What are dry eyes?
Dry eyes syndrome is more due to the tear glands of the eyes. Your eyes become dry when the tear glands are not producing enough tears and you will feel discomfort, pain, and irritation in your eyes.
The medical term used for dry eye syndrome is Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca.
Dry eyes are usually temporary and it is natural with aging for most people. But for some, the condition is more serious. Always take preventive measures and see your doctor if needed.
Dry eye syndrome is more in women, especially during pregnancy, after menopause, and in elderly people.
Here we provide effective natural remedies for dry eyes and for prevention methods.
Table of Contents
Types of dry eyes
Aqueous tear-deficient dry eye – This is caused when tear glands not producing sufficient tears to clean and keep the eye surface wet all the time. This dry eye is also known as a painful blindness dry eye. The causes of this type of dry eye are mainly damaging glands due to aging, air pollution, and side effects of medication.
Evaporative dry eye – This dry eye is caused by inflammations in glands in the eyelids. These glands are known as Meibomian glands. Inflammation in the glands restricts the production of oil that protects the tears from evaporating fast.
People with medication using drugs such as nasal decongestants, antihistamines, tranquilizers, medications for Parkinson’s, blood pressure medicines, antidepressants, and birth control pills also may have dry eye syndrome as a side effect of medications.
Dry eye syndrome symptoms
Lack of tears from the tear glands of the eyes makes the eyes dry and it is generally known as Dry Eye Syndrome.
These are the main dry eyes symptoms you need to know: –
- Kind of painting sensation in both eyes
- Feel of scratchy and dryness
- Eyes turning red or redness
- Mucus in and around eyes
- What causes dry eyes?
Dry eye causes are many and the main factors are:
- Environmental factors – due to air pollution, smoke, cigarette smoke
- Certain types of medications
- Your health conditions
- Contact lens
- Seeing a doctor for dry eyes
Always consult a doctor for eye-related treatment because vision is important as we all know. Trying to treating eyes by yourselves is risky and may lead to more complications. We give you here more dry eye syndrome-related symptoms so that you can take necessary action immediately.
- pain or irritation in the eyes that is not bearable
- Any kind of discharge or flakes from the eyes
- redness and swelling of eyes
- eye injury
- prolonged dryness in the eyes after your basic self-care
Natural Remedies for Dry Eyes
Here are the natural remedies for dry eyes for cure and prevention: –
1. Make your environment right
Environmental influences are most common to cause dry eyes. Air pollution, heating systems, winds, smoke, and even cigarette smoke causes dry eyes. Try your best to be indoors especially when it is windy outside.
While outdoors wear suitable eyewear. Eyewear is good to protect your eyes from winds, smoke, and dust. You should wear appropriate eyewear that is suitable for skiing, riding a motorbike, traveling in a vehicle, and so on.
In other words, avoid wind passing through your eyes at a speed that dries your eyes. Use a humidifier to moisturize the air in the house if you feel dry air.
2. Omega-3 fatty acids for dry eye syndrome
Eating omega-3-rich fatty acids food or a diet helps to cure dry eyes syndrome.
Omega 3 fatty acids have properties to reduce inflammation in the body. Therefore, it helps to reduce any inflammation in the eyes and makes way for more tear production in the eye’s glands.
Omega-3 fatty acids-rich foods are palm oil, ground flaxseed, soybean oil, flaxseed oil, walnuts, chia seeds, and fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel.
You also can eat omega-3 enriched eggs to help you with dry eyes syndrome.
Several other studies say intake of 2000 mg of Triglyceride Omega-3 daily has relieved dry eye symptoms in many patients. This is one of the best natural remedies for dry eyes.
Omega-3 triglyceride fatty acid is found in its natural form in salmon and gets directly absorbed into our bloodstream. The result is faster relief from dry eye syndromes.
3. Eye drops for dry eyes
Several eyes-drops products are for sale in the pharmacies. Some of the eye-drop products contain preservatives. The preservative-added eye drops are used to prevent bacterial growth in your eyes. You should be selective when you want to buy eye drops.
If the eye drops with preservatives react badly on your eyes then should only opt for the non-preservative eye drops. It is wise to seek a doctor’s advice to get the right eye drops for you.
Pros and cons of the preservative eye-drops for dry eyes: –
- Prevents the spread of bacteria
- Last longer than non-preservative eye drops
- It is a little stronger
- And affordable and not expensive
- Studies say preservative dry eye drops can lead to corneal neurotoxicity conditions.
- Irritates eyes when applied
- Ensure not to use more than four times a day and for a longer period of time.
Ophthalmologists and other medical professionals recommend using non-preservative dry drops as much as possible.
4. Ointments for dry eyes
You get ointments also to treat dry eyes. Since the ointments are thicker, initially it will blur your eye vision till it gets dissolved. Therefore, the ointment is good to apply before bedtime. Ointments give you longer relief from dry eyes compared to eye drops.
Dry eyes syndrome due to Medication
If your dry eye syndromes are side effects due to medication then your doctor prescribes counter medicine that does not cause dry eye. Please consult your doctor if you get dry eye symptoms.
In case your dry eye symptoms are a cause of the disease your doctor will try to treat the underlying cause of the disease.
An anti-inflammatory drug known as cyclosporine is sometimes prescribed to decrease corneal damage and increase tear production. This action reduces the symptoms of dry eye.
For corneal damage cases, doctors may prescribe a cyclosporine drug to reduce the damage and then increase the tear production in the gland. This will reduce the dry eyes symptoms
Dry Eye Prevention
You could try these ways to prevent dye eyes instead of using eye drops or ointments for relief.
Omega-3 for dry eyes
Many people have found themselves that the intake of omega-3 fatty acids in their diet, has helped to prevent dry eyes. The omega-3 fatty acids-rich food details are given above in this article.
There was a study also made that found the effectiveness of omega-3 for dry eyes and for prevention.
You could opt for omega-3 supplements for dry eyes in the form of pills or oil as an alternative for intake with your diet. Use fish oils for dry eyes as a supplement based on fish that is rich in omega-3
Avoid places with a lot of air movement
Limit your exposure to windy environments, even fans or hair dryers can cause dry eyes. Keep the shutters closed while traveling in vehicles.
Try to keep yourself indoors on windy days. Ensure wearing the right eye wearable depending on what you are doing. This way you could help to limit or prevent dry eyes. Fans and Air-conditions also blow air.
If you really need to have fans or air conditioning running when you to sleep, use a good sleep mask that covers your eyes well. This is because actually when you sleep your eyes are not fully closed.
Covering your eyes with a sleeping mask protects your eyes from becoming dry.
Humidifier for dry eyes during winter
The heating system at home may dry out the eyes. Try using a humidifier to maintain the air in the air. Alternatively, place some water in the heater as applicable to keep the air moisturized.
Excessive reading, watching TV, or working on a computer can easily dry your eyes. Take enough breaks in between to give good rest to your eyes.
You can keep your eyes closed for a while or look at distant objects or greeneries to give a cooling effect to the eyes. Doing this will help to regain moisture back in your eyes.
Maintaining good eyelids hygiene
Remember always to remove the build-up of clogs and blockages on your eyelids every day when you wash your face. These clogs and blockages may contribute to dry eye syndrome.
You could use mild shampoo or soap to wash your eyelids while having your eyes closed. Rinse off thoroughly to avoid shampoo irritating your eyes.
Regular Blinking Exercises
We really do not know how often and at what frequency we blink our eyes. Person to person may differ. However, we could do it consciously blink our eyes as an exercise.
Blinking eyes improve the flow of tears in the eyes and spread the tear all over the eyes and keep the eyeball wet evenly. Blinking fully consciously washing eyes and being fresh tears around the eyes. Therefore it helps in clearing dry eye syndrome.
Also, blinking eyes help good blood circulation around your eyes and reduces any strain on the eyes.
Here are the simple steps to do the blinking eyes exercise: –
- Sit or lie down
- Close your eyes fully
- Count one, two
- Squeeze gently your eyelids together for a count of two from one.
- Open your eyes slowly and count up to two.
- Do this exercise 5 times a day every day.
Cigarette smoke and other smokes
Smoke may irritate and also dry the eyes. Try to keep away from smoking areas and any other source of the smoke.
Warm Compress for dry eyes
The collection of oil in your eyelids may block the release of tears from the eye glands. To overcome this, keep your eyes closed and place a warm moist compress over your eyelids. Thereafter gently wash off your eyes. Eventually, it will improve the quality of the tears and helps dry eyes.
Use of moist warm compress is also used to address dry eyes caused by meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD). Meibomian glands are located in both eyelids. These glands produce lipids that keep the tears from evaporating.
Use a moist warm compress at least for 5 minutes every day to treat dry eye syndrome naturally. This is one good and safe natural remedy for dry eyes
Limit the intake of processed foods and oils
All processed food and refined oils contain Omega-6 which causes inflammation in our bodies. This inflammation can lead to dry eye syndromes.
What is ideal is to use extra virgin olive, coconut, or avocado oil instead of refined vegetable oil. These oils contain high anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Plant-based foods with vitamins for dry eyes
As per studies, eating antioxidants-rich food helps to control inflammation in our body. Meaning it helps to reduce dry eye symptoms.
Antioxidants remove free radicals that can damage the tissues. Vitamins A, C, and E (vitamins for dry eyes) that are found in plant-based foods are antioxidants.
More Vitamin A is present in green leafy vegetables, red and yellow vegetables, and fruits. Vitamin C is present so much in citrus fruits such as oranges, and lemons and also in Brussels sprouts and broccoli.
Vitamin E is present in abundance in whole grains and healthy oils.
So eating plant-based foods is a good natural remedy for dry eyes which is easy to practice. Also, it’s so healthy food to have a healthy lifestyle.
Castor oil for dry eyes
Castor oil is being used for ages for many natural health remedies including for dry eye syndromes. This is because castor oil has strong anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties in it.
Apply one or two drops in each eye for treatment. Avoid using castor oil if you are using contact lenses.
Castor oil drops are in use for many conditions of the eyes such as,
- pink eyes (conjunctivitis)
- the broken blood vessels in the eye (subconjunctival hemorrhage)
- and cataracts