Women experience drastic hormonal changes during menopause that frequently lead to changes in their body structures, including their eyes. Eye dryness causes constant irritation as women struggle to see despite lack of lubrication on the eyes’ surfaces, but it also damages the retina and macula.
Increasing natural tear production is vital to avoid macular degeneration that commonly occurs as women age. Macular degeneration is a leading cause of vision loss and blindness for mature adults that affects up to 50 million people worldwide as it damages central vision due to a buildup of cellular debris inside the eyeballs that leads to scarred and atrophied tissue.
Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids
With approximately 60 percent of menopausal women noticing a difference in the lubrication of their eyes, finding a natural remedy is essential rather than relying on medical intervention. Changes in the diet may help prevent eye dryness and reduce the chances of developing this condition that can lead to macular degeneration.
In addition, recent studies indicate that nearly 70 percent of menopausal women diagnosed with macular degeneration begin to experience some improvement after adding omega-3 rich foods to their daily meals. The primary source of omega-3 fatty acids is from fish, including these varieties:
Animal, Plant Sources, Or Dietary Supplements?
It is also possible to increase omega-3 levels by consuming red meat or eggs, but these sources supply miniscule amounts of the fatty acids. And don’t buy into the omega-3 eggs claim; they too offer very little amounts.
Many women prefer getting this nutrient from plant sources such as flaxseeds and walnuts. This is mainly because fish sources can expose one to toxins such as mercury, lead, and dioxins. However, these sources supply a type of fatty acid known as ALA. The most important fatty acids are EPA and DHA, with most experts asserting that DHA is the most important among them.
An additional way to increase omega-3 levels in the body is by taking dietary supplements, especially for women with allergies and food sensitivities. This is in most cases the most viable way of getting the fats in adequate amounts, provided you get a quality omega-3 product.
Taking omega-3 fatty acids through food or dietary supplements has other beneficial effects for menopausal women. These include potentially reducing the discomfort of arthritis and lowering high cholesterol levels.