Dry eyes

Tears are essential to our eyes. Tears are produced by tear ducts called as meibomian glands and lacrimal glands. Tears are a mixture of enzymes, fatty acids, electrolytes, water peptides, protein and salt. Tears are in three forms, oil, water and mucus. Oil and water produced in the tear ducts and mucus helps in evenly spreading both on the surface of the eyes. We shall explore simple and easy home remedies to cure dry eyes.

What is dry eye syndrome?

Dry eyes occur only when your tear ducts or the meibomian glands and lacrimal glands do not produce enough tears to lubricate your eyes.

It is a term used to describe dry eyes caused by deprived of tears or reduced tear production.

Causes for dry eyes

  • Aging
  • Decreased oil, water or mucus production
  • Damage to the tear glands
  • Environmental factors
  • Medications
  • Lupus
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Inadequate blinking
  • Use of contact lenses
  • Eyelid problems

Symptoms of dry eyes

  • Blurred vision
  • Pain, scratchy, irritation, burning sensation in both eyes
  • Fatigued eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Foreign body sensation – you feel that something is lodged in the eye.
  • Excessive tear production

Home remedies to cure dry eyes

Here are some home remedies to cure dry eyes that can be implemented easily.

Hydration

Dry eyes are one of the symptoms that your body is dehydrated. Adequate water is needed for our eyes to produce tears. The recommended amount of 8 to 10 glasses or more is helpful to get rid of dry eyes.

coldwater

Cucumber

Cucumbers are the one of the best and easy ways to cure dry eyes. Cucumber brings moisture and also relaxes tired eyes.

Method:

  1. Take a fresh cucumber.
  2. Cut it into round slices.
  3. Allow it to cool in the refrigerator for few minutes.
  4. Take it out and place one slice one each closed eyelid.
  5. Leave it for 20 minutes.
Cucumber
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Hot compress

Hot compress helps to open blocked oil glands.

Method:

  1. Take a clean cloth.
  2. Soak it into warm water for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Squeeze the excess water from the cloth.
  4. Place it on closed eyelids.
  5. Leave it for 5 to 10 minutes.

Blinking exercise

Lot of moisture must be supplied to avoid dry eyes. Our eyes are lubricated naturally when you continuously blink.  Especially when you are watching television, or sitting in front of the computer you must practice the continuous blinking exercise. This exercise will moisten the eyes and help spread tears to the sides of the eyes.

Lavender oil

Lavender essential oil considered to have anti-septic and analgesic properties in it. The helps to protect from infections and allows rapid healing.

Method:

  1. Take a cup of warm water.
  2. Add 2-3 drops of lavender oil.
  3. Dip two cotton balls.
  4. Take out the cotton balls.
  5. Squeeze a bit and make it flat.
  6. Place this on closed eyelids and leave it on for 10 minutes.

Lemon, turmeric and tomato

Method:

  1. Take equal amount of turmeric and tomato puree.
  2. Add some lemon juice.
  3. Mix all the three and make a smooth paste.
  4. Apply under your eyes.
  5. Leave it for one hour, let it dry completely.
  6. Wash off with water.

This gives good results. Instead of turmeric powder you can also use tamarind powder.

Turmeric powder
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Omega-3 fatty acid foods

Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in eye health and overall health. Regular consumptions of omega-3 foods like, fish, egg, nuts, seeds, bread and fruit juices help to maintain eye health.

“The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) indicate that eating larger amounts of fish or Omega-3s may help promote macular health1. Studies also show that Omega-3s can help reduce dry eye syndrome, a chronic eye disease caused by a decrease in tear production or increase in tear evaporation”.

Rose water

Rose water contains anti-bacterial and anti-septic properties in it. Rose water protects eyes from redness, pollution, dust, inflammation, removes dark circles and also reduces stress and fatigue.

Method:

  1. Take two cotton balls.
  2. Dip them in pure rose water.
  3. Place it on closed eyelids.
  4. Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes.

This relaxes eye muscles and reduces strain.

Kale

Kale is loaded with beta-carotene and zinc. It is also full of lutein and zeaxanthin. These are helpful in keeping your eyes healthy.

Baked kale chips

Ingredients:

  • Kale
  • Olive oil
  • Lime juice
  • Parmesan cheese

Method:

  1. Spread kale pieces on a baking sheet.
  2. Add very little olive oil, lemon juice and a bit of salt.
  3. Add grated parmesan cheese.
  4. Bake the chips at 350 degrees.
  5. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until they become crispy.

You can also include Kale in salads and other suitable recipes. This leafy green is good for children too.

Kale_DE

Carrot

Vitamin A is important to protect the cornea, also significant for good vision and for a healthy tear film. Vitamin A deficiency leads to dry eye syndrome. Adding carrots to salads and other recipes go a long way in helping your eyes.

Mint

Mint contains the active ingredient called menthol, it stimulates tear production. Washing your eyes with mint water makes you feel fresh too.

Method

  1. Boil a cup of water.
  2. Add 10 to 12 spearmint leaves.
  3. Turn the heat off after 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Allow the solution to become cool.
  5. Strain the solution.
  6. Use a clean cloth and soak it into the solution.
  7. Place the cloth on closed eyelids.
  8. Repeat it twice a day to get relief from dry eyes.

Mint tea

Chamomile tea

Chamomile has a naturally cooling effect. It soothes tired eyes and makes you feel sleepy.

Method:

  1. Take a cup of hot water.
  2. Add 2-3 teaspoons of chamomile dried flowers.
  3. Allow it to infuse for 2 minutes.
  4. Strain the tea.
  5. Add honey and lemon for taste.

Tips for eye care

  • Limit computer use.
  • Limit coffee consumption.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Wear sunglasses.
  • Never sleep with your eye make-up.
  • Take a break every 20 minutes when you work in front of a computer.
  • Wash your hands before taking off your contact lenses.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes.
  • Never read in poor light.
  • Do a few eye exercises to relax.

If you suffer from dry eyes, follow any one of the above remedies and take care of your eyes.

Ramya Srinivasan, PDGBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. As a result of her passion in native medicine, she got her Diploma in Traditional Siddha Medicine from Bharat Sevak Samaj registered under the Indian Planning Commission. She is certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.