The saying goes that “you are what you eat” so it’s not surprising that many studies look at how diet affects medical conditions. A recent paper published in the “Journal of Investigative Ophthalmology” did just that with allergic conjunctivitis. Allergic conjunctivitis is that problem with the red, irritated eyes affecting many people especially in the spring and the fall. Specifically, the study found that including mandarin orange yogurt in the diet helped control those annoying symptoms.
The study involved patients who were known to be allergic to cedar pollen. Different concentrations of the pollen extract were put in the eyes of these brave volunteers and the effects on the eyes measured. Then they consumed mandarin orange yogurt daily for two weeks and returned to repeat the pollen testing. All patients showed a decrease in redness, itching and irritation when the pollen extract was placed in the eyes after their 2 weeks of yogurt use.
Why might this occur? The oranges contain nobiletin and the yogurt contains beta-lactoglobulin. Together they are thought to inhibit histamines which are the major component of allergic responses. You may want to store away this important information for next spring if you only have seasonal allergies but for those with year-round problems, this is news you can use right away.
What else can you do for allergic eye problems? Wash around your eyes with mild soap, try over-the-counter anti-histamine drops and or call us about stronger prescription drops. We are here to help.
Dr. Martha Jay is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist specializing in medical and surgical eye care such as small incision cataract surgery and blade-free LASIK. She practices at Lakeshore Eye Care Professionals with offices in Mequon & Saukville, Wisconsin with Drs. Mark German and James Ivanoski.
For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com.