Eyes stay humid and watery thanks to tears. If tears are not produced enough or the quality is spoiled, the eyes lose moisture. This situation is called dry eye syndrome although people generally describe it as "dry eyes." Dry eyes can't only be from the lack of tears. Factors, such as the use of expired cosmetics, nutrition deficient in vitamin E, lack of water, use of medicine, age, eye surgery, air conditioning and looking at a computer screen for a long time, can all be cause for dry eyes.
There are water, oil, mucus, protein and various antibodies in tears. Water provides the necessary moisture for eyes. Oil is essential for eye movement and protection of its layers. Antibodies and proteins protect the eyes against possible infections. These components come together in special glands around the eyes. Even the simplest problem in the tear system can threaten eye health.SymptomsInterestingly, dry eyes can create an overabundance of tears sometimes. This is called reflex tearing. The deficiency of moisture irritates your eyes. They send a danger signal to your neural system for more oiling. Your body starts to secrete tears in order to compensate for too much dryness in your eyes. However, these tears are only water and do not cover the surface of the eyes. Therefore, the sensitivity in the eyes increases. Generally, the symptoms of dry eye syndrome are:
Feeling like there is always something in your eyes
A sticky discharge around eyes
Stinging feeling while using contact lenses
Air conditioning in summer
Tears protect eyes from infection and relieve their surface. Every time you blink your eyes, these tears pass over your eyes. If you do not produce enough tears, your eyes get dry and irritated. The dryness of an air conditioned atmosphere causes dry eyes, negatively affecting our tear ducts.
Foods to support your body
Healthy nutrition supports all systems of your body. By getting necessary vitamins and minerals for your eyes, you can both prevent dryness in eyes and protect against eye diseases.
A diet rich in omega-3 helps tears called Meibomian glands in the eyes to form their oily part. Oil prevents quick drying in eyes. Omega-3 oils are especially preventive against inflammation on the surface of the eyes and eyelids. Fish is a perfect source for omega-3 fatty acids. Eat oily species, such as tuna (fresh), thunnus, salmon, sardine and anchovy, at least two times a week.
Omega-3 oils are also found in some vegetables and foods along with fishes. Hazelnut, seeds, like flaxseed, soya beans and green-leafy vegetables are some of them.
Nutrition rich in vitamin A and C
Vitamin A has miraculous effects in terms of eye health. It increases the quality of sight, protects cornea, brightens the surface of the pupil and minimizes the effects of eye diseases, such as nyctalopia, known as night blindness, glaucoma, cataract and age-related macular degeneration. We all have heard that eating carrots are good for our eyes since our childhood. That is true. Carrots help to protect your eye health with vitamin A that it contains. However, is vitamin A found only in carrots? Of course not. Spinach, green pepper, sweet potato and egg are foods that are rich in vitamin A.
Vitamin C is also precious for eye health. Research showed that vitamin C decreases the risk of cataract. As it is known, cataract is an eye disease which appears depending on age. Therefore, you need to have a nutrition rich in vitamin C, especially after you're 40. When vitamin C is mentioned, oranges and lemons are the first things that come to mind. Besides all this, green peppers, strawberries and green-leafy vegetables are rich in vitamin C, as well.
Macular degeneration, which is caused by being exposed to sun light without any protection and advancing age, is an eye disease that starts with reading disability and can advance to seeing objects crooked and wavy. Research revealed that it is possible to decrease the effects of this disease with lutein. It is known that the effect of lutein increases when it is taken with vitamin A and C, zinc and selenium. Lutein, which is found in dark green vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli, plentifully, is also found in avocado. On the other hand, research has proven that consuming dark green vegetables with a small amount of olive oil increases the effect of lutein.
Zinc is necessary
Zinc is an important material that helps you to get vitamin A in every part of your body from the liver to the retina. Zinc is a pigment that protects your eyes, and infection risk increases in its deficiency. Your body cannot produce zinc naturally. Therefore, it is important to take it with foods. Foods that are rich in zinc are oysters, beef, lobster, yogurt, salmon, milk and eggs.
Dry eyes occur because of moisture deficiency which appears when the eyes cannot produce enough tears. According to research by the National Eye Institute, dry eyes are observed in women, especially after menopause.
With advancing age, eyes produce fewer tears. When the proper environment for moistness in eyes cannot be maintained, problems such as burning, stinging, itching, redness, scratching and tearing begin to appear. Use of contact lenses, eye surgery, cardiac, ulcer and chemotherapy medicines as well as spending too much time in front of a computer and environmental factors can cause dry eyes.
Stupe: Try to stupe your eyelids for 5-10 minutes two or three times a day when they get dry. Moisture and warmth relieve eyes and heals them by stimulating tears.
Computer break: Sitting in front of a computer for a whole day can cause problems in your eyes. Take a minute break for every hour that you spend in front of a computer.
If your eyes are dry, you need to be careful about hair dryers, air conditioners, wind, smoke and some chemicals that can irritate them. For example, you can dry your hair from behind. During exercise or open-air activities, use swimming glasses or googles. These glasses help you to keep the moisture around your eyes.
You can decrease your problems with your dry eyes by changing your daily routines. Researchers at University of Wisconsin Medicine Faculty observed that the consumption of caffeine and smoking increase the symptoms of eye dryness. In research done with 3,703 people, it is determined that some factors about dry eye syndrome can be controlled. It is seen that the rate of dry eyes is higher in smokers. Experts say that evaluation and treatment of dry eyes are important not only for the comfort of people but also for the health of eyes. Dry eye treatments should be firstly started by giving importance to the symptoms. Many creams and artificial tears on the market are effective in the treatment of dry eyes. However, they should be used with a doctor's consent. Lastly, you should be consuming eight or 10 glasses of water a day to help you get the moisture that your tear ducts need.