4 Home Remedies for Chronic Dry Eyes
Some of the greatest relief for chronic or occasional dry eyes comes from the use of over-the-counter eye drops. If you try them in combination with these home remedies and your dry eyes don't improve, see a doctor for further testing.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Early evidence suggests that ingestion of omega-3 fatty acids may help relieve chronic dry eye symptoms because of the way in which they reduce inflammation. You can take omega-3 fatty acid supplements, or you can try to add the nutrient naturally through eating foods such as flaxseed oil, walnuts and salmon.
Try applying warm compresses to your closed eyes for five to 10 minutes at a time. The warmth and moisture can help unblock any plugged-up tear glands. Scrub gently around your eyelashes to remove any debris that may be irritating your eyes and contributing to your dry eyes. If you're suffering from blepharitis, an inflammation of the eyelashes, the flow of oil to your eyes may be blocked, and warm compresses can also help alleviate this condition, with the warmth encouraging the oil to flow more freely. Cleaning your eyelids and eyelashes with a mild soap solution also helps.
The more moisture there is in the air around you, the longer your tears sit in your eyes, keeping them moist. Add a humidifier to your home or office environment to increase the moisture in the air. You can also protect your eyes by blinking more often, since the action of blinking is what spreads natural moisture across the eye. If you spend hours at a time looking at a computer screen, stop every few minutes to look away, and blink intentionally.
Lifestyle and Environmental Changes
If you're surrounded by constantly moving air, your eyes are likely to become dry. Turn off fans, furnaces or air conditioners where possible. Wear sunglasses when you go outside, especially in hot or windy weather, to preserve the moisture in your eyes. Wear goggles if you ride a motorcycle or bike. Also wear them when you ski or swim. If you smoke, get help to quit, and avoid being around people who smoke, since cigarette smoke can be intensely irritating to people with dry eyes.
While artificial tears are common remedies for either occasional or chronic dry eyes, you can add several home remedies to your arsenal of treatments. Because dry eyes can be the result of a variety of environmental, medical or even lifestyle factors, it's important to discern the cause before attempting a treatment. Changing your environment or various elements of your lifestyle are often key in the treatment and prevention of dry eyes.