8 Tried and Tested Home Remedies for Dry Eyes

8 Home Remedies for Dry Eye Syndrome

By: Arlene Gentallan

8 Tried and Tested Home Remedies for Dry Eyes
8 Tried and Tested Home Remedies for Dry Eyes

Are over the counter natural tears no longer effective in relieving the pain and irritation brought about by your dry eyes?

Are you looking for natural alternative medicine you can replace those preservative-laden eye drops that's only making your symptoms worse?

Here are tried and tested home remedies you can try...but you may want a little background about dry eyes syndrome...

What is dry eyes?

        Dry eyes syndrome (also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca) is a condition in which the eye produces insufficient tears to lubricate the outer surface of the eyeball. The tear produce can also be of sufficient quantity but of poor quality causing tears to evaporate more quickly, thus providing not enough protection to your eyes.

Tears is made up of mucus, oil, and water. It's oil component forms a layer which decreases the rate at which it's water layer evaporates. If the quality of your tears is poor, it's oil part can be smaller than normal thus encouraging evaporation of the tears. This forms small spots in your eyes devoid of tears resulting to dry eyes.

To better understand dry eyes syndrome, let's take a look into the purpose of tears:

        Blinking spreads the tear evenly on your eyes so that it forms a protective film that coats the outer surface of your eyeball providing essential role such as:
  • Protects the eye from abrasion
  • Lubricates the eyes
  • Wash away foreign particle such as dust
  • Maintains smoothness of the cornea
  • Tears has antimicrobial compound to prevent eye infection
Without this protective layer of tears covering your eyes, your eyes becomes vulnerable and irritated.

Sign and Symptoms of Dry eyes syndrome:

If you have dry eyes syndrome, you may have already experienced the following sign and symptoms on your eyes:
  • Eye pain
  • Burning gritty sensation
  • Sensation of foreign particles on the eye
  • Itchy eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Tired eyes
  • Redness of the eye
  • Increase sensitivity to light
  • Excessive tearing / watering of the eye

You should take these sign and symptoms seriously because dry eyes syndrome may cause eye damage or scarring of the cornea which can lead to poor eyesight if not treated.

What causes dry eyes syndrome?

Various factors can cause dry eyes, including:
  • Exposure to dry windy environment
  • Activities that lessen blinking such as prolong computer usage, reading, and television watching.
  • Use of aircon, fan, or heater.
  • Prolong contact lens use
  • Eye surgery such as LASIK
  • Smoking
  • Vitamin A deficiency
  • Eye inflammation
  • Hormonal changes brought about by pregnancy or menopause.
  • Hormonal replacement therapy
  • Use of oral contraceptives
  • Aging. As we get older, our tear production is decreased
  • Medical conditions such as Sj√∂gren's syndrome, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, blepharitis and exophthalmos as seen in thyroid disorders.
  • Medicine side effects (such as use of antihistamines, decongestants, anti hypertensive, and antidepressants.)
  • Defect of the eye itself like meibomian gland dysfunction

8 Alternative Medicine for Dry Eyes Syndrome

1. Virgin Coconut Oil

        Artificial tears are the first line of treatment for dry eyes, unfortunately most commercially available eye drops contains preservatives which can aggravate the pain and dryness of the eye. You can replace it with natural oils such as virgin coconut oil to lubricate your eyes, and avoid tears from evaporating.

Putting oil on the eye manages dry eye syndrome because it prevents the tears itself from evaporating.

        Put 1 drop of virgin coconut oil in your eyes. It's normal for your vision to burr after instillation, so I recommend you use virgin coconut oil as a lubricant before you go to sleep, to avoid nighttime eye dryness.

        Virgin coconut oil has antimicrobial property which can potentially prevent eye infection; as well as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory property.

        There are commercially available empty eye droppers so you can place your natural oil to make eye instillation easier.

2. Castor Oil

        Simply put a drop of castor oil on either eye as a home remedy for dry eyes.

        A study by Goto, Shimazaki, Monden, et al., shows that using castor oil as an eye drop is both effective and safe treatment for meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), a condition when tears evaporate quickly due to meibomian glands's inadequate production of the oil component of tears.

3. Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids

        Omega-3 is not only good for your heart and brain, but also for your eyes! In a study by Liu and Ji, they've found out that taking omega-3 essential fatty acid supplement benefits those with dry eyes by not only increasing tear production but also improves tear quality as measured in schirmer’s test and tear breakup time (TBUT) test.

4. Caffeine

        Although you may have been told that caffeine intake can further exacerbate dry eyes syndrome, there are researches that may prove otherwise. Studies have concluded that  ingesting caffeine increases tears production.

        A study by Arita, Yanagi, Honda, et al., concluded that "Caffeine intake increases tear volume and polymorphisms within ADORA2A, and CYP1A2 is associated with the tear increase after caffeine intake."

        But remember, it increase in the amount of tears doesn't amount to tear quality so further research is still needed. In the meantime, make sure to observe if drinking caffeinated drinks like coffee does improve the symptoms of your dry eyes.

5. Aloe Vera

        Put fresh aloe vera gel on your eye lids, however do not put the gel directly on your eyeball's surface because it will cause irritation. Regularly doing this will decrease the symptoms of dry eyes

Related Article: Aloe Vera: The Plant Of Immortality

6. Cucumber and Potato

        Cucumber's use for dry eyes is as popular as it is simple. Simply put fresh cucumber slice over each of your closed eyes for about 20 minutes. It's natural coolness will sooth tired and dry eyes.

        You can also use fresh raw potato slices to soothe your eyes! Simply put a potato slice over closed eyes for about 20 minutes as an effective home remedy for dry eyes.

7. Tea bags

        Don't throw your used tea bags just yet. After you make a tea, keep the tea bags and store it in the body of your refrigerator for later use a soothing eye patch. Simply pace a chilled tea bag over each of your closed eyes and let it stay for about 20 minutes. 

8. Warm compress

        Simply put a clean wash cloth dipped in warm water over your closed eyes to relax it and open up clogged ducts. Do this for about 20 minutes.

Habits you can incorporate in your daily routine to prevent dry eyes

  • Your eyes tend to dry when you are sleeping. Make it a habit to instill eye lubricant before going to bed.
  • Drink plenty of fluid to hydrate yourself...and your eyes.
  • Wear sunglasses outdoors to protect your eyes from wind and sunlight.
  • Make sure you are blinking regularly. Do not stare on the computer screen for too long without blinking!
  • Your eyes deserves rest. When you have to use a computer for too long, rest your eyes every 20 minutes. You do this by looking at something about 20 feet away for 20 minutes.
  • Quit smoking and don't hang out with smokers when they are smoking.
  • Use humidifier to add moisture to your environment.