Dry eye syndrome, also called dry eye disease, is a common condition that occurs when the eyes don’t make enough tears, or the tears evaporate too quickly. The condition leads to the eyes drying out and becoming red, swollen and irritated. This kind of problem is also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, or simply, dry itchy eyes.
Symptoms of dry eye syndrome
The symptoms for this condition are mild for most people, although more severe cases can be painful and lead to complications. However, they usually affect both eyes and they may include:
- feelings of dryness, grittiness or soreness that get worse throughout the day
- burning and red dry itchy eyes
- eyelids that stick together when you wake up
- temporarily blurred vision, which usually improves when you blink
For some people, it may occur with episodes of watering eyes, which can occur if the eye tries to relieve the irritation by producing more tears.
Why my Eyes are Dry and Itchy?
Almost everyone experiences dry itchy eyes from time to time. There are many causes of itchy eyes, and the problem usually occurs accompanied by itchy eyelids, especially at the base of the eyelashes and red eyes or swollen eyelids.
What causes dry eye syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome can occur when the complex tear production process is disrupted in some way. There are many different reasons why this can happen, although a single identifiable cause often can’t be found.
Common causes include:
- being in a hot or windy climate
- Wearing contact lenses. If you wear contact lenses, itchy eyes can make lens wear very uncomfortable. Sometimes, if you are wearing your contacts too long or don’t replace them frequently enough, this too can cause itchy eyes.
- certain underlying medical conditions, such as blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids)
- side effects of certain medications including antihistamines, antidepressants, beta-blockers and diuretics
- hormonal changes in women such as during the menopause, pregnancy, or while using the contraceptive pills
Although the condition may affect people of any age, your chances of developing dry eye syndrome increase as you grow older. It is estimated up to one in every three people over the age of 65 experiences problems with dry eyes. Dry eye syndrome is more common in women than men.
Although dry eye syndrome may be uncomfortable, it is not usually a serious problem. The two main complications associated with dry eye syndrome are:
- conjunctivitis – which is inflammation of the conjunctiva, the transparent layer of cells that covers the white part of the eyeball and the inner surfaces of the eyelids; most cases are mild and don’t need specific treatment
- inflammation of the cornea – although in rare cases, severe untreated dry eye syndrome can damage the surface of the cornea, this damage can make the cornea vulnerable to ulceration and infection, which could potentially threaten your sight
In some cases, a product you’re using can cause allergy-related itchy eyes. For example, some people develop allergies to their contact lens solutions. Other products with ingredients that may cause your eyes to itch include: artificial tears used to treat dry itchy eyes; makeup; and lotions, creams and soaps.
But allergies aren’t the only cause of itchy eyes. If in addition to itching your eyes are burning, the cause may be dry eye syndrome or meibomian gland dis function and not allergies.
Itchy Eyes at Night
When your eyes feel dry and itchy at night but do not fill itchy at day time, that situation may be caused by dust mites as some people believe. They are said to be found in pillows that have stayed for more than three years. So if your pillows have stayed long enough, you can try to change them and observe for some changes.
To add on that, dry itchy eyes can be caused by tiredness and infections, etc. it is reasonable for you to get itchy eyes at night after tired work as well. When the air is polluted, then our eyes and skin in general are at risk of infections which also contribute to the same problem. However, you need to keep your eyes clean every night before sleep.
What is the best Vitamin for Dry Eyes
Now that you know what to avoid, here are some foods that will help boost your production of natural tears. These foods you eat can have a significant effect on the health of your eyes, either supporting healthy vision in the long term or contributing to faster degradation.
Consume enough vitamin A, both in plant red, yellow and dark green vegetables and animal forms. Plants such as carrots, peppers and squash contain carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Liver and eggs contain retinol, which is the more active animal-based form of vitamin A. Cod liver oil is an excellent way to get enough of the retinol type of vitamin A in your diet.
Also nutrient that is vital for healthy eyes is omega-3 fatty acid. This is a key ingredient in keeping tissues flexible and lubricated and helps form the oily layer on healthy eyes. You can find omega-3 fats in cold-water fish species such as salmon, herring, mackerel and sardines. Plant sources of omega 3s include walnuts, flaxseed oil, hemp oil, and olive oil and pumpkin seeds.
Zinc is also important for normal eye function. Some good food sources of zinc include fish, kelp, liver, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. The seeds also contain vitamin E, which supports eye health as well.
Many of the other medical conditions that can cause dry itchy eyes are tied to the immune system and hormonal imbalance. Therefore a diet based on real, whole food will be very helpful in correcting these underlying imbalances.
How to Get Rid of Dry Eyes Home Remedies
Certain risk factors can increase your chance of having dry eyes. These include being older than 50, being a woman due to hormonal changes, chronic allergies, sleeping with your eyes partly open, wearing contact lenses, eating a diet that is low in vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids.
If left untreated, dry eyes can lead to complications like increased risk of eye infections and damage to the surface of your eyes. There are many simple home remedies you can use to deal with this uncomfortable eye problem in a natural way. If you choose to use eye drops (artificial tears), gels or ointments to treat dry eyes, it is best to consult your doctor first.
Frequent Eyelid Washing
People with dry itchy 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.
A very comfortable way of dealing with dry itchy eyes is using a warm compress. The heat from the compress increases blood circulation to the area and promotes the formation of tears. It will also soothe eye irritation and provide relief from the symptoms.
Simply, soak a clean, lint-free cloth in hot water and wring out the excess water. Hold this warm, moist cloth over your closed eyelids for up to 10 minutes at a time. Be sure to rewet the cloth with warm water when it cools. Finally, give your eyes a nice rinse with lukewarm water.
Note: When using a compress for your eyes maintain a temperature of 108 degrees Fahrenheit and do not go above it.
Castor oil also helps reduce symptoms of dry eyes. The ricinoleic acid in the oil works as an anti-inflammatory agent that helps relieve itching, irritation, burning and pain associated with the condition. The oil can also help reduce tear evaporation. A researcher reports that castor oil eye drops are effective and safe in the treatment of meibomian gland dysfunction, one of the causes of dry.
Just use pure, organic, hexane-free castor oil, and using an eye dropper, place one drop of it in each eye. Repeat twice daily to keep your eyes moisturized and reduce redness.
Eat More Foods Rich in Omega-3s
Dry itchy 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 higher quality tears. In addition, these fatty acids are an important component of fat molecules, which keep your eyes healthy.
A study published in the International Journal of Ophthalmology concludes that omega-3 fatty acids have a positive role for dry eye syndrome as well as in certain medical conditions, such as blepharitis and meibomian gland disease. Include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Good sources of this nutrient include fatty fish and fish oils, ground flaxseed and flaxseed oil, chia seeds, sesame seeds, almonds, and walnuts.
Coconut oil can act as a rewetting agent for your eyes and play a key role in reducing the symptoms of dry eyes. While the composition of fatty acids in it helps a lot, it also acts as a protective layer over the tear film layers to help reduce tear evaporation. Plus, it has anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce the discomfort caused by dry eyes.
A 2015 study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine concludes that virgin coconut oil acts as safe rewetting eye drops and shows no significant difference in the measurable parameter compared to commercial brand eye drops and saline. However, further investigation should be done to determine its efficacy for dry eye therapy.
Regular blinking can improve the flow of tears to help moisten the eyes and also spread the tears to the sides of the eyes. This in turn will reduce your symptoms of dry eyes. It will also improve blood circulation to the eyes and reduce eyestrain. In fact, each blink brings nutrients to the eyes’ surface structures, keeping them healthy.
Perform this blinking exercise 5 times at least every hour for a couple of weeks. You can then reduce the frequency to at least 4 times a day. These full blinks will help wash your eyes fully with a fresh layer of tears.
Indian home remedies for dry eyes
There are believes that there is a pure Indian remedy that cures the dry itchy eyes. Sources have it that Indian home remedies for dry eyes are the best but we are still waiting for the scientists’ confirmation.
Some more signs of dry eyes are a sensation of having something in your eyes, blurred vision increased at the evening or after working on your computer, stringy mucus in or around your eyes and general eye fatigue. And if that’s not enough, eye fatigue makes you more tired than you should be. When your eyes are tired, your whole body gets tired.
Coconut Oil for Dry Eyes
When dry itchy eyes become unbearable, reach for some kind of ocular lubricant (a solution specially formulated to moisten the eyes) found in most drugstores. However, after some research found, even, that you could use coconut oil in your tired and sore eyes.
What about coconut oil?
When people ask why coconut oil is so amazing, generally we refer to what is termed the eleven A’s to remember all of the amazing properties of this natural wonder. Many of these properties can help to keep your eyes well lubricated and healthy.
- Antibacterial — Stops bacteria that cause gum disease, throat infections, urinary tract infections and ulcers in their tracks.
- Anti- carcinogenic — keeps dangerous cancer cells from spreading, while boosting immunity.
- Antifungal — destroys infection-promoting fungus and yeast.
- Anti-inflammatory — Suppresses inflammation and repairs tissue.
- Antimicrobial — Deactivates harmful microbes and fights infection.
- Antioxidant — Protects from free radical damage.
- Antiretroviral — Destroys HIV and HTLV-1.
- Anti-parasitic — Rids the body of lice, tapeworms and other parasites.
- Antiprotozoal — Kills protozoal infection in the gut.
- Antiviral — Kills viruses that cause influenza, herpes, measles, AIDS, hepatitis and more.
- Absorption — Very easy to digest and makes nutrients readily available.
Coconut oil contains a very powerful antimicrobial fatty acid called lauric acid, also found in breast milk. In the body, lauric acid is converted to monolaurin, which is a potent antiviral, antibacterial and antiprotozoal substance.
Coconut oil also contains another fatty acid: capric acid. Capric acid is present in very small amounts in goat’s milk and cow’s milk, but is abundant in tropical oils, including coconut oil and palm kernel oil. It is a medium-chain fatty acid that has antimicrobial and antiviral properties. In the body, capric acid is converted to monocaprin, a form that can readily fight viruses, bacteria and the yeast Candida albicans.
How I used coconut oil
In order to liquefy the coconut oil, ran some hot water from the tap and put it in a small bowl. In an even smaller bowl, add about a teaspoon of coconut oil and place the smaller bowl in the larger bowl until the oil liquefied. Whatever you do, don’t use a microwave to melt your coconut oil. Microwaves change the molecular structure of the oil and kill the lauric acid that makes coconut oil so valuable.
Once the oil was liquefied, let it cool and used a small glass dropper to withdraw some from the bowl. Put a few drops in each eye. For a couple of minutes, my eyes were cloudy, but soon they cleared right up.
Castor Oil for dry Eyes
Have you ever tried castor oil for dry eyes? Research has it that it has so much when it comes to treatments. It can help relieve a problem of dry itchy eyes. The study found that castor oil eye drops help alleviate symptoms due to improved tear stability as a result of lipid spreading, the prevention of tear evaporation, and the lubricating effect of the oil eye drops themselves. Meibomian glands are tiny oil glands located in the tarsal plate of the upper and lower eyelids.
Homeopathic Eye drops for Itchy Dry Eyes
Homeopathic remedies can be quite helpful for your dry itchy eyes and overall health. Homeopathy uses natural ingredients from plants, minerals or animals in a highly diluted form. The concept is that “like treats like”, meaning that substances in nature taken in whole form can cause or mimic certain health problems, but taken in extremely diluted form help the body heal from those same problems.
While there are specific homateophic remedies for various symptoms that comprise and contribute to eye problems, generally, it is the synergy of these remedies that make homeopathic remedies for specific eye conditions helpful. For example, consider cineraria cataract eye drops, employing cinararia the traditional homeopathic remedy for cataracts. This remedy is actually comprised of several homeopathic ingredients:
- Cineraria Maritima is the main ingredient, and supports circulation in the eye – critical for nourishing eye tissues and removing toxins.
- Euphrasia, also known as eyebright is a traditional tonic for the eyes, addressing a number of issues including dryness, burning, light sensitivity, and tear film maintenance.
- Causticum is helpful for eye pain, and cloudiness or spots obscuring the vision.
- Sepia is helpful for glare, spots, veiled vision, and streaks of light blurring the vision.
- Calcarea phosphorica is useful for blurry vision and pain from tired eyes as well as having the sensation of a foreign body in the eye.
- Calcarea fluoric is indicated for blurry vision, cataract, and opacity of the cornea and supports the strength of the tiny capillaries in the eye.
Eye fatigue homeopathic pellets
Eye fatigue and computer eye strain are characterized by a number of symptoms – eye strain, redness, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, eye pain, headaches, and rarely, double vision. Improvements to ergonomics, lighting and vision correction help about half of patients. Eye exercises help a great deal especially if you take a break every hour or two to do them for about 5 or 10 minutes. These homeopathic pellets bring additional relief. They contain ingredients to help relieve eye fatigue.
What is in Visine Eye Drops?
Visine eye drops are a decongestant. It works by constricting swollen blood vessels in the eye, which reduces redness. Irritants cause blood vessels to swell. Contact your doctor or health care provider immediately if any of these apply to you.
Do NOT use Visine eye drops if:
- you are allergic to any ingredient in Visine eye drops
- you are taking furazolidone or have taken a monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor (e.g., phenelzine) within the last 14 days
Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.
Before using Visine eye drops:
Some medical conditions may interact with Visine eye drops. Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:
- if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
- if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
- if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
- if you have narrow-angle glaucoma, an overactive thyroid, or high blood pressure
Some medicines may interact with Visine eye drops. Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:
- Furazolidone and MAO inhibitors (e.g., phenelzine) because side effects, such as headache, high blood pressure, and elevated body temperature, may occur
- Tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline) because they may decrease Visine eye drops’ effectiveness
- Bromocriptine or catechol-O-methyltransferase (COMT) inhibitors (e.g., tolcapone, St. John’s wort) because their actions and side effects may be increased by Visine eye drops
This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Visine eye drops may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.
- Dry eye syndrome: http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Dry-eye-syndrome/Pages/Introduction.aspx
- Dry eyelids: http://www.eyehealthweb.com/dry-eyelids/
- Dry eye symptoms: http://www.docshop.com/education/vision/eye-disorders/dry-eye/symptoms
- Nutrition and vitamins for dry eyes: http://www.allaboutvision.com/nutrition/
- Lifestyle and home remedies for dry eyes: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/dry-eyes/basics/lifestyle-home-remedies/con-20024129