Gut Health & Dry Eye: The Surprising Connection

Nov 1, 2023 | Dry Eye

Did you ever think about the connection between your gut health and your eyes? It might sound surprising, but recent research has shown that your gut and your eyes are more connected than you may think. In fact, our eye doctor Dr. Sydney Madrigal from The Eye Center in Pembroke Pines recently talked about this connection in a WPLG Local 10 article. Today, we’re going to dive deeper into the topic to explore how your gut health impacts dry eye. 

What is dry eye? 

First, let’s take a closer look at dry eye and what causes it. Dry eye, also known as dry eye syndrome or dry eye disease, occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough tears or when your tears evaporate too quickly. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including hormonal changes, certain medications, and environmental factors. However, recent research has also revealed that diet and gut health are linked to dry eye as well. 

Inflammation plays a key role in the connection between gut health and dry eye. When your gut is inflamed, it can lead to systemic inflammation throughout your body, including your eyes. This inflammation can irritate your tear ducts, causing dry eye symptoms. 

How to prevent dry eye 

So, what can you do to improve your gut health and reduce your risk of dry eye? One of the best things you can do is focus on eating a healthy, balanced diet. Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds, can help reduce inflammation throughout your body, including your eyes. Additionally, foods that are high in antioxidants, such as leafy greens, berries, and dark chocolate, can help protect your eyes from damage. 

Another way to improve your gut health and lower your risk of dry eye is to take a probiotic supplement. Probiotics are living organisms that can help improve the balance of good bacteria in your gut. When your gut bacteria are in balance, it can help reduce inflammation and improve overall health. Look for a probiotic supplement that contains a variety of different strains of bacteria and talk to your doctor before starting any new supplements. 

Your gut health and your eyes are more connected than you might think. By focusing on eating a healthy, balanced diet and taking care of your gut health, you can reduce your risk of dry eye and improve your overall health and wellness. At our dry eye center in Pembroke Pines, we can share more expert advice for preventing dry eye and provide dry eye treatment if you’re already suffering from this condition. Schedule an appointment at our office and ask our eye doctor about potential lifestyle changes and treatment options that can help.