It’s amazing how quickly you get used to something. Throughout the last year, my eyes got progressively drier and grittier. My eyesight got worse and I started squinting more. And yet, in the midst of busy-ness, I never thought to do something about it.
They say that dry eyes and managed, not cured. I have to agree since I’ve been struggling with dry eyes since I was a wee child. Some years they were better, especially when I was on eye supplements. These past few years they are the worse they have ever been. Age and lack of sleep from having two toddlers have taken a toll on my eyes. I also found out later that seborrheic dermatitis can affect the oil glands in the eyes and cause dry eyes.
This led me down the rabbit path of seeing if there is anything else I can do for my dry eyes:
Eating a diet filled with fresh fruit and veggies will provide you with plenty of nutrients, many of which help with eye health. Dry eyes are often a symptom of vitamin A deficiency so eating foods that are high in beta-carotene like carrots will improve your dry eye symptoms.
Read if my home carrot experiment helped my dry eyes.
Blink more often
Especially if you look at screens a lot and who doesn’t now a days, blinking often helps reduce strain on your eyes.
Everytime you blink, your eyelids coat your cornea with a thin film of tears. If you have very dry eyes like me, blinking more often can help but you’ll need to actually be making tears first before it is really effective.
Less screen time
TV, phones, tablets, lap tops and even coffee machines have screens now. Blue light emits from these devices. Also when you are looking at a screen, you tend to blink less.
All contribute to dry eyes.
Prevent dry eyes when sleeping
If you’ve ever slept with someone who only has their eyes half close when they are asleep, this is not only freaky to watch but I can bet you they have dry eyes. Imagine not blinking for 8 hours while you sleep and have your eyes exposed to air and dryness!
If you are one of these people, fret not. There are eye masks you can use to protect your cornea from drying out while you sleep with your eyes open.
Ever wondered why warm eye masks is so much more soothing than cold masks?
Warm compresses like a hand towel dipped in warm water or a warmed up wheat bag also provide dry eye relief.
Artificial tears are a God-send for dry-eyed people like me. Just make sure you’re not sensitive to the preservatives in them.
Because if you are, your eyes will get itchy, gritty and even drier.
I’ve never tried one of these but have been told that they are great eye lubricants but can blur your vision.
Only for night use.
Dry eye glasses or contact lenses
Who would have thought these things exist? I’ve never tried them before and they can be pricey.
But if you spend a lot of time outside, wrap around sunglasses protect your eyes from UV rays and harsh winds.
Definitely keep hydrated. There’s lots of benefits to drinking enough water. But don’t expect being hydrated to work miracles on your dry eyes. It takes more than water to help relieve your symptoms.
Increase the air humidity
Ever wondered why your eyes are drier in winter and in air-conditioned rooms? Because the air is dryer.
Other than avoiding direct blown air, get a humidifier.
Stop medications that cause dry eyes
If you are on any medications that cause dry eyes, check with your doctor about alternatives and whether you actually need them.
Check to see if its an allergic reaction
You might be allergic to something you’re eating or to something in the environment. If you think your eyes are dryer for a reason, try eliminating it temporarily to see if it helps.
Allergies can cause eye redness, itchiness and dry eyes. If you think your dry eyes are due to allergies, an anti-histamine eyedrop can help.
I recommend seeing a doctor for expert opinion before self-medicating with these eyedrops.
See a doctor
Also see a doctor if you’ve tried the usual home remedies and supplements and continue to have dry eyes. It might be a symptom of something deeper like corneal inflammation, tear duct problems or even a systemic illness.
The doctor can also prescribe drugs to increase tear production.
To wrap up
These are a few things you can do to help your dry eyes, especially if it is only mild. From my experience, none of these are effective if you have a vitamin deficiency that is causing the dry eyes. In that case, a better diet and supplements help.
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