Dry eye is exactly what you would think - a condition in which the eyes do not have adequate moisture. Typical symptoms of dry eye include discomfort, stinging, redness and fatigue in the eyes, along with blurred vision and sensitivity to light. Research indicates that inflammatory factors play a key role in the development of dry eye. There have also been studies conducted that suggest a possible association between vitamin D levels and dry eye symptoms.
A variety of studies have been performed in recent years that have looked at the relation between dry eye and vitamin D deficiency. Tests conducted by researchers to diagnose dry eyes included the Schirmer’s tear test, tear break-up time test (TBUT) and ocular surface disease index (OSDI). While the studies varied in their detail, for example, one study focused on age while another included only pre-menopausal women, there was consistency in the connection between dry eye and vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin D supplements increased vitamin D levels in participants and improved dry eye symptoms, including their tear quality and ocular surface conditions. Researchers proposed that vitamin D may help prevent dry eyes by inducing cathelicidin, an anti-microbial protein that can be produced by cells in the eyes. This could be linked to the development of the protective coating of tears that cover the front of the eyes and may also help reduce inflammation of the eye surface.
Your eyes are the window to your health and are often early indicators of broader issues. Beyond impacting the eyes, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to numerous health concerns such as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease.
Diagnosis and treatment for dry eye is as close as your holistic optometrist. Call (905) 702-1616 for more information or to book an appointment today.