Nutrition for Dry Eye Disease

To improve your overall eye health during these difficult times, it is important to take care of your diet. In the average American diet, there is an excessive amount of omega-6 which we get from processed food. The body’s inflammatory response is impacted by the amount and balance of omega-3 to omega-6 in the cell membrane. To balance that out, it is important to incorporate more fish, such as salmon, arctic char, rainbow trout, tuna, and sardines into our diet. We recommend 3-4 servings of cold-water fish weekly. For vegans, algal oil, flax, chia, hemp, walnut, and avocado are great alternatives.

Source: Eyelab, Doctors of Optometry

Research has shown that the increase of omega-3 intake is beneficial to your ocular health and improve the symptoms of dry eye disease. However, not all omega-3 supplements are made equally. In order to choose the best omega-3 supplements, it is important to consider absorption and purity. Firstly, it is important to consider absorption as there are types of omega-3 that are better and more efficient. It is suggested that omega-3 supplements in the triglyceride form are easier and better for absorption compared to the ethyl ester form. Triglycerides are made of three fatty acids (such as DHA and EPA) with a glycerol backbone, whereas ethyl esters are one fatty acid attached to one ethanol molecule. A big difference is that ethyl esters are made artificially, whereas triglycerides are found in many things in nature, hence there are different chemical properties provided between the two. Most of the omega-3 supplements in the market are in the ethyl esters form.

Before purchasing a fish oil supplement, consider the amount of omega-3 fatty acids EPA+DHA, the taste of the supplement, the source (ensure to look for sustainable sources such as sardines, anchovies, wild squid, mackerels, or vegetarian sources like algae), and whether its in the triglyceride form or the ethyl ester form. Likewise, purity should be a priority to ensure the omega-3 products do not come with unwanted pollutants or heavy metals.

At Eyelab, we offer both soft gel and liquid format of pure triglyceride omega-3 equipped for your personal needs. Book an appointment with us here to learn more about how we can help you with your dry eyes!

Dr. Elisa Xiao

Optometrist | Primary Care & Ocular Disease

T 604 260 1166