Dry, itchy, and irritated eyes can make or break your game. It doesn’t matter if your sport is inside or outdoors, airborne irritants or consistent occasional dry eyes can affect every aspect of an athlete’s ability.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, occasional dry eye is an actual diagnosed syndrome called Occasional Dry Eye Syndrome (DES). As many as 40% of Americans suffer daily from DES. Occasional Dry Eye Syndrome is described as a “multifactorial disease,” affecting tears and the ocular surface.”
What Causes Occasional Dry Eye?
Tears bathe the eye and make sure that it’s always moist. Tears also contain important enzymes that help keep the eye healthy. According to All About Vision.com, “Tears are complex, containing many different essential elements, including oils produced by special glands in the eyelids called meibomian glands. These oils prevent evaporation of the tears.”
What causes occasional dry eyes can vary, but the primary culprit of is that your eye cannot produce enough tears.
Your eyes can stop producing enough tears for many reasons. The list of possibilities includes:
- Medication side effects
- Blood pressure medications
- Birth control pills
Also, natural aging (especially for women during menopause) and living in a dusty and windy climate can be factors. Contact wearers often suffer from DES, as well as people who have undergone lasik surgery.
How to Get Lasting Occasional Dry Eye Relief
Eye drops can only go so far to provide relief for DES, and that’s why science is moving toward supplementation for lasting relief. Science shows that Omega-3 fatty acids have a definite role in helping relieve and itchy eyes.
However, to get the right amount of these healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, we have to consume the right foods that contain them. The average American diet does not contain enough of these healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. Processed foods and significant amounts of meat attribute to the lack of critical nutrients for eye health, as well as overall health. According to All About Vision.com, “This imbalance of omega-6 (“bad”) fatty acids to omega-3 (“good”) fatty acids appears to be a contributing cause of a number of serious health problems, including heart disease, cancer, asthma, arthritis and depression.”
Certain cold-water fish like salmon and mackerel are filled with healthy Omega-3’s, but it is nearly impossible to consume enough of these nutrient rich foods to aid in occasional dry eye. Supplementation of Omega-3’s ensure that you’re getting what your eyes need most, and that your eyes are producing enough tears. Making sure that you’re consuming the right kinds of fish oil is critical, as not all fish oils and Omega-3’s are made equal. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is rich in the brain and retina where deficiency can result in decreased vision. Premium fish oil rich in DHA can immensely promote vision health.
Other ingredients such as green tea extract, turmeric extract, evening primrose, and Vitamin A, are powerful combatants against DES alongside Omega-3’s. That’s why supplementation is critical to ensuring relief from occasional dry eye, and not having it slow you down!