A good cry can make us feel light. But that’s not all tears do! Tears lubricate and nourish the eyes. So, what happens when our eyes become dry? Many of us have experienced dry eyes, especially if our job entails using the computer or laptop for long hours. While most of us dismiss dry eyes but studies suggest that dry eyes, if not taken care of, can even lead to blindness.
This is where home remedies for dry eyes come to your rescue. But treating dry eyes requires several lifestyle changes too. That is why I have divided the article into two – lifestyle remedies and herbal home remedies. But before we jump into the dry eyes home remedies, let’s first understand what a dry eye actually is!
What is a Dry Eye?
Known medically as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, dry eyes is something which affects more than 60% of the world’s population, including children. Lack of lubrication in the eyes is the basic cause of this condition. Your eyes turn dry, inflamed, red, and even worse, your vision starts blurring. A timely cure is very essential, failing which you can develop scars on your cornea, ulcers, or worse, lose your sight.
There are numerous triggers behind dry eyes. Some of them include:
- Sitting in front of the PC for long hours
- Watching television/reading books continuously
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Addictive smoking
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Allergies and
- Excessive exposure to harsh weather
Irrespective of the causes, you can follow the remedies for dry eyes outlined below to obtain relief.
Dry Eyes Home Remedies:
The soothing effect of cucumber is well known. Along with soothing the tired eye muscles, cucumber rejuvenates and revitalizes the functioning of the circulatory system. Once the dry feeling goes away, you will feel fresh for sure.
Milk contains various enzymes that are known to soothe and relax the eye muscles. Dip a clean cotton swab in a little cold milk. Place it on your closed eye lids and relax for 10 minutes. You can even add a few drops of rose water with milk to accelerate the benefits.
3. Chamomile Tea:
A natural anti-inflammatory and cooling herb, chamomile tea has the power to restore the lost moisture while easing tired eyes. Add 1 tsp dried chamomile to 200 ml boiling water and steep for about 10 minutes. Strain and refrigerate the liquid in a clean container until cool. Dip clean cotton balls in the chilled tea and place them on the closed eyes. Relax for 15 minutes. You can re-dip the balls once they lose the moisture. Repeat the process until you feel rejuvenated.
4. Fennel Seeds Tea:
Many of us known that fennel seeds are ideal home remedies for digestive disorders, but what we do not know is that they are wonderful natural remedies for dry eyes, sores too. Steep 1 tsp of dried fennel seeds in 200 ml of water for 15 minutes. Strain it and allow it to come to room temperature. Dip cotton cloth in the warm tea and place on the eye lids for 15 minutes to see immediate results.
5. Flaxseed Oil:
Flax seeds are rich sources of the essential fatty acid, Omega 3. A daily intake of 2,000 mg of this nutrient is known to ease dry eyes by 85%. Check for the most suitable form of this supplement. A word of caution here – if you are pregnant or lactating, please check with your doctor before using this supplement.
6. Aloe Vera:
The soothing properties of aloe, along with its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, help in easing the symptoms of dry eyes. Apply pure aloe gel on the eye lids daily for about 10 days to feel the difference. You can even include aloe juice in your daily diet. But do make sure that the aloe does not come into direct contact with the eye.
According to studies conducted by the International Bee Research Association, this golden viscous liquid is known to work better than artificial tears to treat dry eyes. Mix 1 tsp of honey with 1 tsp clean, pure water and use it as an homemade eye drop. Add 2 drops into each eye, thrice a day until the dryness goes away. You can also use a mixture of 1 tsp honey in 1 tbsp warm water as an eye rinse.
You can even add a few drops of undiluted honey to the eyes. Even though it burns a little, you will start experiencing the results within 10 minutes.
8. Castor Oil:
My grandma used to add castor oil when she prepared Kajal at home. As a kid, I was really intrigued by the presence of this liquid in the Kajal. Now, I know! Research suggest that application of castor oil around the eyes and on the eye lids actually helps in restoring and retaining the moisture levels, preventing dry eyes.
Lifestyle Remedies to Ease Dry Eyes:
9. Identify the Triggers:
First and foremost, you need to identify the actual trigger behind the dry eyes. Is it because of your PC or an allergic reaction? Once you get to know the trigger, just avoid it or at least try to cut down the time you spend with it.
10. Do Not Stare at the PC/Television Continuously for Long Hours:
Take a break, for say 2 minutes, after every 60 minutes of gazing at the computer/television screen. Just get up from your seat and take a short walk. It not only soothes your eyes, but will also prevent other eye disorders, including myopia.
11. Keep Blinking:
We do blink about 20 times in a minute, but that is an involuntary action. You have to increase the number of times you blink, especially if you are an avid reader or PC user. It will improve the circulation levels, alleviate the pain and redness, and keep your eyes lubricated.
12. Wash Your Eyes Often:
Keeping your eyes hydrated is a must to prevent them from drying out. Use cool tap water to wash your eyes. Along with providing moisture, this dry eyes home remedies will also leave a refreshing touch.
13. Avoid Excessive Exposure to Wind and Sun:
Have you ever noticed your eyes turning red and swollen after a tedious trip? It happens as your eyes come into contact with the air while you gaze at the beautiful scenery whooshing past. Excessive exposure to harsh wind and sun can deprive your eyes of lubrication, paving way for the eyes to turn dry and red. Wear sunglasses to shield your eyes from the harsh, blowing wind and excessive sunlight.
14. Retain the Moisture Level of Your Room:
Your home can also be the culprit, especially if you live in a high rise apartment! The higher your home is, the lesser the amount of humidity, which lead to dry eyes. So, moisture retention is very essential. You can use a humidifier to solve this problem. Make sure your AC is switched off, or at least reduce its usage as excessive air conditioning is also known to cause dry eyes.
15. Apply Warm Compress:
Tears are a combination of water and oily glandular secretions. You can actually trigger the secretion of these hormones by improving the circulation levels in the eye lids. Dip a clean towel in warm water and keep it atop your closed eye lids. This will help the tear ducts plugs to liquefy, enabling the flow of oil to the tears and lubricate the eyes. Just 10 minutes a day, that is all you need.
16. Lubricate with Artificial Tears:
Check for some over-the-counter artificial tears. Opt for the ones that are mild. Add 2 drops in each eye, close your eyes, and relax. The components present in these ‘tears’ enable the secretion of oils, ensuring that the moisture level pep up. These ‘tears’ also soothe eye irritation and wades off the redness experienced due to dry eyes.
17. Increase the Omega 3 Intake:
Inclusion of essential fatty acids, especially Omega 3, is important for the secretion of the aqueous oily and water layers into the tear films. Include cold water fishes such as sardines, salmons, and tunas, all which are filled with Omega 3 fatty acids. Studies suggest that people can experience visible differences in their dry eyes within 10 days by including Omega-3 fatty acids along with Vitamin C and vitamin B 6 in their diet. For veggies and vegans, flax seeds is the answer.
18. Keep Yourself Hydrated:
According to a study on AllAboutVision.com, increasing your daily water intake can help ease dry eyes. People who suffer from chronic dehydration are at a higher risk of developing dry eyes compared to those who drink sufficient water. While a man needs at least 125 oz water a day, women need 90 oz to keep dehydration at bay.
19. Munch on Antioxidants:
Are you on a yo-yo diet? Depriving yourself of the necessary antioxidants has a negative impact not just on your skin and hair but also on your eyes! Dieting can leave your eyes dry, making way for several unwelcome ophthalmic conditions. Antioxidants are very essential to eliminate free radical triggered oxidative stress. Choose a diet rich in green leaves, including spinach and kale. Plus, pick up those multihued shaded fruits, especially berries, as they are storehouses of antioxidants.
20. Opt for Potassium and Zinc Rich Foods:
Minerals, all of them, unarguably play a significant role in maintaining the health of your eyes. However, potassium and zinc top the list. Studies suggest that a low level of potassium can be one of the crucial reasons behind a dry eye. So, including potassium-rich foods such as banana, dates, avocados, figs, wheat germ, pecans, raisins, and almonds in your diet can actually help in alleviating this condition.
Zinc plays a crucial role in determining the metabolic activities of assorted enzymes present in eye’s vascular coating. Try adding mushrooms, assorted legumes, sunflower seeds, and whole grains in your diet and see the difference they make.
Few More Tips:
Here are few more tips that will come handy while combating dry eye syndrome:
- Never use your contact lenses for more than 6 hours at a stretch. Remove them, wash your eyes, relax, and re-use.
- Never use old cosmetics as they can irritate the eyes, leaving them dry.
- Opt for eyeliners and kajal containing almond oil or castor oil as they will help in moisture retention.
- Keep sunglasses handy. If you use spectacles, then make sure they come with cooling properties.
- Stay away from irritants, including high temperature, dry weather, and excessive wind.
- Always keep your eyes closed when washing your face with face wash or soap.
- Keep your eyes closed while applying foundation, moisture, and other cosmetics on your face.
- Keep makeup to the minimum.
- Do not scratch the eyes, no matter how much they itch!
- Always remove your makeup before washing your face.
- Cut down on your coffee, tea, and salt intake.
- Limit the intake of acidic foods such as vinegar, tomato, and tamarind.
- Say bye to smoking, alcohol, aerated drinks, processed foods, and white flours.
With the above-mentioned home remedies for dry eyes, a person can easily overcome this irritating condition. Along with these measures, make sure that you follow an exercise routine for your eyes too. Also, include lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes, pulses, healthy fats, and whole grains in your diet.
You need not suffer from dry eyes to practice these home remedies. Prevention is always better than cure. So, include the precautionary steps outlined here and safeguard your eyes from drying out.
Hope you found this article helpful! Do share your views with us in the comments section below.