Dry eyes are a common issue, especially in older adults. When you suffer from dry eyes, you will notice your eyes getting dryer and more itchy than usual. This is when you should take some action. But before that, you must know about what is dry eyes, how it affects people depending on their gender and age, different types of dry eyes, and ultimately the treatment you should get for the same. Even the symptoms of dry eyes can be frustrating and uncomfortable, which is why it is crucial to know everything related to it including home remedies for dry eyes. So let's begin by first understanding what is dry eye.
What is Dry Eye?
Dry eyes are basically caused by a lack of moisture in your eyes, which makes them feel itchy and uncomfortable. There are two types of dry eyes: primary and secondary. Primary dry eyes occur when your tear ducts do not function properly, while secondary dry eyes occur when you have an infection or allergy that causes your eyelids to become swollen and painful.
Types of Dry Eyes:
There are mainly two types of dry eyes and they are -
1. Aqueous Deficient Dry Eyes (ADDE) - Not Enough Water:
Here, the water glands that usually produce your tears are functioning poorly and so, they're unable to create the water part of your tears. Your tears have the ability to lubricate and protect your ocular surface and if there isn't a sufficient amount of the same, you may start experiencing pain while blinking your eyes. ADDE is common in people suffering from autoimmune disorders like Sjogren's syndrome, where patients are unable to produce tears as their glands don't function well thus suffering from dry eyes, dry mouth, and dryness in the entire body (1).
2. Evaporative Dry Eyes (EDE) - Not Enough Oil:
The meibomian glands along your eyelid margin can be clogged which makes it difficult for the oil portion of your eyes to secrete sufficiently. And when you don't have enough oil in your tears, they will evaporate and dry out your eyes very quickly. Each time you blink, your eyelids help expel the oil onto the surface of your cornea in order to prevent evaporation of the tears. EDE is usually common in patients who experience eyelash dandruff, ocular rosacea, and Demodex mites (2).
Causes of Dry Eyes:
Dry eyes can be caused by many factors, that include (3):
- Smoking: Smoking causes an increase in pressure inside the eye, which can cause damage to the cornea and other structures.
- Age: As we age, our tear glands may become less efficient at producing tears, which leads to dry eyes.
- Blurred vision: If you're trying to read or do anything where you need a clear vision, such as driving or working on the computer, this can be a serious problem for you.
- Dry air: The air around you contains minerals that are necessary for good health but can also make your eyes feel dry if not balanced with enough water intake (watery eyes).
- Certain Medication: Medicines that include antidepressants, antihistamines, hormone replacement therapy, decongestants, and medicines prescribed for high blood pressure, birth control, Parkinson's disease, and acne can also be one of the dry eyes causes.
Signs of Dry Eyes:
Below are some signs of dry eyes which usually affects both eyes (4).
- Redness of the eye
- Difficulty wearing contact lenses
- Difficulty driving at the night
- Sensitivity to light
- Stringy mucus in or around the eyes
- Blurred vision or eye fatigue
- Watery eyes - your body's response to the irritation of dry eyes
- A sensation of having something in your eyes
- A scratchy or burning sensation in your eyes
Home Remedies to Treat Dry Eyes:
As you now know that dry eyes are a common problem, here are some home remedies for dry eyes that can help you get relief.
One dry eye home remedy that will for sure help is hydrating yourself throughout the day. Drinking enough water helps keep your eyes moist, which makes them less likely to suffer from dryness in the first place! Especially if you're prone to dry eyes, try drinking more water during the day and make sure you're also taking in enough calories so that your body doesn't needlessly turn excess water into fat cells which can then cause puffiness.
2. Tea Tree Oil:
This is another popular dry eye home remedy because it has antiseptic properties that can soothe irritation. You can use tea tree oil in the bath, or add a few drops to your moisturiser at night before going to bed.
3. Aloe Vera Gel:
One of the most effective home remedies for dry eyes is using aloe vera gel. Aloe vera gel contains healing agents such as vitamin E and beta carotene that nourish the skin around your eyes while also soothing irritation that is caused by allergies or other conditions like rosacea (5). You can apply some aloe vera gel directly to your skin or mix it with other moisturisers for an extra boost of moisture.
4. Warm Compress:
One of the dry eye remedies consists of using a warm compress on your eyes. A warm compress boosts circulation to the eye area and stimulates tear production. This dry eyes home remedy helps soothe your eye irritation by releasing oils that usually accumulate in the glands of your eyelids. To give your eyes a warm compress, soak a clean cloth in warm water and place it over your eyes for 8-10 minutes. Repeat this a few times each time the compress cools down.
5. Coconut Oil:
Using virgin coconut oil is one of the best home remedies for dry eyes as it creates a protective layer over the tear film layers which reduces evaporation. Coconut oil contains antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties (6), so it is regarded as a really effective natural treatment for dry eyes. Simply soak a cotton ball in coconut oil and place it on closed eyelids. Make sure to do this a few times a day till your eyes start feeling better.
6. Omega-3-Rich Diet:
If your diet is lacking essential fatty acids, you are more prone to developing dry eye syndrome. Consuming omega-3 fatty acids can serve as a great natural treatment for dry eyes as it may stimulate tear production and create quality teats that help lubricate your eyes more successfully. Foods that are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids are flax seeds, salmon, sardines, and anchovies. You can also take fish oil capsules or omega-3 tablets after consulting a doctor.
7. Eyelid Wash:
An easy natural treatment for dry eyes is keeping your eyelids clean. Use a gentle cleanser like baby shampoo, and rub a small amount between your fingertips to make it frothy. Close your eyes and massage the soap into the base of your eyelids, by the eyelashes. Once done, rinse your eyes with warm water while keeping them closed. Especially clean the areas where you use makeup or facial creams that usually enter the tear film and can irritate your eyes.
Other than following these dry eye remedies, you can also start consuming supplements for maintaining overall eye health. We insist you try the Saffola Fittify The Perfekt Gummies For Eye Health. These vitamin gummies are packed with nutrients like vitamins C and E that help promote good vision and eyesight. Simply pop these gummies regularly and take a step towards a healthier and happier life.
Dry eyes are a common issue that many people experience differently at different ages. You can use natural dry eye remedies that we've mentioned for you here. Other than age, there are many other dry eyes causes, and once you notice the symptoms, you need to take some action. See a healthcare expert if the signs of dry eyes are prolonged. Your doctor will be able to take steps to determine what's exactly bothering your eyes or refer you to a specialist.
What foods stop dry eyes?
Foods that can stop dry eyes:
- Spinach and kale
- Sweet potatoes
- Citrus fruits
Can I get dry eyes at any age?
As you get older, the tear production starts to diminish. Dry eyes are more common in people over 50 years of age. A lack of tears is more common in women if they're going through hormonal changes due to using birth control pills, pregnancy, or menopause.
Can dry eyes be cured completely?
Dry eyes are a common yet chronic condition. It doesn't really have a permanent cure but treatment for dry eyes can help manage your symptoms. You need to try different dry eye remedies to find out what works best for you.
Do dry eyes feel heavy?
Dry eyes can feel heavy or tired as they strain due to irritation. Eye fatigue usually contributes to other symptoms of dry eyes that we've mentioned above for you.
Is dry eyes a serious problem?
You may have an increased risk of eye infection if your tear production is not adequate. Damage to the surface of yours, if left untreated, can lead to eye inflammation, corneal ulcers, and vision loss as well.