vision, improve eye health and relieve your dry eye symptoms by adding these nutrients to your diet. However, remember to always consult your eye doctor before taking any supplements.

Contact Carolina Forest Family Eyecare Scleral Lens Center to learn more and to explore our effective and lasting treatments to relieve your dry eyes so you can live your best life.

Carolina Forest Family Eyecare Scleral Lens Center serves patients from Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Wilmington and Florence, all throughout South Carolina.

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Eye Drops for Dry Eyes

Eye Drops for Dry Eyes: Why You Should See Your Eye Doctor

Effectively managing a health condition like dry eye syndrome (DES) requires a thorough diagnostic and treatment process. So why do so many people find themselves pacing up and down the eye drop aisle at their local drug store, searching for yet another eye drop to ease their symptoms?

Knowing exactly what’s causing your symptoms and how to treat the condition at its source is the only way to attain long-lasting relief. At Carolina Forest Family Eyecare Scleral Lens Center, we do more than just treat the symptoms — we determine the underlying cause of your DES and get to the root of the issue.

Do You Have Dry Eye Syndrome?

DES is a progressive eye condition that affects over 20 million North Americans annually. It is caused by either poor tear quality or insufficient tears.

The most common cause of poor tear quality is a condition called Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), a blockage of the meibomian glands — the tiny glands at the edge of the eyelids that secrete an oily film into your tears.

Some medical conditions that can cause decreased tear production include Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, thyroid conditions, and lupus. Aging and a vitamin A deficiency can also lower tear production.

Symptoms of DES range from mildly uncomfortable to debilitating, and can include:

  • Red eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Painful or irritated eyes
  • Watery eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Itchy eyes
  • Fatigued eyes
  • Burning eyes
  • Blurred vision

DES can make it difficult for the eye to flush out foreign bodies, so sand, grit and allergens sometimes get stuck in the eye.

Why Do People Use Over-the-Counter (OTC) Eye Drops?

beautiful eyesGiven how uncomfortable dry eye symptoms can be, it’s no surprise that dry eye sufferers seek relief using over-the-counter drops. People with DES may not realize that they should visit their eye doctor rather than seek solutions on their own.

Some eye doctors recommend using OTC eye drops to temporarily treat mild symptoms until the condition naturally heals. For example, after an eye injury or surgery, many find that lubricating eye drops soothe the eyes and provide moisture.

But not all eye drops are created equal. People with mild to moderate cases of DES who seek relief from OTC solutions may be choosing the wrong types of drops or dosage for their eyes.

The three main categories of non-prescription eye drops are:

  • Lubricating eye drops/artificial tears
  • Antihistamine eye drops
  • Redness-reducing eye drops

Masking a mild case of DES by using redness-reducing eye drops (also called decongestant eye drops) won’t address the underlying source of the redness. In fact, decongestant eye drops have been shown to exacerbate DES symptoms in the long run.

What’s more, your eyes can eventually become [desensitized] to the effects of OTC eye drops after repeated use. This eventually leads people back to the drugstore in search of even stronger eye drops, perpetuating the never-ending “eye drop cycle.”

End the Vicious Eye Drop Cycle

Experiencing continual eye irritation indicates the need for professional eye care. An optometrist will isolate the cause of your DES and use their expertise to find the most effective treatment for lasting relief.

Even if you have a mild case of dry eye syndrome, now is the perfect time to start treatment, before symptoms worsen. If you’ve sought help in the past but were told nothing else could be done to treat your eye condition, speak with Dr. Thomas Weshefsky regarding the latest and most effective dry eye treatments.

If you’re ready to end the cycle of getting over-the-counter eye drops without lasting relief, contact Dr. Thomas Weshefsky for a dry eye evaluation.

Carolina Forest Family Eyecare Scleral Lens Center serves patients from Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Wilmington, Florence, and throughout South Carolina.

REFERENCES

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LipiFlow
Dry Eye Treatment

LipiFlow® is an advanced and effective treatment method that restores your eyes’ natural tear film.

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meibomian glands

How Does LipiFlow Work?


A single 12-minute session can offer significant relief to patients suffering from dry eyes and meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). For optimal results, we recommend you undergo treatment every 9 to 12 months.

Why are Tears So Important?


Tears are important function of healthy, comfortable eyes. When dust or small particles enter the eye, tears can form, which in turn clean the eye while keeping the eye moist. Therefore, when tears evaporate too rapidly and the eyes become dry, it can cause itchy eyes, irritation, and general discomfort.

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eye care, why are tears so important

How Do You Assess Whether LipiFlow Is Right for Me?


At the Carolina Forest Family Eyecare Scleral Lens Center Dry Eye Center, we use a number of advanced tools to diagnose Dry Eye Syndrome and formulate a custom treatment plan. Below are a few of the advanced diagnostic tools we use when assessing your Dry Eye Syndrome, which help us decide which treatment plan is best for you, and whether it should include LipiFlow.

LipiView

LipiView is a non-invasive 5-minute eye examination procedure that provides the doctor with an accurate digital picture of a patient’s tear film, including its lipid content and quality. This information helps the eye doctor decide whether the patient requires a LipiFlow procedure or needs to undergo other dry eye therapy treatments.

Dynamic Meibomian Imaging

Dynamic Meibomian Imaging (DMI) combines two innovative imaging technologies: adaptive transillumination and dynamic illumination. Each technology produces its own independent image of the meibomian glands. Both images are then processed, displayed, and combined to provide a more accurate and precise picture of the structure of the meibomian gland. These images allow the optometrist to detect any structural changes or blockages in the meibomian glands.

LipiScan

LipiScan is a non-invasive testing procedure which helps doctors better assess the health and structure of your meibomian glands. LipiScan generates a multidimensional view of the glands and plays a decisive role in diagnosing and treating the symptoms of DES and MGD.

Let’s Put an End to Your Dry Eyes

For more information about our LipiFlow treatment procedure and to find out whether it’s right for you, contact the Carolina Forest Family Eyecare Scleral Lens Center Dry Eye Center today. We will be happy to assess your condition and discuss your options. We provide caring and specialized Dry Eye and Meibomian Gland Dysfunction treatment to patients in Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Wilmington, Florence, and throughout South Carolina.

Frequently Asked Questions About Lipiflow

Does LipiFlow have any side effects?


While side effects are rare and minimal, patients may experience burning, stinging, redness, or inflammation. We’ll be happy to address this and any other questions prior to your treatment.

How Much Does LipiFlow Cost?


The cost of LipiFlow varies. It is therefore best to schedule a consultation with our office so that we can quote you the exact price.

Is LipiFlow Covered By Insurance?


Some insurance plans do cover a portion of the costs. However, most insurance plans do not yet cover the cost of LipiFlow. However, we provide our patients with affordable payment solutions and treatment schedules so that you get the relief you need.

How should I prepare for my LipiFlow appointment?


Make sure that you are not wearing contact lenses to the visit. Don’t use artificial tear drops, eyelid creams, or ointments 24 – 48 hours before the appointment, and be sure to remove all eye makeup before the treatment.

Is LipiFlow FDA approved?


Yes. LipiFlow is an FDA approved treatment for moderate to severe Dry Eye Syndrome caused by Meibomian Gland Dysfunction.

Can I drive to a LipiFlow appointment?


Yes, you can drive to your LipiFlow appointment and right after it.

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Serving Dry Eye Patients From:

Myrtle Beach | Charleston | Wilmington | Florence | and the state of South Carolina