Dry Eyes

What Is Dry Eyes

Dry Eyes is a common disorder that affects the tear film in your eye.  Often an uncomfortable feeling, Dry Eyes occur because of inadequate tears, or not enough tears, which do not keep the eyes properly lubricated.  It is a very common condition that primarily affects people over 40.  Sometimes people with Dry Eyes only experience irritation in certain environments or situations, for example, on an airplane, in an air conditioned room, or even when reading off a computer screen.  This condition can affect any race, but it is more common in women than in men.

Signs Of Dry Eyes

People with Dry Eyes are often sensitive to light and symptoms tend to worsen in dryer climates.  If people use their eyes a lot, for example, to watch television or to read, eyes will tend to dry more quickly. The most common symptom for people with Dry Eyes is a burning or itchy sensation in the eyes. Common symptoms for Dry Eyes can also include: 

  • Burning or itchy eyes
  • Stringy mucus in or around the eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Difficulty when driving at night
  • Watery eyes (an odd symptom, but it's the body's response to dry or irritated eyes)
  • Blurred vision or fatigue
What Causes Dry Eyes

Eyes can be dry for many reasons.  Sometimes allergies can be the cause, while irritants such as dust or smoke can also cause eyes to be dry.  For the Dry Eyes condition, though, the lack of adequate tears fail to keep the eyes lubricated.  Sometimes the person can have a decreased tear production, abnormality in the way tears are formed, or even excessive tear evaporation.  Tears are comprised of water, fatty oils, and mucus.  If there is an imbalance in the makeup of tears or decreased tear production, this can also cause Dry Eyes.  Common causes are listed below:

  • Decreased tear production
  • Imbalance of tear makeup
  • Excessive tear evoporation
  • Aging
  • Allergies
  • Irritants such as smoke, dry climates, or dust
  • Certain medications (such as antihistamines, antidepressants, or even oral contraceptives)
  • Overworking eyes (reading on a computer or watching television)

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies
  • Environmental factors often cause Dry Eyes, so it is optimal to avoid irritants such as smoke, heavy winds, dust, or bright lights.  If you are going outside, try to wear eye protection such as sunglasses or goggles, when doing activities. 
  • It is a good idea to add omega-3 fatty acids to your diet.  Because omega-3s are known to reduce inflammation in the body, a diet high in omega-3s may relieve symptoms of Dry Eyes by reducing eye inflammation and improving tear quality and production.  Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids include flaxseeds, walnuts, chia seeds, palm oil, cabbage, dark leafy greens, legumes, and winter squash, to name a few. 
  • Drinking a lot of water can help relieve symptoms of Dry Eyes.  Staying properly hydrated can help keep the mucus membranes in your eyes moist, which can lead to better tear production.  It is recommended to drink 8-10 glasses of water every day to stay properly hydrated.  You can also drink half your body weight in ounces of water as a measurement of proper hydration.  If you weigh 150lbs and divide that by 2 to get 75, you should be drinking 75oz of water every day. 
  • Putting a humidifier in your room or house may help decrease symptoms of Dry Eyes.  A dry environment can trigger symptoms of Dry Eyes, so making the living space more humid could be beneficial.  Be sure to change the water in the humidifier so that mold doesn't start to grow. 
  • Some people with Dry Eyes have found relief from symptoms by getting acupuncture treatment.  Acupuncture helps establish better flow in the body by sticking needles in certain points.  If there is better flow, you may find that your eyes can produce proper tears. 
  • Castor oil eye drops may be a beneficial remedy for those with Dry Eyes.  These drops may improve symptoms by reducing tear evaporation.
Things you should eat
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia Seeds
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Palm Oil
  • Cabbage
  • Dark Leafy Greens (spinach, kale, & chard)
  • Mung Beans
  • Winter Squash
  • Peas
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Green Beans
  • Kidney Beans
  • Sweet Potatoes
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