Flaxseed oil – The effective treatment for dry eyes
Flaxseed oil has been shown in certain studies to be an effective treatment for dry eye, a condition that affects many especially during dry or hazy seasons. Dry eye can be caused by allergies, vision correction(refractive surgery) and other eye conditions.
Flaxseeds, also called linseeds, are rich in essential fatty acids, particularly the beneficial type known as omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids work throughout the body to protect cell membranes. All forms of flaxseed (liquid, capsule and ground) should be taken orally and should not be applied directly to the eye.
A recent study has found that flaxseed oil may be as effective as a commonly used dry eye medication(doxycycline). Colin C. K. Chan, M.D., and Brian S. Boxer Wachler, M.D., reported the results of their comparative study at the 2006 annual meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery.
The study compared oral flaxseed oil capsules (3,000 mg daily or 3 capsules a day) with the antibiotic doxycycline (100 mg twice a day) for the treatment of dry eye in patients who had undergone LASIK eye surgery. Eighty-one patients (152 eyes) were treated with either 3,000 mg daily of flaxseed oil or 100 mg twice daily of doxycycline for seven days before and after LASIK surgery. Study results indicated that flaxseed oil was as effective as doxycycline in preventing dry eye after LASIK. An added benefit is that flaxseed oil has fewer side effects than doxycycline, making it a good alternative.