A recent Prevention magazine article recommended some natural remedies for dry eye symptoms (October 2012). But can yoga, supplements and acupuncture help?
Yoga for dry eye
The magazine cited a 2006 study from the journal Head and Face Medicine. People who practiced a yoga program reported fewer dry eye symptoms.
This study looked at computer workers who spent at least six hours a day, five days a week at the screen. Half the workers did an hour of yoga five days a week. The rest did an hour of other activities. Participants completed a symptom questionnaire at the beginning and end of the study. After 60 days, the yoga group reported less bothersome dry eye symptoms and the non-yoga group, worse symptoms.
Researchers noted that yoga tends to relax people, and relaxed people usually blink more. Doctors, including Oregon Eye Specialists, recommend blinking to relieve computer eye strain, which can include dry eye. While it’s possible yoga could help, researchers did not include certain people in the study, like those who had already seen a doctor for dry eye and those taking medications or with health conditions that can cause it.
Supplements for dry eye
The Prevention article recommended gamma-linoleic acid (GLA) supplements for dry eye syndrome. Research shows that essential fatty acids can help symptoms of dry eye. An ophthalmologist can recommend a supplement—including the right dose and supplement type—if he or she thinks it could help.
Acupuncture for dry eye
Prevention magazine cited a 2012 study from the journal PLoS One. In a four-week study, patients with dry eye used artificial tears or had three acupuncture sessions a week. Results for the groups were about equal after four weeks, but the acupuncture group felt better at eight weeks.
This study spelled out how the acupuncture was done, so if you receive the same treatment from an acupuncturist with similar experience, it’s possible you could benefit. Before you head for the acupuncturist, though, see your eye doctor to make sure your dry eye symptoms aren’t caused by something with an inexpensive solution, such as changing your allergy medication, or a sign of a serious medical condition such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Make an appointment
The doctors at Oregon Eye Specialists are experts in treating dry eye. Learn more about what could be causing your dry eye symptoms and get personal treatment recommendations. Request an appointment or call 503-935-5580.