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Can Vitamin D3 Help Dry Eyes?

By Kate Beck

A 3-layer tear film coats the surface of your eye, delivering nourishment and lubrication each time you blink. If you have a condition called dry eye, your eye’s surface may itch, sting or feel painful. Many people who struggle with this condition search for nutritional or supplement remedies, such as vitamin D3. Knowing the role vitamin D3 plays in your body systems will help you determine if the nutrient will treat dry eye.

Causes

Glands in your eyelid produce tears, and if production decreases, this may result in dry eye symptoms. Another cause of dry eye occurs when the glands do not produce good quality tears. The symptoms of dry eye typically stem from the inflammation that occurs on the surface of your eye. This inflammation is the body’s natural response to the condition.

Vitamin D3

Vitamin D3 is a necessary nutrient that you receive through ultraviolet rays, and the nutrient helps your body absorb and use calcium properly. This vitamin also aids in proper muscle and nerve functioning, and assists your body in fighting bacteria and viruses, explains the Office of Dietary Supplements. Dry eye does not result from any type of bacteria, virus or calcium condition, and, as a result, vitamin D3 is not likely to help dry eye.

Treatment

If you hope to treat dry eye through supplements, talk with your doctor about omega-3 fatty acids, as this may help relief your dry eye symptoms. You can find this nutrient in foods such as salmon, ground flaxseed and walnuts, or you can take fish oil or flaxseed oil capsules. Other forms of treatment that do not include the use of nutrients include over-the-counter artificial tears, which may help treat symptoms of dry eye. Most people require frequent use of these tears to find relief from irritation. In severe cases, an eye surgeon may recommend inserting punctal plugs to prevent your natural tears from draining.

Considerations

Discuss your dry eye symptoms with your doctor, and she will help you determine if a supplement may benefit your condition. Avoid using vitamin D3, omega-3 or other supplement without first discussing these nutrients with your doctor. She can help you determine the treatment that will best suit your symptoms and overall health.

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