Article by Angela Haldane
Q. My eyes have been dry for several months. What can I do to fix this?
A. You are suffering a surface eye ailment characterised by excessive dryness of the conjunctiva and cornea of the eyes. This may be the result of a lack of water in the tear ducts, and/or a deficiency in the production of sebum or mucin. Dry eyes may be a symptom of Sjögren Syndrome, which would need to be diagnosed by your doctor.
Vitamin A may prevent the loss of goblet cells from the conjunctiva of the eyes, and can improve the function of the epithelial cells that line the conjunctiva. You could also be lacking in vitamin A, a higher therapeutic dosage is available from your registered naturopath or medical herbalist -book an appointment with Natural Ange Ltd – either online or in person.
Studies show that gamma-linolenic acid (1500 mg a day) from blackcurrant oil or evening primrose oil, combined with vitamins C and B6, can improve tear production. Combine this with a diet rich in anti-inflammatory omega 3 oils, such as fish, flaxseed oil and ground linseed. Magnesium can also alleviate dry eyes; it plays a role in the formation of prostaglandin E7, a compound necessary for the production of tears. As for herbal medicine, demulcent herbs such as marshmallow, hoheria and eyebright are useful for many types of eye irritation.
Discuss these options with Ange at your next appointment.