Ever had dry stinging eyes that ached to even look at anything? Then you’re among many who have this common condition. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA) ”Dry eye is a condition in which there are insufficient tears to lubricate and nourish the eye.”
What Causes Dry Eye
The AOA state that dry eye is caused by many varying factors:
- Age and Gender – As we age, dry eye becomes a part of the natural process, and the majority of people over 65 experience dry eye symptoms. Additionally women are more likely to have this condition due to hormonal changes experienced by various stages in life.
- Medications and Other Health Related Issues – Many medications, such as antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure medications and antidepressants, can result in dry eyes. People with medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and thyroid problems are more likely to have dry eyes. Surgery to the eyes can also cause decreased tear production.
- Environmental Exposure – Being exposed to smoke, wind and dry climates can increase tear evaporation resulting in dry eye symptoms. Over exposure to bright screens can cause a lack of blinking resulting in less natural lubrication as well.
Natural Home Remedies
Many people have found these natural home remedies to help give relief for dry eyes.
- Warm Washcloth – The Mayo Clinic instructs you to apply a warm washcloth to your eyes for at least five minutes. This warm compress will help loosen any debris.
- Coriander Extract Eye Drops – HealthMeUp.com suggests using Coriander leaves, grinding them and extracting the juice. With a dropper apply two drops daily to deal with itchy, gritty feeling in eyes.
- Mint Wash – Erin Rivera of Visian ICL recommends using the natural soothing ingredient of menthol found in mint. By boiling 10-12 leaves in water, and then letting the solution cool and then using a cloth to apply to the eyes.
- Caffeine – One’s own natural tears may be the most simplest ‘natural home remedy’ for dry eyes, and the Mayo Clinic has found from a recent study that tear volume increases after hours of caffeine consumption.
Omega 3’s – To prevent dry eyes About.com’s Alternative Medicine writer Cathy Wong, ND, recommends adding Omega-3 enriched foods to your diet such as salmon, mackerel, flax and chia seeds.
Other Preventive Measures
- Take breaks from reading or staring for long periods of time at screens or bright surfaces.
- Using a humidifier may help in producing natural tears.
- Keep yourself hydrated by drinking at least 8 – 8 ounces glasses of water a day to help produce they eyes to stay naturally lubricated.
- To reduce exposure to environmental exposures, wear sunglasses.
American Optometric Association Dry Eye Information