Treating Dry Eyes With Adequate Water Consumption And A Plant Based Diet
What is as important as a whole food plant-based diet in protecting health and combating chronic disease? Making sure you are properly hydrated is as important as eating properly. The body is made up mostly of water and the proper hydration of the body’s organs is absolutely necessary in supporting homeostasis.
Dry eye disease (DED) is one of the most common and preventable eye diseases that results in irritation and even loss of functional vision. About 5 million people over 50-years-old suffer from moderate to severe dry eye, and tens of millions of more people suffer from mild dry eye.
It costs more than $50 billion a year to treat dry eye disease. Drugs used to treat DED include artificial tears, anti-inflammatory drugs, and secretagogues that force to eyes to secret tears. Doctors might plug the outflow tear ducts if drugs don’t work, but that can cause complications.
Causes Of Dry Eye Disease
Lasik surgery results in DED in 50% of people within 1 week of an operation, 40% within 1 month, and 20-40% at 6 months. Medications such as antidepressants, decongestants, beta-blockers, and antihistamines cause dry eye. Vitamin A deficiency starts off as dry eye disease, but progresses into the leading cause of childhood blindness in developing countries.
Dry Eye Intervention
A plant-based diet or a diet close to it is recommended for people with dry eyes to maximize tear production. A whole food plant-based based diet is high in vitamin A which helps to reduce dry eye and protect against vision loss.
People with dry eye are recommended to lower animal fat, animal protein, and cholesterol consumption. It is also recommended they increase whole food carbohydrate consumption, and vitamin A consumption by eating red, yellow, orange, and dark green vegetables, and zinc, folate, and vitamin B6 consumption by eating fruits, legumes, and grains.
But what about also drinking more water? Dehydration is known to cause dry mouth, and shouldn’t be obvious that dehydration would also cause dry eyes, seeing that tears are largely made up of water?
Yes, tear secretion decreases as dehydration increases. Simply drink the recommended amount of water daily and eat a whole food plant-based diet to reduce your risk of dry eye disease.