Q. My optometrist has suggested that I take flaxseed oil or fish oil for my dry eyes. Will this really help with my burning, stinging, red eyes?
A. We have all heard of the health benefits that flaxseed and fish oils can have on our systemic health such as a reduced risk of heart disease and a reduction of chronic inflammation. But many studies have been conducted to verify the benefits these supplements can have on our eye health as well, primarily on the prevention and control and dry eyes. The nutritional value of flaxseed and fish oils comes from its omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed oil is the world’s richest source of omega-3 fatty acids, containing twice as much as fish oil. The nutritional value is easily destroyed by light, heat and oxygen so remember to keep liquid flaxseed oil sealed and refrigerated. Studies prove that 2,000 mg of flaxseed oil orally every morning can relieve dry eye symptoms (including itching, dryness, burning, and eye fatigue) after 2 months and the results can last as long as the supplements are taken. An important note is that both flaxseed and fish oil can increase the risk of bleeding and reduce blood clotting in individuals who take blood thinners (even Aspirin), so consult with your family doctor before starting to take these supplements.
Since flaxseed oil increases the quantity of oil in the tear film, taking this supplement daily will also help with comfort in contact lens wearing patients, making re-wetting drops less necessary throughout the day.
Come in to discuss your options to relieve your dry eye symptoms - Dr. Pozzer always welcomes new patients!
Dr. Kristyn Pozzer
Millcroft Shopping Centre
2080 Appleby Line, Unit E6
Burlington, Ontario, L7L6M6
Tel: (905) 319-1066