Are you suffering from dry eyes? You don’t have to suffer in silence. Here, you’ll find natural tips and remedies to alleviate dry eye discomfort and restore your eye health.
Quick facts: Treating Dry Eyes At Home
- ✅ Use Artificial Tears – American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO)
- ✅ Wear Sunglasses to Protect from UV Rays – All About Vision
- ✅ Use a Humidifier to Add Moisture to the Air – American Optometric Association (AOA)
- ✅ Avoid Allergy Triggers – National Eye Institute (NEI)
- ✅ Limit Screen Time and Take Breaks – American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO)
Causes of Dry Eyes
Dry eyes are a common condition caused by a lack of tears or an imbalance in the composition of your tears. Inadequate tear production can be caused by several factors, including aging, medical conditions, medications, environmental factors and lifestyle choices.
Let’s take a closer look at some of the causes of dry eyes:
Environmental factors can contribute to dry eyes, including exposure to wind and dust, air conditioning and heating, smoke, and pollution. Also, extended periods of staring (such as looking at a computer screen for long hours) can contribute to dryness. Dry air is one of the most common causes of dry eyes. The air inside is typically much drier than the air outside because air conditioners and heaters reduce humidity indoors.
Other environmental factors that can cause discomfort in the eyes include bright lights, exposure to excessive visible light or ultraviolet radiation (UV rays), and computer glare. Symptoms associated with environmental exposure include
- redness of the eyes,
- itching or burning sensation in the eyes,
- dryness or watery eyes, and
- pain upon blinking.
Medications are one of the major causes of dry eyes. These medications include antihistamines, decongestants, blood pressure medications, birth control pills and antidepressants. If you suffer from dry eyes, it’s important to review your medication list to see if any of these drugs are causing the symptom. If so, talk to your doctor about alternative medications or possibilities for reducing the dose or frequency with which you take the medication.
Additionally, certain treatments for cancer can also lead to dry eyes. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy often cause discomfort in the eye due to reduced moisture production or eyelid swelling or closure.
Fortunately, there are several ways patients can reduce dry eye symptoms while under treatment for cancer such as:
- Using artificial tears.
- Using lubricating ointments at night before going to sleep.
Age-related changes are a common cause of dry eyes. As we age, our tear production can decrease, resulting in dry eyes. The most common type of age-related tear deficiency is called presbyopia, which is when the muscles that control the shape of the eye become weaker and less effective at producing tears.
Additionally, the amount of oil produced by the meibomian glands in our eyelids can diminish with age, which may also contribute to dry eyes.
Treating dry eyes due to age-related changes includes:
- Using artificial tears and lubricating eye drops throughout the day
- Limiting exposure to environmental elements like smoke and wind that can worsen symptoms.
Symptoms of Dry Eyes
Symptoms of dry eyes can include discomfort, burning, stinging, itching, light sensitivity, redness, blurred vision and a gritty sensation. If left untreated, dry eyes can cause more serious vision problems and other medical complications.
By understanding the symptoms of dry eyes, you’ll be able to take the necessary steps to properly treat your condition.
Itching is one of the most common symptoms of dry eyes. If your eyes feel scratchy, like there’s something in them or they simply feel irritated, you may be suffering from an underlying condition like dry eye. Itching due to dry eye is caused by a lack of tear production or an imbalance in the tear film. When the eyes lack moisture to lubricate themselves, they become uncomfortable and itchy. If you feel like you have an eye infection, you can try to treat eye infection at home.
To alleviate this symptom, it’s important to take steps to increase tear production (such as avoiding environmental hazards, decreasing caffeine/alcohol intake, and avoiding contact lens use). Additionally, products such as artificial tears can be used as temporary relief while management techniques are employed.
Burning sensation is one of the common symptoms of dry eyes. It is a common condition in which the eyes are not able to produce enough tears to keep them lubricated and nourished. This can cause mild discomfort or even intense burning or stinging sensations in the eyes. Dry eye can be caused by various factors such as medications, allergies, overuse of contact lenses, age and inflammation of the eyelids. Other symptoms include light sensitivity, itching, redness and feeling like something is stuck in your eye.
To manage burning sensations from dry eyes, it’s important to first identify the cause: whether it’s a medical condition or environmental factors such as being in a smoke-filled room or staring at screens for too long. Once you know what’s causing your dry eyes, you can follow specific steps to treat them at home using:
- Artificial tears (eyedrops)
- Warm compresses
- Other treatments like omega-3 dietary supplements
If these methods don’t provide relief or if the burning sensation persists for more than two weeks, contact an ophthalmologist for further evaluation and treatment.
Redness of the eyes is a common symptom of dry eyes. This occurs when the eyes lack sufficient lubrication, causing blood vessels to become more visible and give the appearance of redness. Other symptoms of dry eyes include stinging or burning, stringy mucus in or around the eyes, sensitivity to light, and an inability to produce enough tears.
If you experience these symptoms regularly, it is important to seek treatment from an eye doctor. Treatment options may include artificial tears, steroids, and prescription medications to help improve tear production. Additionally, lifestyle changes such as avoiding smoke and wind and increasing one’s intake of omega-3 fatty acids can also help treat symptoms associated with dry eye syndrome.
Blurred vision is one of the primary symptoms of dry eyes. It occurs because the eye cannot properly produce and maintain wetness, so that the tear film which coats the eye and helps it focus light is unstable and irregular. This can result in a double or blurry vision, as well as an inability to focus on objects in close proximity to your face. Additionally, you may experience burning, scratchiness, and even pain as a result of blurred vision due to dry eyes.
Dry eye syndrome can be treated at home by:
- Running a humidifier in the room during colder weather months.
- Using artificial tears during times of increased exposure to wind or sun.
- Drinking more water.
- Taking omega-3 supplements.
Most cases of dry eyes can be managed at home through self-care techniques and lifestyle changes. Home treatments for dry eyes mainly focus on restoring moisture to the eyes and reducing irritation.
In this article, we’ll explore the various home treatments that can be used to treat dry eyes:
Use Artificial Tears
Using artificial tears is one of the easiest and most effective treatments for dry eyes. Artificial tears are eye drops that contain a preservative-free mixture of water, salts, and other ingredients that help hydrate your eyes. You can purchase these at any local pharmacy or online.
Be sure to only use preservative-free solutions as those containing preservatives can irritate your eyes even more. Before applying the drops, be sure to:
- Wash your hands with warm water and soap and rinse thoroughly.
- Take an appropriate amount of eye drops (as prescribed by your doctor).
- Tilt your head back slightly when placing the drop in each eye.
- Close your eyes for two minutes to allow them to absorb into the eyes properly before opening again.
Use a Humidifier
Using a humidifier is one of the most effective home treatments for dry eyes. A humidifier helps to increase moisture in the air, which can help alleviate dry eyes by increasing tear production. It is recommended to use a cool-mist humidifier that adds moisture while cooling the air in the room.
Additionally, it’s important to make sure that you are regularly cleaning your humidifier and changing its filter to prevent bacteria buildup. Be sure to keep your humidifier away from any heat sources as well as high-traffic areas like doorways or hallways as this could diminish its effectiveness.
Finally, when adding humidity back into the air, be aware that if you have allergies you may need a separate air purifier in conjunction with your humidifier.
Sunglasses are an effective, simple treatment for dry eyes. They are usually adequate for those with mild to moderate dry eye symptoms. Wearing the proper protection from the sun’s UV rays can help your eyes maintain their natural lubrication to reduce dryness and irritation.
Look for sunglasses with a wide frame and large lenses that block out as much sunlight as possible, including UVA and UVB rays. Wrap-around frames can be particularly helpful for covering your eyes from all angles and blocking out any wind that may cause drying of your ocular surface. If you spend a significant amount of time outdoors, consider investing in polarized lenses or photochromic lenses that darken in direct sunlight.
For those who experience chronic dry eye, sunglasses can provide protection and relief even on cloudy days by blocking out additional light sources such as reflections off water or snow.
When it comes to treating dry eyes, avoiding irritants is key. Avoiding direct air flow from fans, air conditioning vents and heater ducts as well as smoke, dust and perfume can help reduce the discomfort of dry eyes. Additionally, try to stay away from activities that require long periods of focus or concentration without blinking or pausing.
To keep the eyes hydrated throughout the day, use preservative-free artificial tears. These formulations are designed to provide long relief and comfort while reducing the use of preservatives that may cause further irritation. For extra comfort at night, using a warm compress (such as a warm washcloth) on your eyelids can help soothe and hydrate the eyes before bedtime.
- Increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Consume more vitamin A.
- Eat more vitamin E-rich foods.
- Include more zinc-rich foods in your diet.
- Drink more water.
Increase Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are essential fatty acids that are important for keeping eyes healthy and lubricated. The Omega-3s found in oily fish, such as salmon, mackerel, and tuna, can be beneficial for dry eye syndrome. Increasing your intake of these foods may help reduce the symptoms of dry eyes. Other sources of Omega-3s include nuts, flaxseed oil, and olive oil.
In order to get the most benefit from omega-3 fatty acids it is important to have a balanced diet that includes other food groups as well. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can also help reduce inflammation and keep your eyes hydrated. Additionally, limiting caffeine intake and avoiding alcohol can help keep your eyes feeling comfortable longer.
Increase Vitamin A and B12 Intake
Dry eyes can be a chronic or short-term condition and is generally caused by reduced tear production. In order to treat dry eyes at home, it is important to make dietary changes that will increase your intake of both vitamin A and B12.
Vitamin A helps to maintain normal eye tissue and lining in the eyelids as well as helps in the production of oils that help keep your tears from evaporating too quickly. Vitamin B12 can help reduce inflammation, redness, and itching associated with dry eyes.
Foods that are high in vitamin A and B12 include:
- Dairy products
- Fortified cereals
- Leafy greens like spinach and kale
Increasing the amount of these foods in your diet can help manage dry eyes more effectively without having to rely on medications or over-the-counter eye drops.
When it comes to treating dry eyes, professional treatments can be very effective. These treatments may include the use of prescription medications, artificial tears, or thermal ablations. Professional treatments can also help reduce inflammation and improve the overall health of the eye.
In this article, let’s look at some of the professional treatments for dry eyes:
Prescription Eye Drops
Prescription eye drops are one of the most reliable and effective ways for treating dry eyes at home. Prescription eye drops are usually formulated with a combination of a lubricant and/or artificial tears that can help to reduce the symptoms of dry eyes. In addition, these prescription eye drops may also contain medication designed to reduce inflammation or block the production of certain proteins that contribute to dry eyes. The doctor will determine which prescription eye drop is best for you depending on your condition.
These prescription eye drops should be used as directed by your doctor, as overuse can lead to more irritation or a burning sensation in your eyes.
Punctal plugs are a type of professional treatment used to help relieve dry eye symptoms. They are tiny inserts that are placed into the tear ducts (puncta) of the lower and/or upper eyelids. This blocks the draining of tears from the eyes, allowing them to stay hydrated for longer periods of time. This can be a great relief for those suffering from dry eye symptoms such as blurry vision, redness, and irritation.
Punctal plugs are usually made from collagen or silicone which is safe and comfortable for your eyes. They can be easily inserted in a doctor’s office setting with minimal discomfort and no downtime necessary afterwards. Once they have been put in place, they will stay there until they eventually fall out or need to be removed by your doctor if needed.
Surgery is a last-ditch effort to treat dry eye syndrome in some cases. When it comes to professional treatments, surgery is one of them. Common surgeries used to treat dry eyes are:
- Canthoplasty, a procedure that shortens the lower eyelid and can help keep your eyelids from turning outward and away from your eye (a condition known as ectropion).
- Punctal plugs, tiny devices that are inserted into the tear ducts of the eyes; this helps block drainage, allowing tears to remain in contact with the eye longer.
- Amniotic membrane transplant, which involves placing donor tissue on the eye; this helps restore moisture and lubrication to the surface of the eye, as well as reduce inflammation.
While surgery can be effective in certain cases of dry eyes, it should still be considered a last resort because it’s expensive and carries certain risks such as infection or scarring. If other non-surgical treatments have failed to provide relief for your dry eyes, talk to your doctor about whether or not surgery might be an appropriate option for you.
FAQs about: Treating Dry Eyes At Home
Q: What are the most common symptoms of dry eyes?
A: Common symptoms of dry eyes include blurred vision, feeling of grittiness in the eye, redness and irritation, light sensitivity, and excessive tearing.
Q: How can I treat dry eyes at home?
A: To treat dry eyes at home, you can use warm compresses to help reduce inflammation, use artificial tears to keep your eyes lubricated, use eye drops to reduce inflammation, and reduce the amount of time you are exposed to dry air and wind.
Q: Are there any home remedies for dry eyes?
A: Yes, there are several home remedies for dry eyes. These include drinking plenty of water, using a humidifier in your home, avoiding smoke and wind, taking omega-3 fatty acid supplements, and using artificial tears.