Friday, November 21, 2014
Proper Nutrition and Dry Eyes
Dr. Lange (he is an optometrist and certified nutritional specialists that has 9 stores throughout florida including Gainesville) advises a healthy diet with lots of organic fruits and veggies, omega-3, astaxanthin, and gamma-linolenic acid supplements for people suffering with dry eyes.
"I have finally come to the realization that patients who will follow a combination of the Mediterranean, paleo or hunter gatherer type of diet, eating more like our ancestors, along with regular exercise and proper sleep benefit significantly. This is a diet that consists of organically grown fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, whole grains, proteins and mainly water and a few other beverages. I recommend patients avoiding water that is in plastic bottles and drinking water that is filtered or in glass bottles due to the potential for bisphenols leaching into the water from the plastic. Bisphenols cause endocrine disruption which will compound a dry eye problem. Bisphenols are in plastic bottles as well as in canned foods. F, D and C red yellow and blue dye can also cause endocrine disruption and so should be avoided. Dyes are in just about everything we consume these days, so teach your patients to be proactive in their health and read labels. I recommend patients try to consume half their body weight in ounces of good quality water daily. I also advise patients to try to substitute their morning coffee with organic green tea and lemon. The antioxidant and anti inflammatory effects of green tea and lemon have significant health benefits and many of my patients will notice symptomatic relief of their dry eyes from this one simple step. I advise my patients to try to eat 10-13 servings of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis. I recommend “the dirty dozen” fruits and vegetables be only organically grown due to their high amounts of pesticide found inside this specific group. Most of us have an accumulated build up of pesticide exposure in our bodies due to numerous years of exposure. This “chemical burden” leads to a variety of serious health issues that may potentiate a dry eye condition. The protein in this particular type of diet should always be free range organically raised or wild, not farm raised! Try to get your patients to eat fish at least three times per week to improve the omega three to omega 6 ratio in their blood. The fish that is highest in omega three and lowest in potential contaminants are sardines, anchovies, herring, mackerel, wild rainbow trout and wild Alaskan salmon. Some of your patients will follow your directions precisely; however the majority is going to wonder off of these specific recommendations. This is why supplementation with antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids is so important."