Dry eye is a condition that occurs when your eyes do not produce enough tears. Chronic dryness can cause eye irritation and also cause the eyes to sting and burn. Other symptoms include redness, sensitivity to light, stringy mucus around the eyes, and eye fatigue. There are several things that can cause dry eyes, including certain medical conditions, aging and prescription medications.
The good news is that dry eyes can be treated easily in most cases using the following treatments:
1. Prescription and OTC eye drops
Restasis is one of the medications that can increase the production of tears. They are eye drops that stimulate natural tear production. You need a doctor’s prescription to get Restasis.
Xiidra is another eye drop that requires a prescription. It works by reducing inflammation, which is the root cause of eye disease in many cases. Additionally, you can use Systane. These eye drops are designed to reduce the discomfort that is caused by dry eyes. The solution helps naturally moisten the eyes. This is an over the counter (OTC) eye drop that you can purchase at most drug stores.
2. Castor oil
Castor oil is a type of oil that’s derived from beans. It has medical uses, and it is often used as a laxative. You can also use castor oil eye drops to treat dry eyes. There was a study done that involved people who used castor oil eye drops for four weeks. The results of the study showed that the subjects had a significant reduction in their eye irritation and inflammation.
3. Omega 3 fatty acids
Your diet can help you treat dry eye syndrome from the inside. For instance, increasing your intake of foods containing omega 3 fatty acids can improve the function of the gland that produces tears. They can also reduce the symptoms of dry eyes. Chia seeds, walnuts, fatty fish and soybean oil are some of the foods that are high in omega 3 fatty acids. You can also take a fish oil supplement.
4. Warm eye compresses
Warm eye compresses can alleviate eye irritation. They can also soften the oil glands. You will need to wet a washcloth and heat it up in the microwave for 20 seconds. Touch the wash cloth in order to ensure that it is not too hot. Close your eyes and apply the washcloth for a few minutes while you tilt your head back.
5. Use a humidifier
If your home has dry air, then you are more likely to suffer from dry eyes. You can increase the amount of moisture in the air by using a humidifier. There are also several other health benefits that you can reap from using a humidifier. It can alleviate dry skin and nasal congestion.