Dry eyes are a common condition many people face. It occurs when you don’t produce enough tears to lubricate your eyes. It can also occur if you produce low quality tears. Dry eyes can be temporary or a chronic condition. Some people experience seasonal dry eyes while others have dry eyes when they ride in airplanes, in air conditioned rooms, or if they spend too much time in front of an electronic screen.
Some people also experience dry eyes when they take certain medications or as they age.
Common symptoms of chronic dry eyes are:
- Burning, stinging, or scratching on the eyes
- A gritty feeling in your eyes
- Eye mucus or watery eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Redness in your eyes
- Blurred or fuzzy vision
- Feeling like there is something in your eye
- Irritation when wearing contact lenses
- Difficulty driving at night
Thankfully, there are a number of natural ways to help your dry eyes:
1. Use a humidifier
Furnaces, air conditioners and ceiling fans decrease humidity in the air. You can add moisture back into a space and help ease your dry eyes by using a humidifier.
2. Drink plenty of water
Water is great for your skin and eyes. Drinking water will keep you hydrated and flush out salt in your body.
3. Warm eye compresses
Soak a washcloth in warm water and wring it out. Place the warm compress on your eyes for several minutes to sooth your eyes. If the compress gets cold just repeat the process of running it under warm water and reapply.
4. Take omega-3 supplements
Research shows that people who take Omega-3 are less prone to dry eyes. The supplement has been found to work with small glands on the edge of the eyelid to improve the eye’s oil film and reduce dryness. Taken once a day Omega-3 can improve your tear production.
5. Use castor oil eye drops
Castor oil drops have been found to improve symptoms by reducing tear evaporation. You can drop castor oil into your eyes several times throughout the day to provide relief.
6. Take screen breaks
The amount of time you spend in front of a computer, phone and other electronic screen can affect the dryness of your eyes. People blink less frequently when they are in front of a screen which dries out their eyes. If you work with a computer it is often difficult to get away from a screen but try to take breaks when possible to limit exposure. Even short breaks away can help increase tears in your eyes.
7. Get plenty of sleep
Lack of sleep dries out your eyes. Most adults should target at least seven hours of sleep per night. Getting plenty of rest will help your eyes during the day.
8. Wear wrap around sunglasses
If environment allergies or other pollutants dry out your eyes consider switching to sunglasses with thick sides. These types of glasses can also help if you have sensitivity to light. The small, extra barrier can benefit your eyes by keeping out toxins.