Effective relief needs professional advice but here are 6 home remedies for dry eye your optician will approve of.
Dry eye needs to be taken seriously as it is a chronic, progressive disease and it is essential you get the advice of an eye care professional. This advice often includes ‘home therapies’ which you can build into your eye care routine without having to make additional purchases.
The Dry Eye Zone team of experts have put together their top 6, each chosen because not only is it easy to do but there is also evidence that it works.
1. Adopt a more Mediterranean diet
A Mediterranean diet is rich in olive oil and fish both of which are rich sources of omega-3. This essential oil has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties. The experts who compiled the global Dry Eye Workshop (DEWs II) report defined dry eye as an inflammatory disease, so you can already see why this makes sense. Add an extra portion or two of oily fish each week to bump up your omega-3. However, dietary changes take time (6-12 months) to have an impact, so be patient. You can learn more about what to include in your diet here
2. Get exercising
A recent study showed that adding some aerobic exercise to your routine will pay dividends for dry eye sufferers. The study involved 30-minutes of high-intensity aerobic cycling three times a week. The researchers recorded significant improvements in both dry eye signs and symptoms. Like the diet modifications the exercise will improve well-being in other ways too, like weight loss and heart function.
3. Blink more
When you blink you spread your eyes natural moisturising tears over the surface of the eye. You also squeeze out more of the tears natural oils (meibum) which helps slow the rate at which moisture evaporates from the eye. The Dry Eye Zone recommends this simple exercise: close your eyes; squeeze your lids tightly shut (without screwing them up); hold for the count of 2; open your eyes and blink; repeat this five times. Do this whenever you feel your eyes start to feel tired or ideally at least four times a day – or once an hour if at the computer. Doing this blinking exercise everyday can also help naturally strengthen your normal regular blinking.
4. Don’t forget to rest your hardworking peepers
Make sure you remember to rest your eyes at regular intervals. If you work at a screen the recommendation is to follow the ‘20-20-20’ rule. That is every 20 minutes, look away from your screen to a point in the distance, approximately 20 meters way, for 20 seconds. Scientists at the University of Aston teamed up with a leading Spanish University to put the ’20-20-20’ rule to the test – their conclusion was a yes it does work but you might need a reminder to do it!
5. Protect your eyes – wear your sunnies more
You do not have to wait for the sun! Certain environments make dry eye symptoms a whole lot worse. Wear your sunglasses (especially wrap around designs) when outside as they protect your eyes from the effects of wind, dust and pollution, all of which can irritate dry feeling eyes.
6. Use eye safe cosmetics
You cannot always control your external environment, but you can choose what make-up and lotions you put around the delicate skin around your eyes. More and more opticians are becoming concerned that despite their best efforts to alleviate symptoms the good work is compromised by the use of everyday products such as mascara which contain harsh chemicals which aggravate dry eyes. You can learn more about this here.
A new study and a change of thought
The Dry Eye Zone team have previously included overall hydration as a factor to work on for dry eye improvements but a recent large-scale study involving over 50,000 people has called this advice into question. Hydration is essential for good health overall but additional water consumption did not show the expected dry eye benefits.
If you have a home remedy that works for you why not share it with the Dry Eye Zone and fellow dry eye sufferers. Send your tip via this website and you will receive a free bottle of HydraMed hydrating eye drops (only one per customer while stocks last).
If you are experiencing dry eye symptoms then you should ask the advice of your eye care professional. Why not book your next eye examination with an independent optician today.
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Aston University. Simple 20-20-20 screen rule really does help with eye strain, research shows
Published on 21/09/2022
Nguyen L, Magno MS, Utheim TP, Jansonius NM, Hammond CJ, Vehof J. The relationship between habitual water intake and dry eye disease. Acta Ophthalmol. 2023 Feb;101(1):65-73. doi: 10.1111/aos.15227. Epub 2022 Aug 8. PMID: 35941821; PMCID: PMC10087849.