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Vitamins for Dry Eye: Supplements for Relief

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Nearly 30% of Canadians will experience dry eye symptoms due to various contributing factors. A dry eye condition can result in some discomfort in your eyes, making it challenging to carry on with your daily tasks.  

Supplements containing Vitamins A, B12, or D, have been known to help relieve dry eye symptoms, making them attractive solutions to dry eye conditions.

Learn more about dry eye and the supplements you can take by booking an appointment with Alcona Eye Care Centre and speaking with one of our friendly optometrists. 

The Best Supplements for Dry Eye

Here are some supplements that may relieve dry eye; please consult your doctor before adding them to your diet. 

Vitamin A 

People who are vitamin A deficient may suffer from dry eye conditions, as it is a fat-soluble vitamin known to help improve the quality of your tears. It is important to note that vitamin A taken in large doses can lead to toxicity and a range of uncomfortable symptoms. We recommend trying doctor-recommended vitamin A supplements or eating foods high in the vitamin A, like:

  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Leafy green vegetables 
  • Beef liver
  • Red bell peppers
  • Mango

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin known to help the body with DNA and nerve cell production. Like vitamin A, B12 can be gained through eating things like meats, fortified cereals, and eggs. Your doctor may recommend supplements based on your overall health. Those with B12 deficiencies are more likely to have dry eye symptoms, making it important to incorporate vitamin B12 into your diet, whether through supplements or foods. 


Omega-3s are a helpful fatty acid that provide the cell membrane with structure and can reduce inflammation in your body. Some studies have claimed that the acid helps to reduce tear evaporation rates, leaving your eyes healthier and better lubricated. Fish oil is a popular supplement high in omega-3. Some other popular foods high in omega-3 include:

  • Mackerel
  • Salmon
  • Herring
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies
  • Flaxseed
  • Walnuts
  • Soybeans
  • Chia seeds
  • Caviar

Vitamin D 

Vitamin D is another fat-soluble vitamin that is created through the exposure of your skin to the sun. A recent study concluded that vitamin D improved the effects of lubricating eye drops in treating dry eye. You can get vitamin D from sunshine, supplements, or foods including:

  • Salmon
  • Swordfish
  • Tuna
  • Orange juice fortified with vitamin D
  • Egg yolk

What Is Dry Eye?

Dry eye is a common condition that happens when your eyes are unable to produce enough tears, or they are producing low-quality tears, resulting in your eyes not getting proper lubrication. An optometrist will typically examine your eyes and measure the quality and quantity of your tears to determine if you have the condition.

Dry Eye Symptoms:

Here are some of the symptoms often associated with dry eyes:

  • Visibly red eyes
  • Burning or stinging 
  • Discomfort when wearing contact lenses 
  • Sensitivity to light 
  • Glare when driving at night 
  • Intermittent blurry vision

If you notice any of these symptoms, please book an appointment with your optometrist and have them examine your eyes. 

Causes of Dry Eye

Here are some of the causes of dry eye symptoms:

  • Normal ageing 
  • Hormonal changes
  • Environmental conditions
  • Certain medications, like antihistamines
  • UV exposure 
  • Underlying health conditions 
  • Irritants, like smoke 

Treatments Options For Dry Eye

At Alcona Eye Care Centre, we offer a range of therapies and treatment options that may help treat your dry eye condition. Here are some of the treatments we have available:

Artificial Tears 

Artificial tears are a form of eye drops that are used to lubricate your eyes and bring back some moisture. They can also help erase the discomfort caused by dry eyes. Artificial tears can typically be purchased over the counter at your local pharmacy or grocery store. Don’t overuse your eye drops, but speak with your optometrist and follow the instructions provided with them upon purchase. 

Lid Hygiene Treatments 

Lid hygiene treatment focuses on cleaning and looking after your eyelids. Eyelids are crucial for keeping your eyes moist and spreading tear film across your eye. They are the thinnest skin on your body and are important for protecting your eyes from things like dust and dirt.   

Warm Compresses

A warm compress is used to help treat dry eyes by spreading a washcloth soaked in warm water over your eyes to help to loosen up any oils that may be clogged in your meibomian gland. It is typically draped over your eyes for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cloth is no longer warm. 

Meibomian Gland Expression

A meibomian gland expression typically entails your doctor removing the oils from your tear ducts. Your doctor will generally use small forceps to squeeze the oils out and remove any clogged oil gently. 

Book an Appointment Today

If you are considering using supplements to help combat dry eye symptoms, please book an appointment with one of our friendly optometrists and learn about all the treatment options we can provide and for nutritional guidance for eye-healthy foods.

Written by Alex Nwadozi

Dr. Alexander Nwadozi holds a medical and specialist degree in Ophthalmology from the University of Havana, Cuba. He went on to work as a consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at the Anguilla Vision Centre in Anguilla, British West Indies.

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