|QUESTION: Larry, I am wondering if you have a solution for my wife’s dry eyes. She currently takes the prescription Restasis which is very [unaffordable]. I was reading that there was a study that a solution with Vitamin A has just as much success as the ingredient in Restasis. Do you have (recommend) anything that might come close to the effect of Restasis?
Larry’s ANSWER: I usually begin by asking if there is a reason the eyes are dry. Unless caused by some prior trauma (infection, physical damage, chemical irritants, etc.) it is likely that dry eyes are one of the symptoms associated with inflammation throughout the body. One of my observations about chronic conditions/diseases is that the manner in which an individual responds to inflammation is somewhat fixed in the genetic material, our DNA. This explains why certain chronic conditions appear in families. It also explains why some family members get worse symptoms and others aren’t impacted at all.
The genetic code is important and it can be overcome. Merely having a predisposition for a disease does not mean you’ll get it. There is much work being done to substantiate this idea.
Now, back to dry eyes. If you can accept the fact that dry eyes are probably the results of some widespread internal inflammation and that the symptoms (dry eyes) can be eliminated when the underlying cause, you are on a direct path to a solution (maybe even a cure). This takes time and effort, but it seems worth it – at least it is a far better approach than using more drugs, spending more money, and still being miserable.
I have not seen that Restasis is all that useful (you would probably agree) and it is amazingly costly. I receive questions such as yours on a regular basis and I’ve devised a plan – of sorts. I had eye surgeries several decades ago and wear hard contacts every day. My dry eyes are the result of assault on my eyes, but I keep the dryness under control with simple tears (the ones with NO PRESERVATIVE, which can actually cause irritation and dryness). I do my best to follow the program I outline below and I can attest that my eyes are worse when I “cheap”. It doesn’t take much and I can detect added discomfort about 48 hours after I consume something I shouldn’t – usually something made of grains (wheat).
Our air, water, and food supply are contaminated and causing systemic inflammation. The cure (yes, CURE) is to stop systemic inflammation.
- Remove all grains, especially wheat in all its forms
- Remove all sugars and artificial sweeteners
- Remove all dairy
- Don’t drink packaged juices
- Never eat processed foods
- Eat organic vegetables and SOME organic fruit
- Eat grass-fed beef (minimal amounts)
- Eat free range chickens/eggs
- Eat fish (not farm raised fish)
- Use water filtered by Reverse Osmosis
- Use sinus rinse daily or twice-daily
- Use probiotics every day – forever
- Modest functional exercise 3 to 5 days per week
- Walk more and stand instead of sitting
- Use relaxation techniques, deep breathing, or biofeedback
- Don’t smoke cigarettes
That’s a lot and I’d never suggest diving in 100% right away. Take your time. I strongly suggest starting with the grains (wheat in particular). Check out the books by Dr. William Davis, “Wheat Belly”. People who make that change report major changes in their health. Some people even discover they need fewer prescription medicines when their natural health returns.
Speaking of medicines, it is well known that many drugs can cause side effects, and dry eyes is not unheard of. If your wife uses any medicines, check with her pharmacist to see if there is any connection between the medicines and dry eyes. If so, the next conversation should be with the prescribing doctor.
If all of this fails, there are compounded vitamin A & C drops that some people find useful.
Information is on our website.