Is It True That Flaxseed Oil Can Treat Dry Eyes

flaxseed oil

Flaxseed Oil Benefits

Dry eyes are a common issue which can cause your eyes to feel scratchy, irritated, and sensitive. You might also feel blurry vision.

The condition can happen when your eyes don’t make enough tears, or when the tears you make don’t provide sufficient moisture to your eyes. Sometimes dry eyes are temporary and caused by certain factors like being outdoors on a windy day or wearing your contacts for too long. However, dry eyes can also be chronic sometimes.

Some people are able to find relief from chronic dry eye with over-the-counter eye drops, but these eye drops aren’t a solution for everyone.

There are several options that can help manage chronic dry eyes. One very popular option is flaxseed oil which is an oil made from pressed and ground flax seeds. It’s sometimes also called linseed oil and is known for being a good source of omega-3-fatty acids.

Some evidence suggests that omega-3 fatty acids can be good for people with chronic dry eyes. This might be the reason why some people say that flaxseed oil helps relieve their dry eyes.

Benefits of flaxseed oil for dry eyes

Flaxseed oil is loaded with a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids. One very important omega-3 fatty acid is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). As ALA breaks down during digestion, the body converts it into two different fatty acids, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA).

Your body uses DHA and EPA to guard the cell membranes. 

The possible benefits of the omega-3 fatty acids which are found in flaxseed oil for treating dry eyes are discussed here.

Increased healthy tear production

Omega-3 fatty acids can help the glands in your eyes called meibomian glands work better. These glands help to make the oily part of your tears. Enhancing the function of your meibomian glands raises the production of the oily part of tears. This can help to relieve dry eye symptoms.

Reduced inflammation

Dry eyes can lead to swelling of your eyelids and also on the surface of your eyes. This can make your dry eyes feel worse and cause even more swelling. Omega-3 fatty acids are well known to decrease inflammation. This can stop the cycle of inflammation and relieve the symptoms of dry eyes.

Regulated hormonal levels

Dry eyes can sometimes be caused due to unbalanced hormones. Omega-3 fatty acids have been associated with more stable hormone production and hormone regulation. This may improve eye dryness and boost overall eye health.

Potential risks and side effects

There are some possible side effects you should know about before using flaxseed oil for your dry eyes. 

There isn’t enough data to tell how well flaxseed oil works for chronic dry eyes. 

Other risks include:

Medication interactions. It’s risky to consume flaxseed oil with several prescription medications, including blood thinners, blood sugar regulators, blood pressure medications, and prescription medications that affect estrogen levels. Aspirin and some nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also react with flaxseed oil.

Low blood sugar. Flaxseed oil can even lower your blood sugar levels. People with conditions that affect their blood sugar or who take blood sugar regulation medication might be unable to use flaxseed oil.

Increased bleeding. Flaxseed oil can cause you to bleed more easily than you would otherwise.

Low blood pressure. You might feel a drop in blood pressure levels from taking flaxseed oil. This can be dangerous if your blood pressure levels were already low, or if you are on medications to lower your blood pressure.

No quality guarantee. Flaxseed oil isn’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so there are no standards and regulations set regarding the content of flaxseed oil supplements and products.

Allergies. Just like any food or supplement, it’s also possible to be allergic to flaxseed oil. It’s necessary to watch for any signs of an allergic reaction when you start using flaxseed oil. Stop using it immediately if you find any allergy symptoms.

How to consume flaxseed oil for dry eyes?

You need to consume flaxseed oil to treat dry eyes. There is no official recommended dosage for using flaxseed oil. Talk to your medical professional before intaking flaxseed oil to see if they have a recommended maximum dosage depending on your health and situation.

For various people, one of the best ways to take flaxseed oil is to eat it as part of their diet. You can’t cook with flaxseed oil, but you can use it as the base for salad dressings and sauces.

Flaxseed oil can also be incorporated into smoothies, yoghurts, oatmeal, and other foods. You can even find cereals, nutrition bars, and other prepackaged foods consisting of flaxseed oil.

You can even use flaxseed oil as a supplement. It’s available in a capsule as well as in liquid form. Flaxseed oil supplements do have dosage recommendations included. But that will often vary as different supplements are formulated to contain different amounts of flaxseed oil. Keep in mind that as these supplements are not monitored closely by the FDA, they may contain an incorrect quantity of active ingredients or ingredients that might not be listed on the label.

Take Away

Flaxseed oil is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids. There is little evidence to show that omega-3 fatty acids might be good for people with dry eyes. Omega-3 fatty acids might relieve dry eyes by boosting healthy tear production, reducing inflammation, and balancing hormones.

However, these claims need some more research. It’s important to be cautious when using flaxseed oil for dry eyes. Consult a medical professional before you take flaxseed oil or any other supplement for dry eyes.