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Dry Eyes & Nutrition

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A Healthy Diet & Your Eyes

Eating well with the right combination of foods and vitamins, and avoiding sugars are the first steps in treating any condition and getting yourself back in shape. However, dry eyes can creep up depending on a variety of factors, so taking an additional step in your nutrition by choosing specific foods or supplements will ensure better results & less dryness.

Dry Eyes, Tears, & Food

Tears are a blend of water, oils, and mucus that help smooth the surface of our eyes, prevent infections and soothe the skin. When tear production is stifled, the eyes can get irritated, turn red, and develop an inflammation. Therefore, to ensure our tears continue to be produced with the right balance, our nutrition must also be balanced.

Vitamins & Natural Supplements

While advanced dry eyes might need more sophisticated treatment from an optometrist, if you’re starting to see early signs of dryness, selecting the right foods for their nutritional content now is a great step that could prevent the progression of dry eye syndrome. Especially since vitamins can take up to a month to kick in & take effect.

Antioxidants – Research regarding how antioxidants relate to dry eye inflammation haven’t been conclusive. While oxidative stress or free radicals in the body have shown to cause harm in the body, food that contains antioxidants to supposedly detox the body of oxidative stress isn’t so clear. Even so, other studies show that antioxidants do promote lots of benefits of for various conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s to cardiovascular health. Investing in supplements rich in antioxidants or natural foods like blueberries, pecans, and even kidney beans could be a potential boost for your overall health.

Blink Omega 3Omega-3 fatty acids – The kind of the vitamin list for dry eyes. While many doctors recommend fish oil, there are many foods that also carry this wonder-supplement. Salmon is considered by many as a super food, and one of its main ingredients is Omega-3 fatty acids. Other common foods include Canola Oil, Flaxseed and Flaxseed Oil, Wild rice, Eggs, soybeans, walnuts, and even enriched dairy foods.

Our Vision Center carries a product called Blink Omega-3. Not only are these small packages that can be easily ingested, but they taste way better than fish oil. One package a day contains 2,000 milligrams, while fish oil pills may only contain a few hundred milligrams. Why ingest a bunch of pills & have fish breath, when you can enjoy your health boost with something that’s sweet & blends easily in water.

Staying Fit

Something that could be overlooked is staying hydrated. Since your body when dehydrated will conserve water, among the headaches that will be caused and dryness, tear production will be majorly affected.

Perhaps not surprisingly, exercise has shown to benefit eye health as well. As your eyes are connected to the rest of the body and that optometrists can evaluate blood pressure and overall body health from an eye exam, exercising regularly can reduce the risk of eye disease as well. Research has shown that regular exercise has a positive impact on ocular perfusion pressure, a major determiner for glaucoma, resulting in 25% lower risk than those who are largely inactive. Similar findings have shown that exercise reduces the risk for macular degeneration as well.

Nutrition & Your Eye Doctor

Your optometrist can recommend other options to help you find relief faster in addition to improving eating habits & exercise routines. Dry Eyes may be an eye disease, but adjusting one’s diet can reduce the symptoms of dry eyes as well as improve your health overall.

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Dear Northwood Vision patient,

Here is what we are asking you to do to make a smaller exposure footprint:

  1. If you have any symptoms of loss of taste or smell, upset stomach/diarrhea coughing, fever, difficulty breathing, running nose please reschedule your appointment in 30 days or more.
  2. Wash your hands or use sanitizer immediately upon entering.
  3. Try not to touch any surfaces in the office you do not have to touch (you can push our door open with your foot! Try not to touch your face!)
  4. If you are trying on glasses, we will collect them from you for proper cleaning.
  5. Contact lenses can be shipped to you at no cost with an active rx (minimum 2 boxes)
  6. We will ask that if possible you come alone to the appointment. Guests can wait outside or in the car unless they need to be with you..
  7. If you have been exposed please wear a mask or reschedule in case you are an asymptomatic carrier, masks are encouraged to be worn by each patient if you have one.
  8. We will extend Contact lens prescriptions up to 6 months if recently expired and can direct ship an order to you if you see clearly and your eyes are feeling healthy.
  9. For a fee, we can ship your glasses to you if desired and you can have them adjusted after the shelter in place order is lifted.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this stressful and trying time. May God bless each of you and keep you well.

Dr. Christopher K. Keats, OD

What is an Eye Emergency? Read more

Routine Care: “I see pretty well in my glasses or contact lenses. I just want to update my frame and / or get some new lenses to optimize my vision. I don’t have any pain or headaches and my eyes feel good and look normal in the mirror to me. I have never been told I have a disease in my eye that needs to be managed. I should definitely wait to come in until the “Shelter at Home” mandate is over. If I am a contact lens wearer, I understand Dr. Keats will allow me to get 3-6 months of contact lenses mailed to me even if my contact lenses are recently expired or close to expiring.”

Emergent Care: “I see poorly and am having difficulty functioning to drive, read, or see my computer. It is affecting my work. Waiting to be seen in 2 months would be very difficult for me to conduct my life.” Another form of emergent care… “I have other symptoms like headaches, red eyes, discharge, or I might have a disease that threatens my sight like diabetes, macular degeneration, glaucoma, a recent onset of flashes and floaters in my vision and so on.” A final type of emergent care would be a patient who realizes, “I am a patient who has a previously scheduled appointment for a medical condition Dr. Keats is managing to protect my sight, so I should plan on coming in for my visit. However, if my overall health is poor and the benefit to risk ratio says I should push this appointment off until the “Shelter at Home” mandate is lifted, it may be wise for me to reschedule for a later date.” In summary, emergent care means it is important that you be seen quickly for the protection of your visual health and current discomfort, or medical health, so you can function to do your work efficiently now and in the future.