The Healing Power of Fish Oil for Dry Eyes

Rishabh Mehta
Medically reviewed by
Dr. Kaushal

Review medical content on WOW Rx Pharmacy, so that accurate drug use information is easily accessible to everybody.
Dr. Akansha is a licensed Clinical Pharmacologist. She possesses remarkable knowledge in Pharmacovigilance, prescription analysis, drug information, and drug safety services. Additionally, she is a keen learner and an educator.

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fish oil for dry eyes

Our eyes need a coating of tears, without which they become dry and suffer from Dry Eye Disease (DED).

Although dry eyes are common, their treatment often involves symptomatic ones like artificial tear drops and ointments.

Fish oil is an excellent option that has proven to naturally alleviate the condition of dry eyes and improve tear quality.

Let us find out the mechanism with which fish oil for dry eyes is an effective solution.

How does fish oil help with dry eyes

Scientific research has proven fish oil as a natural supplement for treating Dry Eye Disease.

The beneficial effects of fish oil come from the anti-inflammatory effects of three compounds in it:

  • Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids
  • Eicosa-Pentaenoic Acid (EPA) 
  • Docosa-Hexaenoic Acid (DHA)

Problems in the Meibomian gland in the eyes cause problems for the tears to stay in place and result in dry eyes.

Oral supplements of Omega-3 Fatty Acids like fish oil heal the Meibomian gland, thus improving tear stability and treating dry eyes.

The EPA and DHA in fish oils act on the inflammation-causing chemicals in the eyes.

Since DED is an inflammatory disease with some common characteristics with autoimmune disorders, fish oil becomes a potent remedy for treating it.

All of these processes make fish oil an ideal supplement in the treatment of Dry Eye Disease.

Fact:
Present on the edges of the eyelids, the Meibomian glands are oil-secreting glands that help stabilize the eyes’ tear layer and prevent them from drying out.

Best fish oil for dry eyes

Natural sources of fish oil (tuna and salmon)Source: Billion_Photos
Natural sources of fish oil (tuna and salmon)

Most people associate fish oils with yellow soft gel capsule supplements.

Certainly, supplements are a good way to fulfill your daily needs, but studies show that taking supplements is not enough to treat dry eye syndrome.

Eating natural sources of fish oil like cod liver oil, herring, tuna, menhaden, and salmon are better alternatives than supplements.

A study involving more than 32,000 women found that consuming natural sources of Omega-3 fatty acids, like fish oil, reduced their risk of dry eye syndrome.

However, not all sources of Omega-3 fatty acids are equally effective.

Many plant-based alternatives like flaxseed oil are also rich sources of Omega-3.

Flaxseed oil contains Alpha-Linolenic Acid (ALA), which the body converts quite inefficiently (only about 10-15%) to Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA).

Thus, fish oil is a more efficient supplement than flaxseed oil to treat dry eyes.

Also Read: Medications along with fish oil can treat dry eyes faster. To know the best options, read “Prescription vs Over-the-Counter: Finding the Right Dry Eye Medication for You.”

Fish oil for dry eyes dosage

Omega-3 oil capsules and glass of waterSource: zhennyzhenny
Omega-3 oil dosage

The daily recommendations of EPA and DHA determine the dosage of fish oil.

A daily dose of 3000 mg of fish oil rich in Omega-3 under a doctor’s supervision is recommended by the Food and Drug Administration.

According to the FDA, all fish oil and dietary supplements with Omega-3 fatty acids should have at least 0.8 grams (800 mg) of total EPA and DHA content.

Some patients are allergic to fish oil, but the supplements undergo a refining process that removes the proteins related to allergic reactions.

A pilot study also demonstrated that patients allergic to fish oil could tolerate dosages of fish oil supplements.

However, for all safety precautions, it is best to test small doses of fish oil for adverse allergic reactions before taking the supplements.

Proper patient awareness, a diet low in cholesterol, and moderate exercise are important when administering fish oil supplements containing Omega-3.

Also Read: Want to learn about other such effective natural remedies? Read “Effective and Natural Home Remedies for Dry Eyes” to know more.

Warning:
Avoid excess Omega-3 fatty acids as they interfere with the inflammatory and immune response, causing bleeding problems.

Takeaway

Fish oil is a powerful supplement in treating the dry eyes.

The lipid part of the tear layer is disrupted by malfunctioning Meibomian glands, which can be treated by the Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA, and DHA in fish oil.

Fishes like cod, salmon, herring, tuna, and menhaden are preferred as fish oil sources over dietary supplements.

Plant-based Omega-3 sources are less efficient in treating dry eyes when compared to fish oil.

A daily dosage of 3000 mg of fish oil is sufficient to see positive results for dry eye syndrome.

Fish oil for dry eyes is an excellent natural remedy without side effects if consumed within daily dietary limits.

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  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Does fish oil help with dry eyes?

    Fish oil is an excellent treatment option for dry eyes. Regular oral administration of fish oil has been clinically proven to improve conditions of dry eyes. It acts on the Meibomian glands, producing the lipid layer for the eyes’ tears and reducing inflammation of eye tissue.

    How much fish oil should I take for dry eyes?

    The FDA-recommended dosage of fish oil is 3000 mg per day, which has sufficient DHA and EPA to function as a therapeutic agent. See if your supplement has more than 0.8 grams of total EPA and DHA content to be effective. Always consult your doctor before taking any supplement.

    How do you use fish oil for dry eyes?

    Fish oil can be used both as a supplement and by consuming fish. Fish oil is most effective from natural sources such as herrings, tuna, cod liver oil, and salmon. It is best to combine supplements and dietary sources for maximum benefit.

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