World-renowned dry eye expert and inventor of IPL for dry eye, Rolando Toyos, M.D., wrote the book Toyos Dry Eye Diet: What to Eat to Heal Your Dry Eyes where he discusses holistic methods of dealing with tough to treat dry eye issues.
“Once diagnosed with Dry Eye Disease (DED), a patient should be treated aggressively because delay in treatment has been shown to cause worsening of the symptoms and overall permanent damage. The best treatment is a lifelong unique multi-pronged approach that is tailored to each patient’s specific needs”, states Dr. Toyos.
Gut Microbiome: importance of cleaning gut bacteria – Dr. Toyos recommends always starting with improving the diet to improve gut bacteria to lower overall systemic inflammation, one of the main causes of DED.
Supplements: can help the body overcome Dry Eye Disease – “I have witnessed improvement in the Meibum of patients who increase Omega 3 in their diet and with supplements.” Patients can get good amounts of Omega 3 in their diet by eating salmon, sardines, and walnuts. Omega 3 supplements can help, particularly in Triglyceride form.
Our tear film is made of water, protein, and lipids (fat). The number one cause of DED is an abnormal fatty layer. We need B12 to help produce lipids and its deficiency could be one of the under diagnosed causes of DED. A study by Dr. Ozen has shown that treating a B12 deficiency can improve dry eye disease pain.
Things to avoid:
- Limit inflammatory foods like eggs, meat, poultry, and dairy. It has been found that Dry Eye Disease (DED) is linked to inflammation of the body.
- Avoid processed foods, ultra-processed foods in particular. One study looking at environmental and lifestyle risk factors for DED conducted by Garcia-Marquez et al. found a high correlation between DED and ultra-processed food. Ultra-processed food includes soft drinks, sweet snacks, packaged baked goods, chicken or fish nuggets, frozen dinners, instant noodles and soups.
Things to enjoy:
- Dietary caffeine – was not considered a risk factor for DED in males or females, according to a study on caffeine and DED conducted by Mango et al.
- Beets – powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, excellent source of nitrate
- Avocados – low in saturated fat, no cholesterol, but contains oleic acid that has been shown to reduce inflammation and boost the immune system. In patients with DED, oleic acid in their meibum is reduced. Our goal is to increase our oleic acid to improve our meibum quality.
Use that blender! The blender is one of the easiest ways to get some of the best foods into your diet at once and quickly. It’s a great way to get your protein if you’re reducing or giving up mean, poultry, and dairy.
To purchase the full edition of “Toyos Dry Eye Diet: What to Eat to Heal Your Dry Eyes”, click here.