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Unless you get a blood test, vitamin D deficiency is tricky to detect. Many of the symptoms are vague and easily overlooked….
You may feel tired.
You may feel depressed.
You may get sick often.
But how likely are you to head to the doctor if you feel any of these symptoms?
Many of us feel this way often, and we just chalk it up to stress and carry on with our lives.
The problem is, if we’re letting our vitamin D deficiency go untreated, we’re putting ourselves at risk for many serious diseases, like dementia, cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis and more.
Luckily, there is a sign of vitamin D deficiency that’s more likely to get your attention. In fact, it’s impossible to ignore because it changes the way you see the entire world…
Vitamin D deficiency dries out your eyes
A study published in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases found an unusual but obvious warning sign you’re deficient in vitamin D….
The study included 50 pre-menopausal women who were deficient in vitamin D and 48 who weren’t.
Researchers compared the frequency and severity of dry eye symptoms among each group using three different diagnostic tests, and here’s what they found…
- Based on a test called the Schirmer’s test, 52 percent of women deficient in vitamin D had dry eyes. Only 4 percent of the women who weren’t vitamin D deficient had dry eyes.
- Based on a test called the tear break-up time test (TBUT), 74% of women deficient in vitamin D had dry eyes and only 12% of non-deficient women did.
- Based on a test called the ocular surface disease index (OSDI), 70 percent of women deficient in vitamin D had dry eyes and only 19% of non-deficient women did.
Vitamin D deficient women also had more eye impairment, pain, and fatigue according to the Stanford Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), Visual analog scale-pain (VAS-pain) and the Fatigue severity scale (FSS).
Now, this was a relatively small study. But based on these results, vitamin D deficiency seems to dry out your eyes.
Dealing with dry eyes and vitamin D deficiency
If you suddenly develop symptoms of dry eye, it wouldn’t hurt to probe deeper into your vitamin D status. Some dry eye symptoms you could experience include:
- Temporarily blurred vision that improves when you blink
- Feeling like there’s something in your eye
- Sensitivity to light
- Watery eyes
Women in the study who were categorized as vitamin D deficient had levels that were lower than 20 ng/ml or 50 nmol/l.
If you have dry eyes and your vitamin D levels are lower than that, you may consider spending more time in the sun and taking a vitamin D supplement.
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- New study suggests vitamin D deficiency is related to dry eye — Vitamin D Council
- Dry eyes — Mayo Clinic
- How do I get the vitamin D my body needs? — Vitamin D Council