Dry & Itchy Eyes

Dry eyes & omega 3 fatty acid

There are various treatment options to minimize dry eye symptoms. Omega 3 fatty acid nutritional supplements are one option to try. They may be used with other treatments as part of a program for managing dry eye. Symptoms of eye dryness can include dry sensation, redness, grittiness, pain, burning, watering, blurred vision and inconsistent vision quality. Determining whether these supplements are effective in reducing dry eye symptoms for you requires about a two-month trial, and dosage varies by individual.

It’s recommended that people with dry eye take this nutrient on a daily basis – up to 6 grams per day. The recommendation is to begin at about 2 grams per day and work up to 3, 4, 5 or 6 grams per day. Most gel capsules are 1 gram or 1.2 grams (1200 mg). Some people may get an upset stomach, so the recommendation is to gradually increase the dose over a number of weeks in order for your stomach to adjust. Some people find it helpful to keep the supplements in the freezer and swallow them while they are frozen so they get farther down into the gut before they thaw.

Omega 3 fatty acid is a nutrient that is thought to have many beneficial effects in terms of anti-inflammation around the body and the average American diet frequently does not contain sufficient amounts of the nutrient.

Omega 3 fatty acid is a nutrient found in high concentration in oily fish (such as salmon) and in flax seed and in some nuts. This nutrient can be added to your diet by eating these foods. Some people eat flax seed on salad or in yogurt. Some people bake with flax grain.

Omega 3 fatty acid can also be consumed as a nutritional supplement in the form of gel capsules, such as fish oil capsules, flax seed oil capsules, krill oil capsules or omega 3 FA supplement capsules. There is also a product called Thera Tears, which is a gel capsule form of this nutrient derived from these oil sources. All of these nutritional supplements are available over the counter. You may find them at drug stores or grocery stores that carry vitamins and nutritional supplements.

Itchy eyes & allergies

Allergies may cause itchy eyes. Many people have seasonal or year-round allergies that can cause eye discomfort, such as grasses or blooming plants, or dust mites in pillows. Sometimes making changes can help, like keeping windows closed at home, washing bedding in hot water and replacing pillows with new hypo-allergenic pillows. The eye doctors at Winona Health can help you determine if your eye symptoms are caused by allergies and can help you manage these symptoms.

Rinsing and wiping off the eyelids and lashes with water and a washcloth a few times a day helps to clear pollens and allergens away from our eyes.

Using artificial tears periodically can be soothing and helpful for rinsing environmental allergens off the eye’s surface and to minimize exposure to and/contact with the substances causing the symptoms. Over-the-counter artificial tear products that do not contain preservatives may be safest in this situation because occasionally people prone to allergies will develop allergies or sensitivity to drops containing preservatives.

Oral allergy medicines also can be useful for all allergy symptoms, including those of the eyes.

If these measures do not provide adequate or satisfactory comfort, you may consider eye drops that have effects similar to other allergy medicines, such as antihistamines. Some of these are available over the counter and others are available by prescription.

OcuSOFT

These OcuSOFT products are anti-bacterial cleaning products designed for use on the eyelids and lashes. They help clean off grit and dried oil and help the oil glands in the eyelids produce the oil that lubricates our eyes. These products can be used as needed up to twice per day, depending upon how “gritty” the lids are. These products are available over the counter at drugstores and pharmacies and come packaged as single use sponges or in a bottle where a small amount can be used on a washcloth.

OcuSOFT

Directions for use:

  1. Wash hands
  2. Open pre-moistened sponge or put small amount of cleanser from bottle onto washcloth
  3. Close eyes and gently scrub eyelids using side to side strokes for approximately 30 seconds
  4. Rinse thoroughly with water
For more information or to make an appointment:

Eye Care Center
Winona Health, Clinic 3rd floor
859 Mankato Avenue
Winona, MN 55987

507.474.4760
8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday

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