Are you tired of rubbing your eyes or blinking rapidly to get rid of that uncomfortably dry feeling in your eyes? If so, you don’t have to resort to a doctor’s prescription or over-the-counter medication to get your eyes back up to snuff. Here are a few treatments you can do within the comfort of your own home, without dealing with the pharmacy.
The first thing you need to understand is what causes dry eyes. This is because in order to fully fix the problem, you have to do what it is stemming from, so you can stop or at least take some preventive measures to keep it from repeating.
Dry eyes have many different causes, however. Sometimes a lack of sleep can cause dry eyes, but it could be your contact lenses or the eye drops you use as well. Maybe you stare at a computer for long hours at a time or play video game, or maybe you eat a lot of red meat. LASIK surgery is another culprit.
If you have allergic reactions to dust, mold, mildew, or dander, your allergies could manifest themselves through dry eyes. Certain types of medications, like antidepressants, birth control, and nasal decongestants can cause dry eyes as a side effect.
Even your environment can cause dry eyes, through high altitude or a dry climate. If you’re exposed to the sun too long, the heat can dry your eyes. Wind can affect you tear ducts as well, particularly when it’s a steady hot-and-dry blow.
Sometimes just by drinking more water, you can bring the moisture back to your eyes. In order to be healthy, a person should drink half of their body weight in ounces per day. That means that if you weigh 200 lbs, you should drink at least 100 oz. of water per day, despite the common figure of 64 oz. that used to be thrown around. The more water you drink, the better your body can replenish the stores that are running low (like your tear ducts).
If your dry eyes are caused by a dietary problem, fixing the problem can be as simple as cutting back on certain types of food. For example, if you eat a lot of red meat, all you need to do is reduce your intake. Red meat is high in omega-6 fatty acids, and that can affect how much moisture your eyes produce. Omega-3 can increase eye moisture, so by decreasing your consumption of omega-6 and increasing your consumption of omega-3, you could see improvement to your eye condition in as little as a few days.
Another dietary concern with dry eyes is not eating enough vitamins. Both Vitamin C and Vitamin B2 affect your body’s cell production, which in turn can affect how your body moistens your eyes. Make sure to eat the right amount of those vitamins, and you should be fine.
Certain types of essential oils can help your dry eyes produce more water. The first step is to get your cells communicating with each other, since that’s the biggest problem—the cells that produce the water think your eyes have enough, when in fact they don’t. Lemon and peppermint can fix the communication between your cells, and all you have to do is start putting a drop of each in your water when you drink. You’ll have to make sure that the types of oils you use are ones that you can ingest, however. Some companies don’t make ingestible oils, but they should have a warning on the label to tell you if it’s not for internal use.
Lavender is another oil that can help your dry eyes, because it encourages cell growth and moisturizing. All you need to do is dilute a drop of the oil in some carrier oil (like vegetable oil), and then use the mixture like you would eye drops, putting 1-2 drops in each eye. If this burns a little, you may need to dilute the lavender a little more, but as long as you’ve made sure the lavender is good for internal and topical usage, a little burn won’t do any lasting damage to your eye.
There are a number of other tricks you can try to clear up dry eyes that fall far more into the home remedy category than the above tips. One of the most effective ways to fix your dry eyes is to hold a damp washcloth over them for 5-15 minutes before you go to bed each night. Wet the washcloth with warm water so it’s not uncomfortable. If the cloth dries too much, wet it again. By adding this to your nightly routine, your body will adjust to the correct amount of moisture just before it resets with sleep that might be just what your body needs for your eyes to get enough water.
The second home remedy takes a little more effort, but it can be even more effective, particularly if your eyes are extremely dry. All it takes is a bit of raw honey and water. You’ll want to create a mixture of 1 part honey to every 4-10 parts water (depending on how strong you want the mixture), and then chill it. Every night, before you go to sleep, but a couple drops into your eye. The honey will make your eyes sting, but it won’t do any damage, and the sting will force your eyes to water. After a couple minutes, you can wash your eyes out with cold water.
Having dry eyes can be a hassle, but it’s not one you have to pay an exorbitant amount of money to take care of. Whether your condition is bad enough that close-fitting glasses or sunglass aren’t doing the trick or your eyes are too inflamed to respond, you don’t have to resort to the pharmacy to get what you need or constantly going to your doctor for an eye exam. From Edmonton to Dallas, sometimes all you need to do is be a little creative to find a good solution within the comfort of your own home.