Flaxseed oil for dry eye treatment

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One of the most common eye problems that affect millions of people is dry eye, which has possible causes including allergies, refractive surgeries as well as other eye diseases. Medications such as eye drops and ointments are usually used to treat dry eye.

However, a study in 2006 showed that flaxseed oil can be as effective as the dry eye medication Doxycycline for dry eye treatment among patients after LASIK. And further studies indicated that flaxseed oil was also effective in dry eye prevention. Furthermore, flaxseed is associated with fewer side effects than Doxycycline.

The reason why flaxseed is effective in treating dry eye is that it contains high level of essential fatty acids, especially beneficial omega-3.

Liquid flaxseed oil is only one of the three forms of flaxseeds, all of which should be taken orally. Capsules containing flaxseed oil are more convenient but they require a higher dosage. And they are still more expensive. The third form is ground flaxseed, which requires prior grinding. These ground flaxseeds should also be mixed in a glass of water or milk.

Flaxseed oil is the earliest form and is relatively inexpensive. But it has a disadvantage that it must be kept in a refrigerator. Exposure to air makes flaxseed oil to oxidize quickly, so that you should always check the expiration date. In most cases, you can take a tablespoon or 14 grams of flaxseed oil per day. In capsule form, three to six capsules are ok.

Some medical experts recommend cold-pressed sources of flaxseed oil for best effects. Without heat, this type of oil is extracted from seeds during the cold-pressed process, bringing a higher quality. But cold-pressed flaxseed oil is more expensive than ordinary flaxseed oil.