What Causes Dry Eyes

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 11/25/2023

Have you ever wondered why your eyes feel like the dry and sandy Sahara Desert? Maybe you've chalked it up to too much screen time or allergies. Perhaps the cause of your discomfort could be traced to a deficiency in Vitamin A.

Vitamin A isn't just any old vitamin; it's an unsung hero in our bodies, playing critical roles from supporting good vision to maintaining healthy skin. Unfortunately, when we're running low on this vital nutrient, our body signals us with symptoms we often dismiss.

Now picture this: understanding how a simple change in your diet can turn things around for your eye health. No more waking up with gritty eyes! Sounds like a dream come true, right?

Hang tight, and we'll explore the link between dry eyes and Vitamin A deficiency. It's worth your energy.

Understanding Vitamin A Deficiency

Vitamin A plays a crucial role in maintaining our overall health. It's not just about sight, although that is certainly significant.

This essential nutrient helps with cell growth and differentiation, playing a critical part in the healthy development of the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs.

Without adequate vitamin A, deficiencies can occur. While these are rare in developed countries thanks to abundant food sources rich in this nutrient, like cod liver oil or butter, they're still an issue worldwide.

The Role of Vitamin A in the Body

A lack of vitamin A can impact many bodily functions, but focus on one symptom you might be surprised by: dry eyes. Vitamin A deficiency can cause dry eyes and other symptoms such as sinus issues and sleep apnea.

Now imagine rubbing sandpaper over your eyeballs – not fun at all. So, getting enough vitamin A is crucial for keeping those peepers lubricated.

This link between eye health and nutrition shows how interconnected our bodies are - each system influencing another, creating a symphony of biochemical reactions to keep us alive.

The Connection Between Dry Eyes and Vitamin A Deficiency

If you're experiencing the annoying sensation of eye twitching or the discomfort of dry eyes, a potential underlying cause could be a deficiency in vitamin A. This essential nutrient plays a critical role in maintaining optimal eye health.

However, when vitamin A levels drop below the required threshold, it can lead to various eye issues, including dryness and involuntary eye twitching.

The Impact of Vitamin A Deficiency on Eye Health

Vitamin A is more than just another vitamin - it's like the security guard for your eyes. It protects them from damage and ensures they function optimally. When deficient in this essential nutrient, issues can start to arise.

Your tear ducts are particularly affected by a lack of vitamin A. They become less effective at producing tears, which leads to dryness and discomfort.

The stats don't lie: a significant percentage of people suffering from chronic dry eyes have been found to have inadequate levels of this vital vitamin.

To keep those peepers well-lubricated (and happy), getting enough dietary or supplemental vitamin A is paramount. But remember - not all sources are created equal. More on that later, though; we've got plenty more juicy info to cover first.

Dietary Sources of Vitamin A

Preventing vitamin A deficiency isn't tricky. It simply involves including foods rich in this essential nutrient in your diet.

Animal-based Sources of Vitamin A

You can find vitamin A in various animal-based products, significantly benefiting your health.

Cod liver oil is one of the most potent sources available. Don't fret if you're not keen on fishy tastes. Butter and egg yolk are also packed with this vital nutrient.

Plant-based Sources of Vitamin A

For those who prefer a plant-based diet or want more variety, there are numerous sources of pre-vitamin A to choose from.

Leafy greens like kale and parsley contain pre-vitamin A, which is just one step away from becoming fully-fledged vitamin A once it enters our bodies.

The Role of Gallbladder in Vitamin A Absorption

Your gallbladder, a tiny organ situated beneath the liver, is essential for your body to absorb vitamin A. But how does this work?

Understanding Gallbladder Function

The gallbladder is like a storage unit for bile - a fluid made by your liver to break down fats during digestion. The gallbladder releases bile into the small intestine, facilitating digestion of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A.

This bile then acts as a detergent, breaking down large fat globules and allowing enzymes to do their job more efficiently. The result? Vitamins are better absorbed.

How a Sluggish Gallbladder Affects Vitamin A Absorption

A sluggish or poorly functioning gallbladder might not release enough bile when needed, leading to problems absorbing necessary nutrients, including vitamin A.

Research shows that issues with your gallbladder can prevent up to 40% of dietary vitamin A from being adequately absorbed. This means it's crucially important we keep our digestive system running smoothly for optimal health.

Correcting Vitamin A Deficiency

If you're battling dry eyes and skin issues, these could be signs of vitamin A deficiency. But don't fret - we can fix this.

Dietary Changes for Boosting Vitamin A Levels

Your diet plays a pivotal role in maintaining your vitamin levels. Adding foods high in vitamin A to your daily meals is an uncomplicated way of increasing your intake.

Animal-based foods like cod liver oil, butter, and egg yolk are packed with it. Choose leafy greens such as kale or parsley containing pre-vitamin A if you prefer plant-based sources.

Vitamin K deficiency, Doctor writing on transparent screen

The Role of Bile Salts in Correcting Vitamin A Deficiency

Beyond dietary changes, did you know bile salts can help too? These nifty substances support gallbladder function, which aids the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like our star player here - vitamin A.

A sluggish gallbladder may hinder proper absorption, but bile salt supplements can provide a much-needed boost. They promote better digestion and let your body use all that good stuff from your food.


So, we've discovered the causes of dry eyes and vitamin A deficiency are more intertwined than you might think. Remember this: our bodies need Vitamin A to function optimally.

The lack of it can cause problems like dry skin, sinus issues, sleep apnea, and, most notably for us here - dry eyes.

Consuming edibles packed with vitamin A, like cod liver oil and kale, is essential for our health. Let's not forget about supporting gallbladder health, too, since a sluggish one could lead to poor absorption of this crucial nutrient.

Takeaway time: You may need to adjust your diet and take bile salts to get back on track. Keep these insights handy because they're essential for maintaining healthy eyesight!

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