Total Eye Care will be conducting clinical trials for patients with dysautonomia, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis. As a part of the study, participants will receive an eye exam at no charge. Currently, we still have some openings for patients with relapsing remitting MS. If you would like to be a part of the study please contact us at [email protected].
For strict dietary vegans flax meal may be the only option of increasing the omega 3 fatty acids, albeit an inefficient one. However, for most people flax seed oil’s role is very limited in the treatment of dry eye syndrome. Flax seed meal on the other hand may have a limited role. The biggest disadvantages to using flax seed oil is that you can’t cook with it (it is not stable above 160° F), it must be refrigerated and it has a short shelf life. Flax seed meal, on the other, hand can be used as a shortening substitute, has a very high fiber content, has a much longer shelf life and can be used in baking. Therefore, I would only recommend flax seed oil over omega 3 fatty acids derived from fish if someone did not like the texture of the flax seed meal or flax meal would be inappropriate in a particular recipe.
One of the best uses of flax seed meal is its high fiber content therefore, I would recommend flax seed meal in baking to increase our dietary fiber and any ALA (alpha linolenic acid) converted to the omega fatty acids is just an extra bonus. In addition, flax seeds are not digested by our bodies and should not be considered as a dietary source of fiber or omega 3 fatty acids. The flax seed’s shell is very hard and must be crushed if our bodies are to utilize it. Therefore, if you must rely on flax as a source of omega 3 fatty acids utilize flax seed meal.
This article is the fourth and final article in a series on Omega 3 fatty acids in the treatment of dry eye syndrome.
The short answer, without question is fish oil. We have found better results by eliminating the flax seed oil and greatly increasing the EPA and DHA (we like 2000 mg to 3000 mg of EPA and DHA combined). Flax seed oil is very unstable and thus has a short shelf life at room temperature. Flax seed oil also does not contain omega 3 fatty acids, instead our bodies must convert the ALA (alpha linolenic acid) contained within the flax seed into the omega 3 fatty acids that can then be used by our bodies. Another disadvantage to flax seed oil is that our body’s conversion of flax seed oil to EPA or DHA is very inefficient. The conversion ALA to EPA/DHA rate has been reported to be between 4% and 15% (worse for DHA than EPA and lower for men than women). A person’s conversion rate can vary based on many factors. Therefore, fish is a much better and efficient source of omega 3 fatty acids.
This article is the third in the four part series on using omega 3 fatty acids in treating dry eye syndrome
As eye doctors we recommend that our patients with dry eyes increase their dietary intake of omega 3 fatty acids. Our typical dosage is 2000 mg to 3000 mg in a combination of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). This translates into 4 oz of wild, Atlantic salmon per day. Regardless of how much we like salmon we probably don’t want it every day no matter how many different ways there are to fix it, therefore fish oil capsules are a necessary dietary supplement. Unfortunately, not all fish oil capsules are created equal. Often inferior and/or low dose varieties cause “fish burp” and indigestion while others can not be efficiently used by our bodies. Here is an article on how to evaluate the different types of omega 3 fish oil capsules.
This article is the second of a four part series on using omega 3 fatty acids in treating dry eye syndrome
A hot topic currently in medicine revolves around the multiple benefits of increasing the Omega 3 Fatty Acids in our western diets. At Total Eye Care we have recommended increasing the essential fatty acids in our diet for many years. A pilot study, conducted by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, on the efficacy Omega 3 Fatty Acids in the treatment of dry eye syndrome was published in the journal Cornea. 36 patients with dry eye syndrome were involved in the study. The control group was given a placebo and the study group was given a daily dose of 450 mg of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), 300 mg of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and 1000 mg of flaxseed oil. The patient’s symptoms and objective findings were assessed at baseline and then again 90 days later.
The objective findings suggested that there was increased tear production as well as an improvement in fluorophotometry (the assessment of the tears with fluorescein dye), however more importantly 70% of the study group experienced an improvement in their symptoms versus only 7% of the control group. This data compares well with what we see clinically at Total Eye Care.
This article is the first in a four part series on using omega 3 fatty acids in the treatment of dry eye syndrome
Posted onMarch 10, 2008|Comments Off on Dr Driscoll to Ride in MS -150 Houston to Austin
Dr. Driscoll is riding in the Houston to Austin MS 150 April 12 & 13. What is the MS 150? It is a 2 day, 150 mile bicycle ride from Houston to Austin raising money to help find a cure for Multiple Sclerosis. This is Dr. Driscoll’s second ride for the Cure, the first being from San Antonio to Corpus Christi. The Houston ride is huge, there will be 15,000 riders. If you would like to donate to the MS Society and sponsor Dr. Driscoll click on this link a new window will open and take you directly to the BP MS 150’s official site.
I’m looking forward to the ride. I’m riding with a fellow optometrist and his team from Victoria, TX. I have been training a lot for this ride. Some of you may have seen me in spin class at LifeTime Fitness. The first day will be long, about 80 miles, but with fewer hills. The second day will be about 70 miles. As we get closer to Austin the hills get bigger and more frequent. I plan to record my experience this blog.