What is dry eye syndrome?
If you have dry eye syndrome, you are not the only one. About 6.8 percent of adults in the United States have it.
Dry eye syndrome is a condition that happens when your eyes don't make enough tears. It might also mean that your eyes don't make the right kind of tears. This can cause burning, stinging, and irritation in your eyes.
There are a few different ways to manage your symptoms. This includes taking vitamins for dry eyes.
It's worth noting that the study of eye vitamins is still in its early stages. Furthermore, some vitamins might have harmful side effects if taken in excess.
You could already be getting all of the nutrients you need from your diet, so it may be worth checking if your doctor advises it.
Our choice of the best 3 vitamins to help your dry eye symptoms
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a vitamin that is fat-soluble and important for eye health. You need it to make tears and lubricate your eyes. But if you don't have enough Vitamin A, you could get eye problems.
In a small study that was conducted in 2019, participants with dry eyes took a daily oral vitamin A supplement for 3 days. Each dose was 5,000 international units (IU). After 3 days, the participants had better quality tears.
According to the researchers, vitamin A is good for your eye because it makes your eye water. It also helps create tears.
The study suggests that if you take 5,000 IU of vitamin A every day, it might improve your dry eye symptoms. But more research is needed to find out if this is true for everyone and how long the benefits last.
If you choose to take vitamin A, avoid taking more than 10,000 IU. Taking too much can cause toxicity, which has some unpleasant side effects like:
- skin irritation
- joint pain
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin. This means that your body can store it in your fat tissues. You can also get it from supplements and some foods. Vitamin D is important for strong bones and teeth.
A lack of vitamin D can lead to dry eye symptoms, but it can be helped by taking supplements. Vitamin D helps reduce inflammation on the eye’s surface.
A study was done in 2019 and it found that taking vitamin D supplements will help your eye drops work. Another study in 2018 showed that taking vitamin D pills can help improve tear quality, too.
To date, there is no recommended vitamin D dose for treating dry eye. If you take vitamin D supplements, do not take more than 4,000 IU to prevent toxicity. Vitamin D is fat-soluble and can accumulate in the body like vitamin A.
3. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin. It helps the body make DNA and nerve cells. Deficiency of this nutrient can cause severe dry eye disease and pain in the eyes.
According to a 2020 study, the combination of oral vitamin B12 supplements and artificial tears improved symptoms of dry eye syndrome.
The researchers found that vitamin B12 may help repair the corneal nerve layer, which can reduce the burning associated with dry eye.
A case report from 2015 also found that taking vitamin B12 supplements improved symptoms in someone with chronic dry eye.
There is no recommended vitamin B12 dose for dry eye symptoms. Lots of factors will determine how much you take. You should talk with a doctor before taking vitamin B12 for dry eyes because it can be bad if you are not able to absorb it well.
If you have mild dry eye symptoms, taking certain vitamins may help. Vitamin A might increase the amount of tears you produce, while vitamin B12 might take away your burning feeling. Taking a vitamin D supplement and an omega-3 fatty acid supplement might reduce inflammation.
Talk to your doctor before taking vitamins or supplements that can help with dry eye. You need to take them in the right doses and you might need different ones for different symptoms. Your doctor can help you figure out which ones are best for you.
If you have severely dry eyes or sudden vision changes, talk to your doctor right away.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you fix dry eyes?
There are several simple things you can try to help fix dry eyes, such as:
- Avoid locations with a lot of air movement
- In the winter, turn on a humidifier
- Try whenever possible to rest your eyes
- Where possible avoid cigarette smoke
- Wash your eyelids with a warm compress
- Try vitamins that could help with your dry eyes
Does dry eye go away?
Dry eyes are something that people often have to manage, but not cure. There are different treatments for this condition. You can use prescription medications or over-the-counter eye drops to make it better.
Can drinking water help dry eyes?
When it happens as a sign of dehydration, the greatest cure for dry eyes is to consume lots of water. Eye drops can also help by moisturizing the eyes and removing any foreign particles that may be present.
Can lack of sleep cause dry eyes?
A lack of sleep can result in dry eyes. When your eyes don't get enough moisture, dry eye may develop and you might experience discomfort, light sensitivity, itching, redness, or even partial vision loss.
Can dry eye give you headaches?
Dry eyes can cause headaches, but only if you already get them. If someone has a headache that comes and goes, their dry eye may be making it worse.
Some of the common symptoms of headaches and dry eyes are sensitive to light, eye pain, and swelling.
Does caffeine cause dry eyes?
People used to think that caffeine might make your eyes dry. That was because it is a diuretic, meaning that it makes your body expel fluids through urine. But studies have not found this to be true.
Some small studies in healthy people show that caffeine might make you cry.