Dry eyes is a common condition that happens when your tears are not able to provide the required lubrication for your eyes. The reasons behind can be many, for instance, dry eyes may occur if your body does not produce sufficient tears or you may not be producing high-quality tears. Dry eyes is an uncomfortable condition, and if you suffer from dry eyes, your eyes may experience a stinging sensation or burning in your eyes constantly. It may also be that you experience dry eyes only in certain conditions such as in an air-conditioned room, after looking at a computer screen for a long time, or while riding a bike. Here are some simple ways to deal with the problem of chronic dry eyes.
7 Simple Ways to Deal With Chronic Dry Eyes
Some of them are:
Keep Detoxifying House Plants In Your Home
Even if you maintain a neat and tidy house, one of the reasons that can worsen the symptoms of dry eyes is recirculated indoor air. This is why keeping certain indoor plants such as orchids, English ivy, and aloe vera will help in filtering out the indoor air. These plants have air filtering abilities and keeping them inside the house will help you circulate fresh air inside your home, the place where you spend the maximum amount of time.
Here are some detoxifying house plants you can choose to keep in the house: (1)
- Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii)
- Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
- Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)
- Chinese Evergeen (Aglaonema modestum)
- Heart Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium)
- Money Bonsai or Guiana Chestnut (Pachira aquatica)
- Rubber plant (Ficus elastica)
- Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
- Gerbera daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
Caffeine can Help
While nowadays, you keep hearing everywhere that drinking too much caffeine is bad for your health, but research has shown that caffeine can actually help with the body’s tear production. This does not prove, though, that drinking coffee multiple times in a day will help you deal with chronic dry eyes, or increase tear production.
However, a limited increase in your coffee consumption can help your eyes produce more tears or moisture so that you will get some relief with dry eyes. (2)
Indulge Yourself in a DIY Spa Experience
Going to the spa can be an expensive affair every day. Instead, you can try to practice certain spa treatments yourself at home. For example, placing cucumber slices on your eyelids will provide a cooling sensation that will help you get relief from dryness. The refreshing and crisp cucumber slice will help you alleviate the irritation and puffiness linked with chronic dry eye. (3)
You can also use refrigerated potato slices instead of cucumber slices as these will also provide the same effect.
If vegetables are not your thing, then you can make a cold raw milk compress and keep it on your eyelids for 15 to 20 minutes every day.
Load Up on Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Research shows that increasing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids or even taking a supplement of omega-3 fatty acid can help alleviate the symptoms of chronic dry eyes. Omega-3 fatty acids are safe to take, and most adults usually have very few side effects to these. (4)
Fatty acids are the building blocks of fat, and they are essential nutrients that are critical for the normal functioning of cells, muscles, organs, and even your nerves. Many clinical studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids are essential for the healthy development of vision in infants. Omega-3 fatty acids found in the breast milk of new mothers has shown to stimulate visual development in infants.
At the same time, several studies have shown that omega-3 fatty acids may also help adult eyes from dry eye syndrome and macular degeneration. Essential fatty acids also help in the proper drainage of intraocular fluid from the eye, decreasing the risk of glaucoma and high eye pressure.
In a recent study of dry eyes induced in mice, topical application of the omega-3 fatty acid ALA was found to lead to a dramatic reduction in dry eye symptoms and inflammation that is commonly associated with dry eyes. (5)
If you don’t want to take supplements of omega-3 fatty acid, then you should increase your intake of fatty fish such as mackerel, tuna, sardines, etc.
Keep Direct Air away from your Eyes
When you are traveling, you should try to keep the car and airplane air conditioning vents away from your eyes or your direct line of vision.
These vents are known only to recycle old air, which is going to worsen your dry eyes further. These vents can sometimes also blow foreign materials, such as tiny hairs or dust particles, straight into your already irritated and highly sensitive eyes.
Adjust your Computer Settings
Adjusting your computer settings will make your work less strenuous to the eyes. It is recommended that you make the computer screen’s brightness to the same level as your surroundings. Change your font size and choose a font that is easy to read and easy on your eyes as well. Look away from the screen every 15 to 20 minutes in order to reduce eye fatigue.
We often take blinking as granted and do not pay any attention to it. However, blinking regularly can help you with your dry eyes. Blinking is responsible for renewing the tear film, which is essential in moisturizing and protecting your eyes.
This tip is even more important for you if you spend a lot of time staring at your computer screen. Healthy people tend to blink around 10 to 15 times a minute. But, the average is known to decrease by half or even more if you are staring a computer screen.
So make a conscious effort to blink regularly.
The reality of today is that most of our life revolves around staring at a computer, tablet, or smartphone screen for prolonged periods of time. This is why it is not a surprise when so many adults suffer from the symptoms of chronic dry eyes.
While there are many lifestyle hacks for getting relief from the symptoms of dry eyes, it is important that you first discuss with your doctor before trying out anything new. If you don’t experience any relief from these simple home remedies, you should consider seeing a professional ophthalmologist or an eye doctor who will be able to assess your condition and suggest the right treatment plan if needed.
- Webb, H., Rennoll, A., Rennoll, A., Griffee, N., Griffee, N., Webb, H. and Webb, H. (2019). Plant Power! 10 Plants to Detoxify your Home – Cambridge Mask Co. [online] Cambridge Mask Co. Available at: https://cambridgemask.com/blog/plant-power-10-plants-detoxify-home/ [Accessed 22 Aug. 2019].
- Suzuki, Y. (2019). Drinking Coffee May Offer Relief To Dry Eye Sufferers, Study. [online] Asian Scientist Magazine | Science, technology and medical news updates from Asia. Available at: https://www.asianscientist.com/2012/04/health/caffeine-coffee-relief-for-dry-eye-syndrome-2012/ [Accessed 22 Aug. 2019].
- Organic Facts. (2019). 4 Proven Benefits of Putting Cucumber on Your Eyes | Organic Facts. [online] Available at: https://www.organicfacts.net/cucumber-on-eyes.html [Accessed 22 Aug. 2019].
- Ton, J. and Korownyk, C., 2018. Omega-3 supplements for dry eye. Canadian Family Physician, 64(11), pp.826-826.
- Rashid, S., Jin, Y., Ecoiffier, T., Barabino, S., Schaumberg, D.A. and Dana, M.R., 2008. Topical omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids for treatment of dry eye. Archives of ophthalmology, 126(2), pp.219-225.