One of the most common eye conditions that people complain of is dry eye syndrome. It occurs when there is a lack of lubrication. The moisture in our eyes is provided by tears. When we do not produce enough, or if they are of a poor quality, then dry eyes are the result. This may cause discomfort but relief is at hand because there are a number of remedies for dry eyes.
Dry eyes can be uncomfortable with itching, redness, burning, and blurred vision being a few of the symptoms. To know which remedy is best for you, you first need to discover the cause of your dry eyes.
Understand the causes
A full diagnosis can only be made by your doctor or optometrist after carrying out an eye exam. Tests to measure the volume and quality of your tears will identify the cause. After testing, your eye specialist can then advise on the best remedies for dry eyes. Regular eye tests are the way to ensure your dry eyes are diagnosed and treated quickly.
Below are some common causes.
Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is recognized as the primary cause of dry eyes. The meibomian glands are located in the upper and lower eyelids. They are responsible for producing oil which constitutes one of three elements making up our tears. This oil keeps our tears on the surface of the eye and prevents them from drying out.
MGD is related to faults with these glands. This causes a change in the quantity and quality of oil being produced. Without enough oil, tears do not stay in the eye for long enough which results in dry eyes.
Overuse of air conditioning
Whether at home or in the office, A/C is a must for many of us in the summer months. However, having too much exposure to A/C can lead to dry eyes. By creating an artificial change in temperature, A/C units reduce humidity in a room. The meibomian glands are unable to secrete oil, and tears evaporate too quickly causing dry eyes.
One of the remedies for dry eyes is to use a humidifier when the A/C in on. This will help keep the air moist. Alternatively, keep bowls of water in the corner of rooms to increase the humidity.
It is important to understand that there are certain health issues which make us more susceptible to dry eyes. Inflammatory diseases such as rosacea (affecting the skin) and blepharitis (affecting the eyelids) can cause MGD.
Some systemic and autoimmune disorders have also been associated with dry eyes. These include Sjögren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, diabetes and thyroid disorders.
Aging has also been shown to contribute to dry eyes. The older we get, the less tears we produce. Pregnancy and the menopause cause a change in hormones which can have an effect on tear production.
With the following remedies for dry eyes, you can minimize the symptoms of dry eye syndrome.
1) Cut down on caffeine
Drinking too much caffeine can cause health problems for your body as well as your eyes. Anxiety, sleeping problems, and high blood pressure can all be triggered by drinks like tea, coffee and cola.
Caffeinated drinks have a mild diuretic effect – they make you urinate more. Expelling extra fluid could increase your risk of dry eyes as you need to keep hydrated to produce tears.
There is no need to cut it out of your diet completely. Your morning coffee is safe. But cutting down your caffeine intake is not just a great remedy for dry eyes. It also reduces the risk of glaucoma.
2) Did you hear about red wine?
Consuming an excessive amount of alcohol is known to cause dehydration. Like caffeine, it is also has diuretic effects. With less water in your body, the composition of tears can be affected.
But there is some good news. Red wine contains resveratrol, a compound found in the skin of some grapes. In the plants, it acts as a type of defense system, helping fight infection. Resveratrol has been shown to stop damage to blood vessels in humans.
Drinking one glass of red wine a day will improve your eye health. You should start seeing an improvement in just 10 days.
Eating healthily and getting a good amount of vitamins and minerals is vital for a healthy body. This is also true of your eyes. Supplements are one of the best remedies for dry eyes.
Omega-3 fatty acids can help the meibomian glands produce the quantity of oil required in tears. Oily fish like fresh tuna, salmon, sardines, and anchovies are rich in omega-3. If you don’t get enough in your diet, supplements are available.
Other supplements which are good for the wellbeing of our eyes are vitamins C, E, and zinc.
4) Spend time outside!
One of the easier remedies for dry eyes to implement is to spend some time outside. When using computers, smartphones and tablets for extended periods of time, we are more prone to getting dry eyes. Intently staring at a screen reduces the amount we blink causing tears to evaporate.
Fresh air and sunshine are great for our overall health. Just remember to wear shades to protect your eyes from the sun and wind. You will notice your dry eye symptoms disappearing rapidly.
5) Castor oil
One of the most affective remedies for dry eyes can be artificial tears which can be purchased over-the-counter. When they are not effective enough, try castor oil. Castor oil is known for its natural antifungal and antibacterial properties. Try placing one drop into each eye before going to bed. Your vision may be a little blurry at first but will soon clear. It will help with dry eyes and is also good for our overall sight.
6) Lipiflow and other treatments
Lipiflow is a treatment option for those with MGD. A device is placed over the eye which delivers heat and gentle pressure to remove any hardened oil. This unclogs any blockage in the meibomian glands to allow them to function correctly. Lipiflow can be done in the doctor’s office and takes less than 15 minutes to perform.
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