Anti-Inflammatory Diet and Healthy Eyes

Variety of organic vegetables and fruits Inflammation in the body has a positive role in helping to heal infections and injuries, but ongoing inflammation that is no longer needed for healing can have the opposite effect. Chronic inflammation can adversely impact health. Many of our BostonSight® PROSE patients struggle with health conditions in which inflammation plays a central role, including rheumatoid arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome, graft vs. host disease, and Stevens Johnson syndrome. Dry eye disease can also be a direct result of inflammation.

When the eyes are affected, PROSE treatment restores a healthy ocular surface environment and alleviates pain, light sensitivity, and blurred vision that result from these inflammatory conditions. A healthful diet that incorporates inflammation-fighting foods can also help relieve symptoms and improve health.

An anti-inflammatory diet is an eating plan that strives to calm the body’s inflammation and reduce the negative health effects that are the result of this inflammation. Research shows that eliminating foods that promote inflammation and adding those that decrease inflammation can have a direct impact in treating dry eye disease. Other known health benefits include reducing the risks of diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s disease, as well as other age-related disorders, including cancer.

The essential components of this diet involve adding:

  • Colorful whole fruits and vegetables
  • Healthy fats (such as omega 3s)
  • Fiber
  • Moderate amounts of organic meat
  • Spices/herbs with anti-inflammatory properties (turmeric, garlic, and ginger are a few)

Foods that should be avoided include:

  • Trans or hydrogenated fats
  • Refined oils
  • High-glycemic or processed foods (examples are highly processed carbohydrates such as crackers and pastries, candy, fruit juices, and corn syrup)
  •  Red meat
  • Food allergens
  • Artificial sweeteners and preservatives

For more detailed information on this diet, the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine offers detailed fact sheets and an illustrative anti-inflammatory food pyramid to help guide you in following this eating plan for better health.

Do you follow an anti-inflammatory diet to help your eye health condition? What benefits have you experienced?