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Natural Alternatives to Soothe Dry Eye Syndrome

Posted Dec 14 2009 3:33pm
Do you experience itchy, dry eyes? What about throbbing or bloodshot eyes? If you answer yes, then chances are you have dry eye syndrome. There are many over the counter and prescription remedies but how confident are you in these eye drops with man-made chemicals in them? These manufactured eye drops may temporarily assuage the problem, but they will not get to the primary cause of your dry eyes.

Soothe Dry Eye Syndrome

Experiencing dry eyes means that your eyes need to be lubricated with tears as well as cared for in general. With natural remedies, you can care for your eyes from the inside as well as the outside. Before looking into these natural alternatives, you must consider what may be causing your case of dry eye syndrome. Here are a few culprits:

  1. Repetitive staring – Repeated tasks such as hobbies or staring at the computer screen too long can cause dry eye.
  2. Allergies – Pollen, cigarette smoke and dust are several popular allergens that can create dry eye syndrome.
  3. Aging process – As you get older, your body parts age, including your eyes and its ability to maintain moisture through tear production.
  4. Hormones – Dry eyes is a common side effect in women going through menopause. Men have their own hormonal mid-life crisis too.

Diet to Treat Dry Eyes from the Inside

Dry eye syndrome may be caused by nutritional deficiencies. For optimal eye health, you need a diet rich in vitamins A, B, C and E. Elements such as selenium and zinc are important as well. Raw fruits and vegetables are the best source for these vitamins and minerals because cooking tends to leach out the most important components such as the antioxidants that fight free radicals which can damage and age body tissues.

Choose foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids as they can help lubricate the eyes. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. You can take vitamin and mineral supplements to counteract the nutrient imbalance in the body but it is not as beneficial as receiving them through food.

Natural Remedies to Treat Dry Eyes from the Outside

There are a few natural remedies that can help treat your dry eye syndrome and provide soothing relief with no harmful side effects. Natural methods can be a great eye boost while you wait for your dietary changes to catch up.

  1. Cool cucumber slices – If your eyes are feeling dry, hot and itchy, a cucumber slice over each eye can provide soothing relief. Take two slices of cold cucumber, lie down and put one slice over each eye and leave them on for about 15 minutes.
  2. Warm compresses – Sometimes, one of the ducts that releases lubrication for the eye becomes plugged up, creating dry eye syndrome. Applying a warm compress over your eyes can help loosen the debris in the duct, allowing the lubrication to be released to the eye for moisture.
  3. Brew some chamomile tea – Using two chamomile tea bags, steep the tea in hot water for about 15 minutes before removing the tea bags. Lie down or lean back in a recliner and place the used chamomile tea bags (allow them to reach temperature you are comfortable with) over your eyes. Leave them on your eyes for about 15 to 20 minutes.

Using an air purifier in your home can help remove allergens in the air that can contribute to dry eyes. A humidifier helps keep the air moist which can help with dry eyes too. Do not rub your eyes and be sure to take frequent breaks from your computer or other intense task to give your eyes a break and a chance to tear up. If you are cognizant of these natural alternatives to soothe dry eye syndrome, you can delay or even prevent the need for prescription, chemical-based eye medications.

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