Dry eye or dry eye syndrome occurs when your eyes do not produce enough tears for lubrication. Sometimes, dry eyes are so serious that It drastically impacts your life, making it harder to be productive at work and home.
Changing your lifestyle and seeking simple home remedies can make a difference in treating dry eyes. However, it is advised that you see an eye care practitioner if the condition of your eyesight keeps getting worse.
Common Symptoms of Dry Eye
Common symptoms of dry eye syndrome include:
- Blurred vision
- Eye Fatigue
- Feeling that there’s something in the eye.
- Heaviness in eyelids
- Light sensitivity
Causes of Dry Eyes
Lack of tears in the eyes that can lubricate the eyeballs causes dry eye syndrome. Many medical conditions, the surrounding environment, and certain medications can lead to dry eyes. Some of the medicines that can cause dry eyes are:
- Acne Medication
- Antidepressants and antipsychotic
- Hormone therapy and oral contraceptives
- Drugs to lower blood pressure
- Nasal decongestants
- Medications for Parkinson’s disease
Risk Factors of Dry Eyes
- Women are more likely to get dry eyes than men.
- People above 65 years of age
- Contact Lenses
- Low blink rate because of prolonged screen time
- Vitamin Deficiencies
- Chronic diseases like diabetes
- Autoimmune conditions like lupus
- Environmental extremes
Natural Remedies for Dry Eyes
Make sure that your eye condition is dry eye and understand the underlying cause of it by an eye examination. Removing the risk factors of dry eye can help in treating this problem. However, the following home remedies give you instant relief as well.
Wash Your Eyelids and Eyelashes with Soaked Cotton Balls
Dip small balls of cotton in lukewarm water and clean your eyelids and eyelashes, dabbing soaked cotton balls on them. Pay special attention to the area where you apply facial creams or other cosmetics.
You can add a small amount of salt to the water as well for better results.
Remember to Blink
The light from the screens of electronic gadgets like smartphones and laptops can cause irritation in the eyes as they reduce the blink rate. Insufficient and ineffective blinking (when your upper eyelid does not cover the whole corneal area) can prevent the layer of fluids from lubricating and nourishing the eyes. This layer of lipids can evaporate if you don’t blink frequently.
Give your eyes a blinking break from staring at the screen and close them for 20-30 seconds every 15-20 minutes.
Give Your Eyes Some Rest
Give your eyes rest by taking a break from staring at screens and look away at something placed at a distance of 20 meters or more for 20 seconds. Also, sit back and close your eyes for 20 seconds once in a while during work.
Add Omega-3 to the Daily Diet
Fatty acids like Omega-3 improve the working of the gland that produces tears to reduce the symptoms of dry eye naturally. The omega-3 fatty acid can be found in:
- Chia Seeds
- Fish oil supplements
- Fatty fish such as tuna and salmon
- Flax seeds
- Soybean and Palm oil
Consume More Vitamins A, B12, and D
Vitamin A, B12, and D are vital for the eye, but the lack of vitamin D can lead to a dry eye. Vitamin D is usually found in:
- Fatty fish
- Beef liver
- Dairy products
- Soy milk
- Egg yolks
- Orange juice
Consume Less Alcohol
Too much alcohol intake can lead to dehydration that can harm your eyes. Studies have found a connection between dry eye syndrome and alcohol consumption. Reduce alcohol consumption or eliminate it to find out if it’s contributing to dry eyes.
Cigarettes have thousands of chemicals that can cause irritation and dry eye. Smoking increases the risk of dry eyes as it changes the composition of the fluid in the eyes, which can lead to dry eye symptoms. Also, try to ensure that you confirm lens price in Pakistan before you buy any contact lenses.
If you smoke, consider quitting. If you don’t smoke, use protective wear to shield your eyes from heavy smoking.
Drinking more water is good for your eye’s health as it helps in lubricating your eyes by producing more tears. Also, water helps in focusing better.
If you are not adequately hydrated, your eyes won’t be able to clear out debris or blink comfortably.
For your eye and overall health, you need to drink 8 to 10 glasses of water every day.
Lack of sleep can reduce the lubrication in your eyes which can cause multiple eye problems, including dry eyes.
A normal person needs 7-8 hours of night’s sleep. If you feel difficulty in sleeping, you should try the following suggestions:
- Create a comfortable environment for sleep, quiet and dark.
- Change the daytime routine. For example, wake up earlier and work out in the morning.
- Set a bedtime routine. Go to bed at a particular time every night.
Use prescribed Eye drops.
Avoid using eye drops that contain preservatives as they can cause irritation, especially if you use them frequently, 3-4 times a day.
Eye drops for red eyes may cause more irritation. Therefore, sure that the drops you are using are especially for dry eyes. And ask your doctor for prescription lenses, so do not use any wrong contact lenses.
If your eye care professional has prescribed you some specific eye drops, you should use no other drops except the prescribed ones.
Use prescribed Gels and Ointments.
Lubricating gels and ointments can relieve irritation of the eye, provided they are being used on the recommendation of your eye doctor. They are thicker than eye drops, and they coat your eyes to give you long-lasting relief. However, they can interfere with the vision for a while; therefore, it is better to use them before you go to sleep.
They can have certain side-effects:
- Lack of good eye hygiene can cause more irritation.
- Thicker gels and ointments can affect the meibomian glands making dry eye even worse.
- They can mask the root cause of dry eye if used for an extended period of time.
- Overuse of gels can be harmful.
Use Protective Eyewear
Dry eye can cause photophobia which is an eye condition that increases eye sensitivity to light. Use eyewear to ease up your dry eye syndrome or to keep it from getting worse. Following are the types of eyewear that are recommended:
- Onion Glasses that trap irritating vapors
- Wraparound sunglasses
- Blue-blocking lenses and FL-41 filtered lenses
Change Your Environment
Sometimes high winds, low humidity, air conditioning, dust, smoke, or heat can cause irritation and dryness. Move to such an environment if it’s possible. You can try the following things to reduce eye irritation:
- Dry or blowing air from fans and air conditioning can irritate. Moving away from them can help.
- Use a cool-mist humidifier.
- Keep windows closed
- Use filters to block allergens and pollutants.