Often times, the best long term treatment for dry eye disease is a combination of lubrication and inflammation management through natural means. Preservative-free artificial tears are often the best way to keep the ocular surface lubricated, however punctal occlusion (the insertion of a collagen plug in the tear draining component of the eye) can keep the naturally produced tears on the eye longer. Omega-3s (either in the form of fatty fish like salmon or supplements) have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body, and have long been used to treat dry eye disease. Unfortunately, as much as 90 percent of Americans aren’t getting enough omega-3s in their diet. Although 2018’s DREAM study questions the efficacy of Omega-3 supplementation for dry eye, we (and many other scientific studies) feel quite confident in the treatment of ocular inflammation (and bodily inflammation in general) with Omega-3 supplements.


Age related macular degeneration is another ocular condition that can benefit from proper nutrition. Since the original Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), a cocktail of vitamins have been shown to potentially slow the progression of macular degeneration. That cocktail of vitamins was then modified with the help of the second Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS-2.) That cocktail of vitamins includes specific amounts of vitamin-C, E, beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, omega-3, zinc, and copper.

Even with vitamins, however, more isn’t always better. Recent research suggests that certain people can actually have their macular degeneration INCREASE if they take too much zinc. Fortunately, we can conduct a genetic test at our office to reveal which of our patients are the most susceptible to zinc and modify macular degeneration supplements accordingly. We certainly feel genetic testing is the future of healthcare and will lead to a more accurate and personal treatment plan for our patients.