Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Eye Health Center

Font Size

Don't Want Dry Eyes? Eat Your Tuna

Less Dry Eye Syndrome in Women Who Eat Lots of Tuna
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Oct. 20, 2005 -- Women who eat a diet rich in tuna are less likely to have dry eye syndrome.

Dry eye syndrome afflicts more than 10 million Americans. Artificial tears help but offer only temporary relief.

Might diet play a role? A clue comes from the nearly 40,000 female health professionals aged 45-84 enrolled in the Women's Health Study.

Brigham and Women's Hospital researcher Biljana Miljanovi?, MD, MPH, and colleagues looked at whether essential fatty acids -- the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and the omega-6 fatty acids found in meat -- play a role.

It seems they do. Women who ate the most omega-3 fatty acids had a lower risk of dry eye syndrome compared with those who ate the least.

Eating a diet rich in tuna -- the main source of omega-3 fatty acids in the American diet -- also helped.

Compared with women who eat less than one 4-ounce serving of tuna a week:

  • Women who ate two to four servings of tuna per week had a 19% lower risk of dry eye syndrome.
  • Women who ate five or six servings of tuna per week had a 68% lower risk of dry eye syndrome.

Balancing fish and meat consumption also helped. Women who got much more omega-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids had a 2.5-fold higher risk of dry eye syndrome compared with those with more balanced fatty-acid intake.

"These findings suggest that increasing dietary intake of [omega-3] fatty acids may reduce the risk of dry eye syndrome, an important and prevalent cause of ocular complaints," Miljanovi? and colleagues conclude.

Don't like tuna? You can get omega-3 fatty acids from other fatty fish (such as salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines, and herring), flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, canola oil, soybeans, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts.

The findings appear in the October issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Today on WebMD

Woman holding tissue to reddened eye
Learn about causes, symptoms, and treatments.
Simple annoyance or the sign of a problem?
red eyes
Symptoms, triggers, and treatments.
blue eye with contact lens
Tips for wearing and caring.
Understanding Stye
human eye
eye exam timing
vision test
is vision correction surgery for you
high tech contacts
eye drop