The easiest thing to do when suffering from dry eye is head to the local drug store to pick up a bottle of eye drops. Unfortunately, they only work on the symptom rather than the cause and sometimes don’t even help with that. There are ways this problem can be treated without commercial eye drops, and these natural remedies are something to consider. These treatments may take longer to work, but they guarantee long lasting wellness.
Diet can have more of an effect on the eyes, and the body in general, than most people realize. Dietary changes can make a huge difference!
Omega-3 fatty acids are believed to restore function to the glands that lubricate the eyes. These acids can be found in:
- Nuts (walnuts)
- Oils (cod liver, flaxseed)
- Fatty fish (mackerel, salmon)
- Fish oil supplements
Vitamin A deficiency can also contribute to dry eye. Adequate levels of vitamin A can be found in a diet full of raw foods and especially vegetables rich in color:
- Sweet potatoes
- Dried apricots
- Egg yolks
- Red pepper
Vitamin C, an antioxidant, can also reduce inflammation. High concentrations of vitamin C can be found in:
Vitamin E promotes healthy eyes in general and can be found in:
- Vegetable oils
- Leafy greens
Magnesium is necessary for tear production and can be found in:
- Leafy vegetables
- Whole grains
Vitamin B6, which helps the body absorb magnesium, can be found in:
- Organ meats
- Starchy vegetables like potatoes
- Non-citrus fruit
These antioxidant-rich foods can slow down a lot of the oxidative stress caused by an unhealthy lifestyle.
Drinking the recommended 8 to 10 glasses of water per day can also help with dry eye by detoxifying the body. It will remove toxins and waste products that contribute to eye problems, and it will keep your and your eyes hydrated. Cutting as much refined sugar as possible can make it easier to detox and help reduce dry eye. Refined sugar can be hidden in many processed foods, making it important to read labels.
Changing other behaviors can help as well. Something as simple as remembering to blink while at the computer can help. Also, massaging the upper and lower lids while in a warm shower or after using a warm compress could help the tear glands release their oils. Using a humidifier can keep the air from drying out, which helps to keep eyes lubricated.
Studies of Interest
Lastly, there are new studies that may be of interest. One, published in Ocular Surface, says dry eye may be caused by an imbalanced autonomic nervous system. In the study, women were given a belly breathing technique. Tear volume was increased 50% within fifteen minutes of the technique. To do the same thing, a person can sit comfortably with their spine straight and take a deep breath through the nose. Hold it for four seconds and then exhale through the mouth. Continue breathing that way for a few minutes.
All of the above are things you may want to try when suffering from dry eyes. These natural remedies may be very helpful in alleviating some of the harsh symptoms and ensure that you feel better long term. Have you tried any of the above? Let us know what worked for you!
Dr. Jenna Zigler
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by Dr. Jenna Zigler | Posted in burning eyes, Dr. Jenna Zigler, dry eye, dry eye causes, dry eye community, dry eye disease, dry eye food, dry eye impact, dry eye symptoms, dry eye syndrome, eye care, eye diseases, eye health, eye love, Eye Love FAQ, Eye Love for Dry Eyes, eye love mission, eye love the sun, fish oil, magnesium, Natural Treatments, omega-3 fatty acids, vegatables for eyes, Vitamin B6, vitamin c and Vitamin E | |
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