Dry eyes can make you feel miserable. Fortunately, natural home remedies exist that can ease the itch and relieve the burning.
In order to select the best treatment for your eyes, start by determining the cause.
Causes of Dry Eyes
Dry eyes may be the result of environmental causes. If you live in a cold, dry or windy environment, your eyes may feel dry. Exposure to glaring sunlight or artificial lights can cause irritation. Sitting by an air conditioner or fan may dry your eyes out. Allergens, smoke and chemicals also are often to blame.
Dry eyes also can be a side effect of certain medications. These include pharmaceuticals which are prescribed to treat hypertension, arthritis and Parkinson’s disease. Allergy medicines, drugs that suppress your immune system, and steroids such as prednisone and cortisone may cause dry eyes, too.
In some cases, a person might develop dry eyes because they do not produce enough tears to keep eyes moist.
Dry eyes are most common among menopausal and post-menopausal women. This is due to changes in hormone levels. Women who undergo sudden, early menopause due to surgical removal of the ovaries or who experience menopause induced by medications – such as chemotherapeutic agents – are prone to experiencing hormonally influenced dry eyes.
Signs of Dry Eyes
You may feel as if you have sand in your eyes. Your eyes may be itchy, red or watery. You may have no drainage at all or you may have small amounts of rope-like mucus. Your vision may be blurry at times and your eyes may feel tired.
It is important to have an eye exam if dryness and irritation arise suddenly, are accompanied by other signs of illness or if the condition lasts for more than a few days. Eye irritation can be a sign of the highly contagious bacterial conjunctivitis, also known as pinkeye. Eye problems may be signs of diabetes and other serious illnesses.
Prevention of Dry Eyes
- If you wear contact lenses, consider purchasing lenses which are designed for people with dry, sensitive eyes or wear glasses instead.
- Keep your hands away from your eyes.
- Wear goggles if you are working with chemicals or in environments that are dusty.
- Avoid windy, dry and cold environments when possible.
- Sit away from wood stoves, fans and air conditioners.
- When outdoors, wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses.
- Avoid eyestrain by using proper lighting and taking frequent breaks when doing close work or while using a computer.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Limit your intake of caffeine, as it dries the tissues of your body, including your eyes.
- Do not smoke.
- Avoid the use of medications which cause dry eyes. Ask your health care provider about alternative treatments.
- Reduce your exposure to environmental toxins, including household cleansers, perfumes and workplace chemicals. Use natural, fragrance-free products whenever possible.
- Include foods which are rich in healthy fatty acids in your diet regularly. These include salmon, mackerel, herring, flax seeds and hemp seeds.
- Eat a wide array of colorful fruits and vegetables daily. Orange and deep purple produce contain compounds which are especially beneficial for eye health.
- Take 1000 mg of evening primrose oil three times daily. You must use the supplement consistently for several months in order for it to reach its maximum effectiveness.
- Take a multivitamin/multi-mineral supplement that is designed for eye health. It should contain lutein, bilberry, carotenoids, zeaxanthin and 25,000 IU of vitamin A. Follow the instructions on the product label.
- Consider the use of herbs which contain phyto-estrogens or bio-identical hormones if you believe that your dry eyes may be related to hormonal changes.
Treating Acute Flare-ups of Dry Eyes
Acute flare-ups may be relieved by using internal and external remedies. Use them in combination with the tips given which prevent dry eyes. Take the following actions to decrease your symptoms quickly. Wash your hands carefully prior to and after administering topical eye treatments.
Moisten black tea bags. Chill them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Lie down and close your eyes. Place the tea bags over your eyes. Black tea contains tannins which reduce discomfort, redness and puffiness. The tea bags which are sold for iced tea are large and work especially well. Inexpensive tea is fine to use. You may place thick slices of cucumber over your closed eyes as an alternative to the tea bags.
Make compresses out of calendula or Eyebright tea and apply them over your closed eyes.
If those attempts don’t work, then purchase and use homeopathic or herbal drops and gels. I think that the gels usually work better. Do not touch the tip of the applicator to your eyes or tissues surrounding them. If you do touch the tip, discard the product. Replace eye drops and gels within one month of opening them. Boric acid is the main ingredient in many commercial eye washes and drops. Follow label ingredients for making an eyewash.
Boric acid is the main ingredient in many commercial eye washes and drops. Follow label ingredients for making an eyewash.
By using the tips above you will reduce your likelihood of suffering due to dry eyes. Should irritation occur, you now have the ability to obtain comfort quickly, easily and inexpensively.
How do you treat dye eyes? Share your tips in the section below: