Evidence From Clinical Studies
To date, there have been few studies investigating the gut microbiota of SS subjects compared to healthy individuals, and their results have been similar and yet different . The Î±-diversity of the gut microbiota was reported to decrease in SS subjects , while others did not observe any difference . Overall, studies agree on the presence of a significantly different gut microbiota of SS subjects compared to healthy controls through Î²-diversity analysis .
Probiotics Might Help If You Suffer From Dry Eye
A new discovery that probiotics may help patients with dry eye gives hope to those such as Jennifer Aniston who suffer from this irritable and often debilitating eye condition.
The accidental discovery of probiotic relief was made by Brisbane optometrist Julie Newport who has a special interest in treating dry eye.
Probiotics taken as dietary supplements or found in dairy foods contain live bacteria that replace or add to the beneficial bacteria normally present in the gastrointestinal tract.
She advised that she sees a lot of dry eye patients and some are more challenging than others including one patient that she had spent months trying a range of treatments on to make her eyes more comfortable.
The patient moved cities and later emailed Julie to advise that she had started probiotics and it had made a huge difference to her eyes. Julie then decided to advise another patient, with very dry eyes, to also take probiotics.
This patient was experiencing very dry eyes from taking the acne drug Roaccutane and I suggested that probiotics may help. She was a dietitian and she recommended a very good one, Life Space double strength probiotic, and began taking it, Julie reported.
After this patient reported her dry eye symptoms had improved, Julie started to regularly recommend this course of action.
It dove-tailed nicely with omega-3 as I also frequently suggest my dry eye patients take omega-3 fish oil capsules, she said.
What is dry eye?
They Can Increase Infection Risk For Some
Probiotics are safe for the vast majority of the population, but may not be the best fit for everyone.
In rare cases, the bacteria or yeasts found in probiotics can enter the bloodstream and cause infections in susceptible individuals (
Research also suggests that people with severe acute pancreatitis should not take probiotics, as this may increase the risk of death .
People with compromised immune systems, venous catheters, recent surgery, acute pancreatitis or prolonged hospitalizations should avoid taking probiotics.
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Can You Use Yogurt And Other Oral Probiotics On Your Eyes
Never put oral probiotics on your eyes unless your doctor says so and provides you with the right eye drops to use! Ill never advise you to put any food containing probiotics in your eyes.
However, you can continue taking oral probiotics because they can still have good effects on your eye health even if theyre processed in your gut.
Although the following probiotics are taken orally and arent specifically marketed for your eyes, they both contain probiotics that might help alleviate some eye health problems:
Bauer Nutrition Biotics 8
Bauer Nutrition Biotics 8 contains probiotics shown to have possible positive effects on eye conditions, including:
- Saccharomyces boulardii
Astaxanthin Supplementation Improves Symptoms Of Dry Eye Disease In Middle
In this study comprising of 60 middle-aged and elderly patients with DED, taking 12mg of astaxanthin daily for a month could improve tear film stability and secretion function of the meibomian gland.
DED is characterised by the loss of homeostasis of the tear film and symptoms such as dryness, burning and blurred vision. If not treated properly, it causes ocular surface damage, leading to permanent vision loss.
It is widely thought that oxidative stress and ocular surface inflammation contribute to DED. Increase in oxidative stress with advance age may lead to the loss of function of meibomian glands which can result in reduced tear secretion meibomian gland dysfunction, one of the most common causes of DED. At present, DED prevalence in China range from 21 to 58%, based on various studies.
Currently, anti-inflammatory drugs such as glucocorticoid, cyclosporine A, and tacrolimus are used for the treatment of DED.
Astaxanthin has been widely studied for its ability to reduce oxidative stress damage in many studies including other body organs. However, its clinical effect on DED is unknown, so researchers from Capital Medical University in China conducted this study and published the findings in Frontiers of Nutrition.
Mild-to-moderate DED was diagnosed as no staining or spotty staining of corneal fluorescein 30 points, tear film break-up time 2 s, Schirmer I test > 0 mm/5 min, and tear meniscus height > 0 mm.
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Gut Health And Vision: How Our Microbiome Affects Our Eyes
Over the past several years, there has been increasing interest in the relationship between the bacteria that colonize our bodies, and our general health. Most of us have heard the suggestion that the health of our gut can impact everything from depression and diabetes, to the overall health of our skin and eyes. Researchers believe that the human gut houses 70% of the immune system–its where we make nutrients, metabolize hormones and detoxifying enzymes, neutralize pathogens, and make neurotransmitters. The digestive tract contains up to 100 trillion organisms .
In regard to the health of our eyes, the microbiome of our gut can impact inflammation that can lead to Age-related Macular Degeneration and dry eye disease . High-glycemic index foods are also thought to contribute to higher incidences of retinal changes. Other researchers have suggested that the bacteria in the mouth and gut can affect the development of glaucoma.
The microbiome of the gut can be affected by several factors. Prescription and non-prescription medications, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, oral contraceptives, and medications for gastroesophageal reflux, can impact the bacteria that live in our gut. The food we eat can also impact the flora in our gut, and it can also change based on stress and sleep patterns.
There are a few ways that you can change your gut microbiome and decrease your risk of inflammatory processes in your body.
Current Knowledge Of The Gut Dysbiosis Associated With Non
In the healthy adult gut, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Verrucomicrobia are the five most abundant bacterial phyla, with the former two being the most prevalent . Gut dysbiosis, seen in several autoimmune diseases, is defined as an imbalance of the gut microbiota, and is often accompanied with a disturbed or inversed Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio. Significant changes of Î±- or Î²-diversities are often observed in autoimmune diseases. Î±-diversity is defined as variation of microbes, such as richness or inequality between speciesâ abundances in a single host, whereas Î²-diversity refers to the variation of microbial communities between the diseased and healthy hosts. In human and rodent studies, gut dysbiosis seems relevant to rheumatoid arthritis , SLE, inflammatory bowel disease, atherosclerosis, metabolic disorders, asthma, and autism . Butyrate producers, such as Clostridia, Faecalibacterium, and some species from the Lachnospiraceae family, which exert anti-inflammatory functions, tend to display an imbalance in autoimmune diseases.
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What Is The Ocular Microbiome
Chris Kresser: So, my audience has been well aware of the gut microbiome for many years. Weve also talked about the skin microbiome. We talked about the vaginal microbiome, the lung microbiome, more recently the nasal microbiology, and so its not surprising to learn that there is also an ocular microbiome. Im really looking forward to talking to you more about this and how it contributes to eye disease. Because in the conventional world, the options for preventing eye disease in the first place and then addressing them, I think, have come a long way but maybe still leaves something to be desired. Id first love to start out with just hearing a little bit more about your background, how you became interested in the ocular microbiome in your work as an ophthalmologist, and what led you down this path.
Dr. Fishman: Thats great. So, I have a pretty interesting background, where I started off in the world as a physical chemist, studied neuroscience. I was in an analytical chemistry microfluidic laser lab at Stanford and really got interested in how to measure molecules almost at the single molecule level. We were looking at vesicular and synaptic release, neurotransmitters, and what the chemical basis of learning and memory was.
Youve heard of the gut microbiomeand maybe even the skin, nasal, and vaginal microbiome. But did you know that the eyes also have a microbiome and that it plays a key role in ocular health?
Chris Kresser: Right, right.
Dr. Fishman: Whippersnapper.
Home Remedies For Dry Eyes
You can help your dry eye conditions by doing some of the following.
- drinking plenty of water- eight glasses of water per day
- using a humidifier- especially in your bedroom at night
- avoiding smoke, wind, air conditioning, and dry environments.
- wearing wraparound sunglasses while outdoors
- reducing screen use, taking breaks, and blinking frequently
- consuming more vitamin A and omega-3s through ones diet or by taking supplements
- Eat enough leafy greens, and reduce intake of red meat.
Visit your healthcare professional for a regular check-up to ensure eye health.
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Can Helicobacter Pylori Cause Dry Eyes
In a 2004 clinical trial, researchers discovered that patients with Helicobacter pylori were more likely to develop quantitative moisturizing disorders.
The study explained that Helicobacter pylori are bacteria linked toSjögrens syndrome and Acne rosacea, both of which have connections to dry eye syndrome.
However, the researchers also warned that this still requires further studies and clinical trials with a larger population.
Researchers in future clinical trials might consider treating the test subjects for Helicobacter pylori and checking whether this would alleviate or completely remove the symptoms of dry eye.
Is There A Cure For Dry Eyes Permanently
Currently, there is no permanent cure for dry eye disease.
However, several options can help you reduce symptoms and protect your vision.
Dry eye treatments focus on removing or minimizing environmental triggers and maintaining an adequate and functional tear film on the eyes surface.
If there is a simple underlying cause for your DED, your eye doctor can quickly treat and resolve the symptoms. However, most chronic dry eye diseases are more complicated.
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T Cell Activation In The Eye
Dr. Fishman: One of the thoughts, and there was a paper that and these are all interesting, really recent papers like 2015 to 2016, but theres that commensal microbiota and bacteria in the gut that activate T cells. These T cells then circulate and then actually pass into and through the retina, in other parts of the eye, to then activate directly. Its definitely via the immune system, but there are very specific immune cells that actually can penetrate into the eye. Theres always been that thought that the eye is immunologically pristine, and that really is obviously not the case, but there are very selective T cells that can in fact get into the eye or pass into the eye, and so thats what we think that is going on, is that theres a dysregulation in the microbiome of the gut.
As you pointed out, you get T cell activation, and then it actually activates the local immune system in the eye. Actually, a really interesting situation that we see with respect to that, we actually can see diseases like sympathetic ophthalmia, which is a disease where if you injure one eye, activation of the T cells from one eye actually can go to the other eye, and you can actually lose the other eye, so you could actually have a question where are you
Chris Kresser: Oh, wow.
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Dont Let Dry Eyes Go Untreated
Taking care of dry eyes not only relieves discomfort but can help you avoid infection or even scarred corneas. Treatment is pretty simple, too.
For people who make enough tears but have dry eye symptoms, Dr. Gardiner recommends
gentle eye massage to stimulate the oil glands on the lid margins.
For people who arent making enough tears, Dr. Gardiner recommends
medicines that increase tear production, such as ophthalmic cyclosporine
an in-office procedure to block tear drainage by inserting plugs into the tear drainage ducts.
Some research has even suggested that caffeine can help dry eyes. “Caffeine does increase the production of the lacrimal glands,” says Dr. Gardiner, “but be careful about increasing your caffeine intake. Too much caffeine can cause jitters and insomnia.” In other words, dont guzzle coffee in an attempt to fix dry eyes.
My own fix for dry eyes has been using artificial tears, leaving my contacts in their boxes , and wearing eyeglasses. Its not as convenient as wearing contact lenses, but its a lot more comfortable on these middle-aged eyes.
About the Author
Probiotics And Your Eyes
Probiotics are live microorganisms that are consumed because of their health effects. Probiotics are being hailed to help treat gastrointestinal tract problems, counteract the side effects of antibiotics, and offer general immune support. Probiotics are available as an oral supplement, or they can be placed in foodthe public has learned more about probiotics as their health benefits have been publicized.
As for me, my family and I take probiotics daily!
Torrey J. Carlson, O.D.
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Are Probiotics Good For Sjgrens
Gut dysbiosis prevails in Sjögrens syndrome, among the most common chronic autoimmune diseases.
Sjögrens syndrome can cause dry eyes.
Researchers theorize in a 2020 study that because the condition itself is caused by an imbalance , then taking probiotics linked to Sjögrens syndrome could help restore balance in your gut and improve your eye health.
The study used the following probiotics, which alleviated the symptoms of this ocular surface disease:
- Lactobacillus casei
- Streptococcus thermophilus
Composition Of The Tear Film
The tear film protects and lubricates the surface of the eye and is vital for good vision. It has three layers:
- Outer layer: This layer is oily, reduces tear evaporation at the eye surface, and helps spread the tear film across the eye surface.
- Middle layer: This watery layer is a significant constituent of tears. It helps wash away foreign objects such as grit.
- Inner layer: This sticky layer coats the cornea and helps spread the watery layer. It also helps keep the tear film stuck to the surface of the eye.
Blinking spreads tears across the eyes, which then drain into the nose. Several glands and systems keep the tear film in its optimal state.
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Some Strains Can Increase Histamine Levels
Some bacterial strains used in probiotic supplements can produce histamine inside the digestive tract of humans .
Histamine is a molecule that is normally produced by your immune system when it detects a threat.
When histamine levels rise, blood vessels dilate to bring more blood to the affected area. The vessels also become more permeable so that immune cells can easily get into the relevant tissue to combat any pathogens .
This process creates redness and swelling in the affected area, and can also trigger allergy symptoms such as itching, watery eyes, runny nose or trouble breathing.
Normally, histamine that is produced in your digestive tract is naturally degraded by an enzyme called diamine oxidase . This enzyme inhibits histamine levels from rising enough to cause symptoms .
However, some people with histamine intolerance have trouble properly breaking down the histamine in their bodies, seeing as they do not produce enough DAO .
The excess histamine is then absorbed through the lining of the intestinal tract and into the bloodstream, causing symptoms similar to an allergic reaction (
Theoretically, they may want to select probiotic supplements that do not contain histamine-producing bacteria, but to date, there has been no research on this specific area.
Some histamine-producing probiotic strains include Lactobacillus buchneri, Lactobacillus helveticus, Lactobacillus hilgardii and Streptococcus thermophilus .
Lactobacillus Plantarum And Bifidobacterium Bifidum Alleviate Dry Eye In Mice With Exorbital Lacrimal Gland Excision By Modulating Gut Inflammation And Microbiota
Soo-won Yuna, Young-Hoo Sonb, Dong-Yun Leeb, Yoon-Jung Shinb, Myung Joo Han*a and Dong-Hyun Kim*baDepartment of Food and Nutrition, Kyung Hee University, 26, Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 02447, Korea. E-mail: Fax: +82-2-961-0260bNeurobiota Research Center, College of Pharmacy, Kyung Hee University, 26, Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 02447, Korea. E-mail: Fax: +82-2-957-5030
First published on 3rd March 2021
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Can Digestive & Gut Health Issues Cause Eye Problems
Gut health can affect your eyes due to something called the gut-eye axis, a 2020 review pointed out.
If your gut health is good, then it wont affect your eyes at all. However, when complications or diseases in your digestive system arise, these issues could have a negative impact on your eyes.
For example, a 2016 study showed a possible association between IBS and eye problems .
The 2015 study I mentioned also indicated that some probiotics might trigger eye problems, particularly autoimmune conditions.
But can acid reflux cause vision problems? According to the GCNJ , acid reflux can lead to temporary blurry vision. While thats bad news if you need to focus on a certain task, the good news is that its likely temporary and wont lead to permanent eye damage.
About your possible question on whether digestive problems can cause puffy eyes, the answer is actually yes. Because of the gut-eye axis that I mentioned above, serious conditions such as liver, kidney, or digestive disorders can also lead to puffy eyes.
The good news is that probiotics might help alleviate these gut and eye conditions as we already discussed above.