Natural Remedies For Dry And Itchy Eyes
Developing red, dry, and itchy eyes is one of the most annoying things that can happen to a person. We know that whenever our eyes are bothering us, it’s pretty much impossible to focus on anything else — both literally and figuratively. It’s doubly true for contact wearers. There is nothing worse than having to power through a day with lenses that feel like they are glued to your eyeballs.
Luckily, though, there are all sorts of natural remedies that can easily resolve the situation.
Whether your bloodshot eyes are due to seasonal allergies, overexposure to the sun, dry climate, lack of sleep, or even just simple dehydration, there is pretty much a natural cure for almost every dry eye cause. We’ve gathered a list of some of the most effective home remedies for itchy red eyes that you can try next time you are suffering. We recommend experimenting with a few to find the one that works best for you.
1. Lifestyle Changes
Implementing changes in your routine activities and environment can help alleviate the adverse effects of your lifestyle on your eyes. These include the following:
- Limit screen time to a minimum. Avoid extreme use of computers, television, and mobile phones for long time periods. Desktop office work is one of the culprits behind “computer vision syndrome,” an illness similar to dry eyes. Take short breaks in between your work or studies to rest your eyes. Make sure to keep blinking while doing these activities.
- Wear sunglasses at all times when going out in dry environments, hot, windy weather conditions, and high altitudes.
- Avoid going out in places with heightened levels of pollution, dust, chemicals, smoke, and smog.
- Adjust your schedule such that you sleep on time. Staying up for long hours at a stretch can give you dry eyes.
- Using a humidifier, especially in the winter months, can help prevent dry eyes. The central heating system in your home and office often dries the air out, which can aggravate dry eye symptoms. Hence, try using a humidifier to add some moisture back into the air. This, in turn, will provide moisture for your eyes.
- You can also add moisture to indoor air by placing plants in your room unless you are allergic. Some of the best plants for this purpose are the areca palm, peace lily, and Boston fern. These plants also help purify the air by absorbing indoor air pollutants.
2. Clean Your Eyelids Frequently
Practicing good hygiene can help keep your eyelids clean, produce tears, and reduce the associated discomfort. People with dry eyes tend to constantly rub their eyes, which should be avoided to reduce inflammation.
To relieve this discomfort and maintain proper eye hygiene, it is recommended that you wash your eyelids a few times a day. Eyelid clearing agents can be used by people wearing makeup to keep their eyes clean and moist and retain their health.
You can use a lid wipes and foam cleansers to keep your eyes clean.
- Put a few drops of baby shampoo on your clean fingertips.
- With your eyes closed, gently massage your eyelids near the base of your eyelashes.
- Rinse the soap completely from your eyelids using lukewarm water.
- Do this once or twice a day.
3. Blink More Often
Blinking regularly encourages the spread of tears over the eyelid and helps keep the eyes moist. Blinking more often also promotes blood circulation to the eyes and reduces eyestrain. In fact, each blink brings nutrients to the eyes’ surface structures and helps maintain its health.
4. Apply a Warm Compress
A very comfortable way of dealing with dry eyes is using a warm compress. The heat from the compress increases blood circulation to the area and promotes the formation of tears.
A warm compress will also soothe eye irritation and provide relief from the symptoms. A study found that the use of hot towels and eye masks could help manage the symptoms of dry eyes.
Another study supported the use of eye warmer masks to lessen the symptoms of dry eyes. The warming mask is applied to the eyelids twice a day for 10 minutes for a span of 2 weeks.
5. Use Eye Drops Containing Castor Oil
Castor oil also helps reduce the symptoms of dry eyes. The ricinoleic acid in the oil works as an anti-inflammatory agent that helps relieve the itching, irritation, burning, and pain associated with the condition. The oil can also help reduce tear evaporation.
A study has cited the use of castor oil eye drops to treat Meibomian gland dysfunction as a result of reduced evaporation of tears.
Another study supports the use of Refresh Endura (castor oil with 1% glycerin and 1% polysorbate 80) in restructuring the lipid tear film in patients with dry eyes.
To use castor oil to treat dry eyes:
- Buy pure, organic, hexane-free castor oil.
- Using an eye dropper, place one drop of it in each eye.
- Repeat twice daily to keep your eyes moisturized and to reduce redness.
6. Enrich Your Diet with Omega-3s
Dry eyes can be due to a lack of essential fatty acids in your diet, especially omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s help reduce inflammation in the body and also stimulate tear production and high-quality tears.
According to a 2014 study published in Clinical Ophthalmology, supplementing your diet with omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants can reduce the symptoms of dry eyes.
Also, these fatty acids are essentially important for your ocular health.
- Eat more omega-3 fatty acid sources to treat dry eyes.
Include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. These include fatty fishes, fish oils, sesame seeds, almonds, flaxseed, flaxseed oil, chia seeds, and walnuts. Also take omega-3 supplements, after consulting your doctor.
You can tend to the dryness in your eyes by instilling some changes in your lifestyle, adopting clean hygienic habits, and following above natural strategies.