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Artificial tears

MagazineMarch 2006 (Vol. 16 Issue 12)Artificial tears

* vitamin A, the premier vitamin for eye health

* vitamin A, the premier vitamin for eye health. Suggested dosage: 10,000 IU/day, plus at least 400 IU/day of vitamin D. Also, increase your intake of vitamin A-rich foods like eggs and fish like salmon.

* omega-3 fatty acids from either fish oils or flaxseed. Suggested dosage: 1000 mg three times a day.

* glutathione and lutein, amino acids known to improve lubrication of the eye. Suggested dosage: 500 mg/day of glutathione; 6 mg/day (three cups of spinach a week) of lutein.

* B-complex vitamins, particularly B2, which can help a wide variety of eye problems. Suggested dosage: 50 mg/day (B-complex).

* vitamin C. Suggested dosage: at least 3 g/day.

Clean out your medicine chest and avoid drugs like painkillers, antipyretics (like aspirin), antidepressants and antipsychotics, all of which are known to cause dry eye (Arch Intern Med, 1999; 159: 1359-63).

If you use a computer, take frequent breaks, and ensure that you are blinking regularly. Install a humidifier in your office and even your bedroom, to keep your eyes moist. You could also try promoting eye lubrication by using:

* Cineraria eyedrops, a homeopathic remedy to help with the irrigation of the eye, available from Helios (+44 (0)1892 537 254; www.helios.co.uk)

* rose hydrosol (flower water), available from a reputable supplier of essential oils

* warmed oil, such as castor oil, rubbed externally on your eyelids last thing before going to bed
* warmed compresses which, placed over closed eyes for five minutes, can help to restore the tear film.


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