Do you suffer from dry eyes? I did not realize how dry my eyes were until I had a test done at the optometrist’s office. I have been wearing contacts for ~20 years and all the while have had eye discomfort as well as varying levels of astigmatism and distance corrections. Having dry eyes affects the comfort of my contacts, how well I see, and how I would respond and recover from eye surgery. The optometrist recommended fish oil as a treatment for dry eye which was both surprising and exciting! As it turns out, there is a burgeoning amount of research on the effects of fish oils, especially DHA, in the health of adult eyes.
In a recent study by Kangari et al., individuals with dry eye symptoms between the ages of 45-90 years old had significant improvements in dry eye measurements after supplementing with 300 mg EPA+DHA for 30 days compared to a placebo control group. Another study published recently by Olenik et al. found that 1.3 g EPA+DHA for 3 months improved tear break up time, which indicates more stable tear film. A newsletter article from the Fats of Life website reviewing dry eye and fish oil, including the Olenik study, is found here.
As of yet, I have not been supplementing with EPA+DHA at the dose and duration necessary to see improvements (my doctor recommended 2 g fish oil per day for 6-8 weeks) but I am pleased there may be a non-pharmacological answer to my uncomfortable eyes.