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Natural Remedies for Dry Eyes : Lifestyle Changes, Nutritional Supplements, Home and Herbal Remedies

Dry eye describes the condition in which the eyes are not able to produce tears properly or tears evaporate quickly. The instability of the tears may lead to inflammation and damage to the eye surface. Dry eyes is a very common condition and can affect people of all ages.

Due to dryness in the eyes, there is less lubrication which leads to the following symptoms:(1)

  • Stinging and burning sensation
  • Feeling of foreign body in the eyes
  • There may be blurring of vision especially on reading on screen
  • Redness in the eye
  • Difficulty in driving at night
  • Watery eyes

There are various factors that can cause dry eyes, which include:

  • Certain medical conditions such as thyroid disorders, Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes.
  • Low vitamin D levels.(2)
  • Changes in the hormone during pregnancy, menopause, or using contraceptives can cause dry eyes.
  • Aging is another cause of dry eyes. As a person ages, there is a decrease in tear production that increases the risk of dry eyes.
  • Environmental factors such as dry air, wind, smoking, or dust can cause dry eyes.
  • Medications including antihistamines, antidepressants, and decongestants can lead to dry eyes.
  • Wearing contact lenses can also lead to dry eyes
  • LASIK and other eye surgeries can cause dry eyes temporarily
  • Looking at digital screens for a long without blinking can cause dry eyes.

Natural Remedies for Dry Eyes

There are various natural remedies that can be effective to reduce symptoms and prevent dry eyes. They can be extremely effective for form mild dry eyes. Natural ways to treat dry eyes also include lifestyle changes including increasing hydration, reducing screen time, and avoiding dry environments. Using natural remedies for dry eyes can be beneficial due to the following ways:

  • They have fewer side effects as compared to the prescription medications
  • They are more affordable and more accessible to common people

Natural remedies may not work for everyone, especially in cases of severe dry eyes. It is always best to consult a healthcare professional before trying anything new thing even if it’s a natural remedy for the eyes.

Lifestyle Changes to Alleviate Dry Eyes

There are several lifestyle changes that can be helpful in alleviating dry eyes symptoms:

  • Hydration: It is recommended that people should drink 8-10 glasses of water to keep the body hydrated.
  • Quitting Smoking: Smoking can worsen dry eyes and need to be stopped.
  • Diet: Eating a well-balanced diet including omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D may be helpful in decreasing the symptoms of dry eyes
  • Humidifiers: Using humidifiers in dry indoor environments can keep the air moist and reduce dry eyes.
  • Blinking: Taking breaks from staring at the screen and blinking can help in keeping eyes lubricated.
  • Avoiding Irritants: Avoiding irritants such as smoke, air conditioners, and other irritants can help in alleviating dry eyes.

These lifestyle changes along with medications can help in improving the overall condition of the eyes.

Nutritional Supplements for Dry Eyes

There are certain essential nutrients that can be helpful in keeping eye health by reducing inflammation.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are the essential fatty acids that are produced by the body and can be obtained from food. They have anti-inflammatory properties. They can be helpful in reducing inflammation and improving tear production.(3) These can be found in salmon, sardines, broccoli, spinach, beans, nuts, oils, and seeds.
  • Vitamin A: Vitamin A is essential for corneal health and tear production. Food rich in vitamin A includes sweet potato, spinach, carrot, and kale.
  • Vitamin C: Being an antioxidant vitamin C can be helpful in reducing inflammation and promoting healing. Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits, strawberries kiwi, and bell peppers.
  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E is another antioxidant that can help in reducing inflammation and promote healing. Almonds, sunflower seeds, spinach, and avocados are rich in vitamin E.
  • Zinc: Zinc is an essential mineral that is important for eye health. It can also improve tear production. Pumpkin seeds, oysters, beef, and chickpeas are foods rich in zinc.

If any of the above vitamins are low or are not being obtained from the diet, supplements can be consumed. But, it is important to speak to a healthcare professional to ensure the supplements are safe and effective for dry eyes.

Home Remedies for Dry Eyes

There are several home remedies that can be good for dry eyes.

  • Warm Compress: Using a warm compress on the eyes help in opening clogged pores and increasing tear production. It can be made with any clean cotton cloth dipped in warm water. Wring the cloth and put it over the closed eyes for 5-10 minutes.
  • Massage: Massaging eyelids can help in stimulating oil glands and increasing tear production.
  • Eye Drops: Over-the-counter artificial eye drops can be helpful in reducing the symptoms of dry eyes.
  • Aloe Vera: The application of aloe vera gel to the eyes can give a soothing effect as it can be helpful in reducing inflammation and promoting healing.
  • Cucumber slices: Cucumber slices give a cooling effect to the eyes. It can be helpful in relieving stress and easing the irritation caused due to dry eyes.
  • Rose water: Rose water can also give eyes a soothing and cooling effect. The cotton pad can be soaked in rose water and put over the eye. One can also cool the rose water before dipping cotton pads in it.

Herbal Remedies for Dry Eyes

There are a few herbal remedies that can be beneficial for dry eyes.

  • Chamomile tea: Chamomile tea can be helpful in alleviating dry eyes with its anti-inflammatory properties. The chamomile plant contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that can be helpful in reducing redness and inflammation in the eyes.
  • Fennel Seeds: Fennel seeds can be a very good natural remedy that can help in alleviating dry eye. They are rich in antioxidants including vitamin C and flavonoids that can reduce inflammation and protect against oxidative stress. Boil 1 teaspoon of fennel seeds in 1 cup water and cool it at room temperature. Soak cotton pads in them and place them over closed eyes for 10-15 minutes. The anti-inflammatory properties can be helpful in reducing redness and irritation in the eyes.
  • Eyebright: Eyebright is an herb that is being used as a remedy for the eyes for a long time. It contains compounds such as tannins and flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory and astringent properties.(4) These can be helpful in reducing inflammation and eye dryness. Eyebright can be used by dipping cotton pads in its tea. Its capsules are also available, but a healthcare professional should be consulted before going ahead with using it.
  • Ginkgo Biloba: Ginkgo biloba is used in a variety of health conditions including eyes. It contains flavonoids and tannins with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.(5) It reduces inflammation and improves blood flow to the eyes. A study showed that ginkgo biloba can help in improving tear secretion and reduces eye dryness in people with age-related macular degeneration.


Dry eye is a condition that results due to decreased tear production. It leads to decreased lubrication and itchy and inflamed eyes. There are numerous natural remedies that can be effective and give the eyes a soothing effect. They can also help in alleviating the symptoms in the eye that occur due to decreased lubrication. If left untreated it may lead to pain, corneal damage, and vision loss.(1)

These remedies include bringing a few changes in the lifestyle, introducing healthy supplements or foods rich in vitamins necessary for keeping the eyes healthy.

It is important to consult a healthcare professional before using any of the natural remedies for any type of health condition including dry eyes.

The natural remedies may interact with the prescription medication and lead to side effects. A healthcare professional can take the complete health history and medication regimen to determine whether or not the natural remedy is safe for use.

Natural remedies are used for a long for the treatment of many conditions. But how effective can they be for treating a condition for a particular individual can be analyzed by a doctor.

Dry eyes can be a symptom of an underlying condition such as Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, or thyroid disease. A healthcare professional can help in identifying the condition and addressing that can further correct dry eyes.

It is always good to consult a healthcare professional before going ahead with any natural remedy. A doctor can be helpful in determining whether or not using the remedy can be safe for an individual.

Research is going on to look for the causes and treatment for dry eyes. Gene therapy and stem cell therapy are being explored as new treatment options for easing dry eyes. New formulations for the treatment of dry eyes are being researched that can better mimic the natural composition of tears and provide better relief.

The knowledge of causes and treatment of dry eyes is evolving and there is surely hope for new and improved treatment options that can provide better relief and improve the quality of life.

Also Read:

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 25, 2023

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