Dry eyes seem to be a common problem that plagues our modern life. Before reaching for the off-the-counter eye drops from the drug store, have we stopped to ponder why our eyes may be dry, how we can alleviate the condition and what natural remedies may also be available to us?

Our eyes are a vital organ that enables us to perceive the world and navigate the activities that enable us to survive and enjoy life. It is therefore of utmost importance for us to take care of them. Yet often, long work schedules, lengthy hours in front of the computer screen, not blinking sufficiently, previous eye injury, pollution woes, and hereditary traits can lead to dry eyes.

Here are some simple ways which may help to overcome dry eyes.

  1. Load up on your vitamin D

The deficiency of Vitamin D can be one of the causes of dry eyes. Include Vitamin D in your diet through foods like mushrooms, supplements, and spending some time in the sun.

2. Blink more

Reduce the strain your eyes are prone to by blinking frequently. Keep taking breaks when you are working on a computer, watching TV or using the mobile phone. These will help your eyes gain the much-needed moisture. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) suggests the 20-20-20 rule. It means every 20 minutes, you need to spend 20 seconds looking at something 20ft away. Staring at things close puts more strain on the eyes, so when you look at 20ft. or more, it gives your eyes a break.

3. Keep hydrated

This is one of the natural treatments for dry eyes. Drink Water or fluids like lime /lemon water, coconut water, fresh fruit juices, herbal tea, and homemade smoothies to fight the problem of dry eyes.

4. Sufficient Sleep

Sleep deprivation is one of the biggest dry eye causes. That is why sleeping for 6-8 hours a day should be treated as necessary as it helps retain the moisture on the cornea.

5. Warm compress

To enhance relaxation, use a warm compress on your eyes. Do it twice or thrice a day. You can even use a baby shampoo or mild shampoo to wash your eyelids. This helps release the oil in the tear glands.

6. Eliminate environmental stressors

Stuff like cigarette smoke can cause dry eyes. Even strong winds can. Stay indoors when it is windy outside and protect your eyes when skiing or riding a bike. Wear sunglasses when you are outdoors or when the weather is windy.

7. Consuming Omega 3 fatty acids

One of the effective ways to reduce dry eye syndrome is by eating foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acid. Foods like walnuts, chia seeds, soybean oil, ground flaxseed and flaxseed oil are all rich in Omega 3. The fat in fatty acids reduces inflammation in the body – including eye inflammation – facilitating more tear production.

8. Protective eye wear

These goggle-type devices created originally for cooks help keep eyes from tearing up as you chop onions. Often recommended by eye-care professionals for dry eye relief, they help keep irritating pollutants from your eyes.

9. Humidifiers

Home heating systems dry out air inside your home and your eyes too. A humidifier helps add moisture to the air and ease out dry eye symptoms.

*This article does not replace professional medical advice

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