Eye Health – Part 1

Tired Dry eyes:

eye dryness

The first thing you need to understand is what causes dry eyes. This is because in order to fully fix the problem, you have to do what it is stemming from, so you can stop or at least take some preventive measures to keep it from repeating.

Dry eyes have many different causes, however. Sometimes a lack of sleep can cause dry eyes, but it could be your contact lenses or the eye drops you use as well. Maybe you stare at a computer for long hours at a time or play video game, or maybe you eat a lot of red meat. LASIK surgery is another culprit.

If you have allergic reactions to dust, mold, mildew, or dander, your allergies could manifest themselves through dry eyes. Certain types of medications, like antidepressants, birth control, and nasal decongestants can cause dry eyes as a side effect.

Even your environment can cause dry eyes, through high altitude or a dry climate. If you’re exposed to the sun too long, the heat can dry your eyes. Wind can affect you tear ducts as well, particularly when it’s a steady hot-and-dry blow.

As we gets older, our body’s ability to produce tears diminishes. In addition, dryness problems are exacerbated by the frequent use of the following common medications: blood pressure drugs, a class of anti-depressants called SSRIs, anti-histamines and decongestants. Another potential contributor to dry eyes include major medical conditions, like diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma, Sjogren’s syndrome, thyroid disorders and vitamin A deficiency.

Environmental circumstances, such as areas with low humidity, like Los Angeles, or places with high wind or cooling and heating fans, can also contribute to dry eye syndrome. If you travel often, you are well aware of this phenomenon. In fact, the fuselage of a plane is the driest place on the earth. But no need to soar above the clouds to experience the irritation, just sitting at your workstation at the office or in a classroom can contribute to dryness. Why is this? When we are focused on any screen – whether a computer, a laptop or a tablet – we blink less, and consequently, our tears evaporate at a quicker rate than normal; thus, leading to the unwelcome symptoms mentioned above.

1.  Water Intake:  Sometimes just by drinking more water, you can bring the moisture back to your eyes. In order to be healthy, a person should drink half of their body weight in ounces per day. That means that if you weigh 200 lbs, you should drink at least 100 oz. of water per day, despite the common figure of 64 oz. that used to be thrown around. The more water you drink, the better your body can replenish the stores that are running low (like your tear ducts).

2. Diet: f your dry eyes are caused by a dietary problem, fixing the problem can be as simple as cutting back on certain types of food. For example, if you eat a lot of red meat, all you need to do is reduce your intake. Red meat is high in omega-6 fatty acids, and that can affect how much moisture your eyes produce. Omega-3 can increase eye moisture, so by decreasing your consumption of omega-6 and increasing your consumption of omega-3, you could see improvement to your eye condition in as little as a few days.

If you suffer from dry eyes, up your seafood intake. Salmon, sardines, and mackerel contain omega-3 fatty acids, which the body uses to produce tears, among other things. Research suggests that people who consume higher amounts of these fats are less likely to have dry eyes.

Another dietary concern with dry eyes is not eating enough vitamins. Both Vitamin C and Vitamin B2 affect your body’s cell production, which in turn can affect how your body moistens your eyes. Make sure to eat the right amount of those vitamins, and you should be fine.

There are a number of other tricks you can try to clear up dry eyes that fall far more into the home remedy category than the above tips.

3: One of the most effective ways to fix your dry eyes is to hold a damp washcloth over them for 5-15 minutes before you go to bed each night. Wet the washcloth with warm water so it’s not uncomfortable. If the cloth dries too much, wet it again. By adding this to your nightly routine, your body will adjust to the correct amount of moisture just before it resets with sleep that might be just what your body needs for your eyes to get enough water.

4: This can be even more effective, particularly if your eyes are extremely dry. All it takes is a bit of raw honey and water. You’ll want to create a mixture of 1 part honey to every 4-10 parts water (depending on how strong you want the mixture), and then chill it. Every night, before you go to sleep, but a couple drops into your eye. The honey will make your eyes sting, but it won’t do any damage, and the sting will force your eyes to water. After a couple minutes, you can wash your eyes out with cold water.

Having dry eyes can be a hassle, but it’s not one you have to pay an exorbitant amount of money to take care of. Whether your condition is bad enough that close-fitting glasses or sunglass aren’t doing the trick or your eyes are too inflamed to respond, you don’t have to resort to the pharmacy to get what you need or constantly going to your doctor for an eye exam.  Sometimes all you need to do is be a little creative to find a good solution within the comfort of your own home.

Thank you,

Debi your partner in health

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