Why Take Fish Oil?
Here’s an excerpt from a recent NY Times blog article:
"The omega-3s in fish oil are believed to reduce inflammation. So if the dry eye is aggravated by inflammation of the eyelids or surfaces of the eye, it makes sense that a supplement would help, said Dr. Stephanie Marioneaux, an ophthalmologist in private practice in Chesapeake, Va., and a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology:
Dry eye is pretty complex, and there is no cure,” she said. “Treating the inflammation, however, can improve some of the symptoms."
A study published in the International Journal of Ophthamology reported:
"A prospective, interventional, placebo controlled, double blind randomized trial was done at two referral eye centers. Two hundred and sixty-four eyes of patients with dry eye were randomized to receive one capsule (500mg) two times a day containing 325mg EPA and 175mg DHA for 3 months (omega-3 group).
Sixty-five percent of patients in the omega-3 group and 33% of patients in placebo group had significant improvement in symptoms at 3 months (P=0.005). There was a significant change in both Schirmer's test value and TBUT values in the omega-3 group (P<0.001), both comparisons. Read the study HERE."
So it seems that Fish Oil can help dry eye. It’s worth trying right? I’ve been using it for close to two years since my LASIK induced Dry Eye started ruling my life. I’ve discovered all fish oil products are not created equal. It took asking a lot of doctors and fellow dry eye sufferers to get the real scoop. I’ll try to demystify with this blog article.
After asking 5 doctors about this, I finally got the amount:
You need to ingest 2-3 grams of DHA per day. GRAMS not milligrams. The high potency fish oil capsules typically contain 200-500mg of DHA per serving. That’s not much. Here’s an example using Nordic Natural’s DHA Eye brand:
2 Capsules contain 788 mg of DHA. To get about 3 grams you would need to take 3 servings of this fish oil per day (or six capsules). That is pretty expensive! One bottle costs about $50 (contains 60 capsules).
Can’t I just take the Fish Oil you get at the drug store or COSTCO?
I took these for a time. I did not find them helpful. They do not typically contain enough DHA to make a difference. Also, one doctor talked to me about fish oil being esterified. What does this mean? Apparently, (I’m not a doctor) fish oil converted to ethyl esters can aid in better DHA absorption. The process is more costly (to esterify) and so the cheap fish oil manufacturers bypass this process. In a nutshell: cheap fish oil won’t absorb as well, limiting the positive effect for your dry eye. Read more about esterification of fish oil HERE
WARNING: to calorie counters! Four tsp of this oil is about 140 calories a day.
You can purchase Carlson’s online or in most vitamin shops. Keep it refrigerated after opening.
Does it help?
I’m not 100% sure honestly. I have noticed improvement in my condition since starting this regimen and less inflammation. However, I have made some other changes to my regimen. It costs me about $30 a month to do this. My current doctor recommends it. I will continue until told otherwise.
What about Flax seed oil?
I’ve used the pill form in the past. I’m not sure about the effectiveness of this product. I have discussed concerns with other dry eye sufferers about potential Mercury content in fish oil. One dry eye sufferer I work with takes flax seed oil for that reason. I have been grinding flax seed in my protein shakes.
Please feel free to pipe in with your comments or questions! I’m not an expert. I’m learning just like you.
Bluesifyin' LASIK Dry Eye sufferer. Read my blog to get tips, struggles, blues, reviews, whatever on this journey through hell.