Dry Eyes: 8 Natural Solutions To Help Hydrate The Eyes

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Dry eyes is a condition that can cause irritation, itchiness and discomfort.  If you have discovered through eye exams that you are not producing enough tears to properly moisturize and lubricate your eyes, along with any prescriptions or medicated tear drops you optometrist suggests, try these 8 natural solutions to help you cope with the pain and allow your eyes to better hydrate themselves.

Consider Having A Lipiflow Treatment

Tears are essential in the proper function and working condition of the eye.  Tears consist of:

  • water, which moistens the eye
  • oils, which help to lubricate the eye
  • mucus, which spreads the water and oils around the eye
  • antibodies and proteins which assist in preventing infection

The lipiflow treatment is designed to clear and open the glands in your eyes that are blocked, so that you can once again produce enough tears.  The basis of the treatment involves an eyepiece that applies heat and pressure to the inner eyelid.  This natural and chemical-free treatment encourages your body to produce the oils that you should have in your tears.

Adapt To Your Environment

Because eyes need constant moisture and lubrication to feel comfortable, it is essential that you pay particular attention to the environment that you are in and adapt accordingly.  Things or places that you should avoid are:

  • smoke or other air pollutants
  • excessive fans or strong air conditioner units
  • hair dryers or car heaters
  • airplanes

If you do have to be in these environments or around things that may dry out your eyes even more, adapt by:

  • closing your eyes for a few minutes periodically to let them remoisten
  • trying to keep any air from directly blowing into your eyes
  • avoiding rubbing your eyes so that any pollutants or contaminates do not transfer into your eyes

Use Only Hypoallergenic Products

Face washes, makeup, lotions, or other products that you apply to your face or hands, can sometimes get into your eyes and further irritate them.  When using these face or hand products, use hypoallergenic products which are specifically made to be sensitive and gentle.

Be Careful When Performing Long Tasks

When you are reading, watching television, working, or performing other tasks that require staring for long periods of time, you need to be especially careful that you do not hurt your eyes even more.  Blink often to let your tears spread over your eyes, and take frequent breaks.

Incorporate Warm Compresses

Warm compresses help your eyes to secrete more oils, which in turn helps eliminate redness and itchiness.  The best time to apply a compress is right before bed as the release of oils can cause blurry vision.  To utilize this technique:

  • take a washcloth and wet it with warm water
  • apply the cloth over both of your closed eyes and apply medium pressure
  • when the washcloth cools, re-wet the cloth with warm water and repeat the process

Add Essential Spices And Oils To Your Diet

Certain fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6, can greatly help to reduce eye inflammation.  You can take these in the form of a supplement (talk to your optometrist for dosage information) or can add foods that are high in fatty acids to your diet.  Some of these foods include:

  • Tuna
  • Salmon
  • Eggs
  • Sardines
  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseed

Along with adding fatty acids to your diet, there are certain spices that are high in vitamins that can help to stimulate tear production.  Try cooking with:

  • Turmeric
  • Paprika
  • Mint​

Ingest The Bilberry Shrub

Bilberry is a shrub that is closely related to the blueberry.  Not only does bilberry help to improve your overall eye health, but the vitamin P and citrin within it can decrease swelling and assist your tear glands in performing their proper function.  You can take bilberry in the form of a supplement (be sure not to take more than 220 mg a day), or can drink tea made from bilberry leaves.

Hydrate and Humidify the Air

Hydration within your body and in the air is very important in assisting with the dry eyes condition.  Make sure that you drink plenty of water, and especially in the winter when it is dryer, keep a humidifier running in your house to add sufficient moisture to the air.

By incorporating these techniques, you can help relieve the discomfort that comes from dry eyes, and help hydrate your eyes in the most effective ways.