Your body doesn’t make omega-3 fatty acids, so you have to get them in through your diet or supplements. They’re responsible for numerous functions important to your health — regulating clotting, heart health, and inflammation to name a few.

Omega 3’s are polyunsaturated fatty acids that you need for survival (literally). Seafood is a top source of Omega 3’s, like a nice grilled salmon filet. If you aren’t a fan of seafood, you can go to plants and, of course, supplements. Stay tuned and we’ll help you sort out top food sources and supplements.

Integrative Vision provides state-of-the-art eye care — along with valuable nutritional information that specifically benefits your eye health. We provide holistic solutions to common eye problems here in Shrewsbury.

Stick with us to learn about Omega 3’s role in your vision. We cover balancing Omega 3 and 6 for maximum benefits, healing inflammation and dry eye, and our most trusted supplement source.

Salmon and asparagus


Omega 3 Packs a Powerful Punch For Your Eye Health

3 main forms of Omega 3’s:

  1. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
  2. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA)
  3. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)

You can find DHA and EPA in fish and seafood, while plants are the primary source of ALA. All types provide unique and specific health benefits when it comes to your eyes. On a microscope level, Omega 3’s surround each cell membrane, so imagine a nice, snug hug around your cells. Essential fatty acids give your cells energy to follow through with vital daily functions.

Your eyes specifically benefit from one major feature of Omega 3: reducing inflammation. Inflammation creates eye symptoms like irritation, tearing, and a gritty sensation. Dry eye also develops when your eyes experience inflammation.

Omega 3 helps your eyes naturally produce tears, which can alleviate dry eye symptoms.

Who knew you could eat your way out of dry eye? And that’s not all. Essential fatty acids aid other conditions, like age-related macular degeneration, and an amazing study shows improvement in intraocular pressure (IOP) for those with glaucoma.

It’s evident your cells need Omega 3’s, but they also need Omega 6 at the same time. Let’s learn why.


Balance Omega 3 and Omega 6 For Maximum Health Benefits

We’re sitting here talking up Omega 3 — but without its partner, Omega 6, it doesn’t work for your body like it should. They both compete to use the same enzyme that helps stimulate hair and skin growth, brain development, digestive process, and more. When the balance is off, it causes problems.

Our diets have drastically changed over time, which impacts this delicate nutrient stability. Studies show a significant increase in our ratio of omega 6 in the last 100 years (from 4:1 to around 15:1), mainly from processed oils and fast-food, fast-paced lives. We see this impact most in our Western diets.

Unfortunately, when you eat too much Omega 6 and not enough Omega 3, it leads to increased risks of cardiovascular disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and inflammatory conditions. (Dry eye, anyone?) We see these conditions every day in the news and our closest circles. But there’s hope!


The right ratio of Omega 3 and 6 creates a balance to prevent inflammation.

Omega 3 works as an anti-inflammatory, whereas excess Omega 6 creates pro-inflammatory reactions. See why too much Omega 6 leads to problems? Many people likely suffer from this crucial imbalance and don’t even know it. That’s why we do things beyond standard eye care at Integrative Vision. 

Dr. Gioia remains one of the nation’s only functional medicine eye doctors. She proudly serves the communities of Little Silver and Red Bank with practical insight and alternative options.

At our eye care office, Dr. Gioia may recommend a specific blood test that measures your Omega 3 and Omega 6 ratio. If you’re suffering from eye symptoms, this may be beneficial for you. It’s easy and convenient, and the results usually come back within 7 days!

Fish Oil Capsules


Top Sources & Supplements (including vegan options!)

When you’re trying to achieve this important harmony, it’s important to know where to get them from. Since both Omega 3 and Omega 6 are essential fats needed in your diet, you’ve got to know what to eat! Plus, what if you don’t eat seafood…

Top Foods with Omega 3 Fatty Acids:

  • Mackerel
  • Wild Salmon
  • Herring
  • Tuna
  • Lake Trout
  • Flaxseed (v)
  • Walnuts (v)
  • Edamame (v)

Top Foods with Omega 6 Fatty Acids:

  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Soybeans (v)
  • Corn (v)
  • Nuts (v)
  • Seeds (v)

Soy and corn remain huge diet staples, so it makes sense that our Omega 6 intake increased dramatically! Supplements provide a great alternative if you know your dietary needs and preferences don’t support getting these essential fats through daily meals or snacks. It’s definitely a saturated and confusing market, so we’re happy to provide you with a great resource we know and trust.

If you’re vegan, alternatives to fish oil, like krill-based supplements, give you what you need. We partner with Fullscript to offer our patients the best practitioner-grade supplements. If you’re not vegan, you’ll find plenty of good fish oil supplements there too!

Important Supplement Fact: Omega 3’s come from either triglycerides (TG) or ethyl esters (EE). The supplement market often uses the EE form because it’s cheaper to produce. Guess which kind actually benefits you more? Triglycerides! They absorb into your body far better than EE. So check labels before you buy.


Your Shrewsbury Eye Doctor Cares About Your Health

As one of the nation’s only functional medicine eye doctors, you’re in great hands with Dr. Gioia. Ready to take your health to the next level with comprehensive nutritional knowledge? We know it’s not easy — and we’re loaded with support and resources for you.

You have an eye doctor nearby in Shrewsbury who cares about your overall well being too. Dr. Gioia knows when you nourish your body with whole foods, vitamins, and minerals — magic happens! Your overall health directly impacts your eye health and we know it.

At Integrative Vision, we offer two additional services for ocular health and nutrition:

  1. With Eye Exam PlusTM, you receive a personalized 25-30 minute consult with Dr. Gioia to go over specific recommendations for your ocular health. She may recommend a palmscore reader to check your antioxidant levels and a blood test to check your Omega 3 and 6 levels.
  2. For those looking for added support on your health journey, Dr. Gioia’s unique SEEHealthTM program offers 6 months of nutritional, supplement, diet, and lifestyle changes to promote optimal well-being. Not only will your eye health benefit — your entire body will!

You’ll experience much more than your standard eye exam with us. We’re excited to serve your family’s eye care needs.

Close up photo of eye