Dry eyes occur when your tear glands fail to produce an adequate amount of tears, resulting in discomfort such as itching, dryness, and a burning sensation in your eyes. This article will explore simple remedies that can alleviate these symptoms and maintain the moisture and cleanliness of your eyes. If you find that dry eye symptoms persist for an extended period, it could signal an underlying medical issue that may necessitate professional medical attention. In this piece, we will delve into the potential causes of dry eyes and tips on how to get relief from it. Continue reading to learn more!
Dry eye is a medical condition characterized by insufficient tear production to properly lubricate and nourish the eyes. This condition is also known as dry eye syndrome or keratoconjunctivitis. Constantly, your eyes require a protective layer of tears to keep them moistened and shielded against dust, allergens, and other potential irritants. The absence of this protective layer can result in dry eyes and discomfort for the individual affected by it.
15 Causes Of Dry eyes
Inflammation and oxidative stress, which tend to rise with age, could potentially have a significant impact on the development of dry eyes in older individuals. Elevated levels of tear osmolarity and inflammatory cytokines have been observed in individuals suffering from dry eye. Aqueous tear deficiency undergoes alterations as a person ages. Reduced tear production can result from various factors such as dysfunction in the lacrimal glands, changes in reflex tear secretion, reduced corneal sensitivity, or inflammatory damage to the lacrimal glands, all of which contribute to tear insufficiency, a significant factor in the development of dry eye syndrome. Dry Eyes treatments under the guidance of a qualified Ayurvedic doctor can help in managing the symptoms of this disorder.
- Contact lenses
Contact lenses can induce dry eye symptoms by restricting the flow of oxygen to the cornea, which is essential for the natural production of tears. Additionally, the lens material can impede the exchange of tears between the outer and inner layers of the eye.
- Long hours on computer screens
Frequent use of computers and screen-based devices reduces the frequency of eye blinking, which can result in incomplete blinking, increased tear evaporation, and consequently, the development of dry eye disease. The evaporative type of dry eye disease is the most prevalent, and computer use is particularly relevant within this category.
Each time you blink, your eyelids apply a protective layer of tears over your eyes, which serves as a barrier against dust and debris. However, chemicals present in smoke have the potential to disrupt this protective layer. When this layer is compromised due to smoke exposure, your eyes become susceptible to irritation, as they lack the necessary tears to shield them effectively.
- Eye Surgery
Another potential factor is inflammation resulting from the surgical procedure. Additionally, the altered shape of your cornea post-surgery can influence the interaction between your eyelid and the surface of your eye. This alteration may impact the process of blinking or tear production, ultimately contributing to the development of dry eye.
Several medications can potentially contribute to dry eyes. These include diuretics used for high blood pressure, beta-blockers prescribed for heart issues or hypertension, antihistamines found in allergy and cold medications, sleeping aids, anxiety medications, antidepressants, and certain heartburn remedies. These drugs can affect tear production or quality, leading to dry eye symptoms.
Aspirin and ibuprofen remain associated with dry eye symptoms. These medications are excreted into the tear film, where they have the potential to heighten tear evaporation and disrupt tear film stability.
- Weather conditions
Warm or arid air accelerates the evaporation of moisture from the surface of your eyes at a faster rate compared to cooler or more humid air. Consequently, individuals residing in hot, dry climates are consistently at a higher risk of experiencing dry eye disease than those in lush, tropical regions. However, colder weather conditions can also serve as a trigger for dry eye symptoms. Cold air has a lower capacity to retain moisture compared to warm air. This decrease in humidity levels causes your tears to evaporate more rapidly. Additionally, the chilly wind that sweeps across your face exacerbates this issue. Moreover, during colder temperatures, you tend to spend more time indoors where dry, heated air further contributes to the evaporation of tears.
- Spent more time in air conditioned or heated environments
Air conditioning systems can also lead to dry eyes. Much like the issue with heaters, air conditioners can reduce the humidity levels in your home or office, leading to excessive tear evaporation. Adjusting the heater to a comfortable setting or introducing a humidifier can be beneficial within a home setting to alleviate this problem.
- Medical conditions ( Sjögren’s syndrome or lupus)
Dry eyes are a common symptom experienced by many individuals with lupus. These symptoms are frequently attributed to Sjögren’s syndrome (pronounced show-gren’s), an autoimmune disorder characterized by inflammation and harm to the glands responsible for moisture production.
The link between allergies and dry eyes can be attributed to environmental elements like pollen, dust mites, pet dander, and smoke, which have the potential to provoke allergic responses in certain individuals. This allergic reaction results in inflammation in the eye region, leading to a decrease in tear production and the onset of dry eye symptoms.
- Hormonal changes
Fluctuating levels of estrogen and progesterone can impact the glands within the eyes and eyelids, potentially resulting in the development of dry and irritated eyes.
Dehydration can lead to reduced tear production, resulting in dry eyes. Inadequate tear production can lead to eye irritation and potentially cause blurred vision.
- Insufficient blinking of eyes
Blinking plays a crucial role in distributing tears across the eye’s surface and triggering tear production. A persistently low blink rate is linked to dry eye symptoms. Among various activities, computer use, reading, and watching television are the three most commonly linked to a reduced blink rate.
- Nutritional deficiencies
Dry eyes might indicate a potential vitamin D deficiency. Insufficient vitamin D levels can lead to dryness in the eyes and may hinder tear production. This can manifest as sensations of grittiness, soreness, or itchiness in the eyes, as well as blurry vision. Additionally, increased sensitivity to light may also occur in such cases.
- Eyelid problems
Clogging of the oil film generated by the meibomian glands situated along the eyelid’s edge can occur. This condition of blocked meibomian glands is more prevalent in individuals with rosacea or other skin-related disorders. This can increase tear evaporation and thus lead to dry eyes.
Tips on how to get relief from dry eyes:
In Ayurveda, dry eyes are characterized by Vata prakop in the eyes, accompanied by insufficient nourishment to the eye tissues, which hinders the production of an adequate amount of tears. This deficiency in moisture often results in a continuous burning sensation in the eyes. Here, we present some of the most effective Ayurvedic remedies for treating dry eyes.
- Usage of Triphala Powder
Combining three herbs – amla, harada, and baheda – this herbal mixture is highly effective in alleviating dry eyes. To create a soothing eye cleanser, simply mix a teaspoon of Triphala powder with a glass of water and let it steep overnight. In the morning, strain the infusion through cheesecloth and use it to wash your eyes for relief. This is also a good cataract treatment without surgery. However, you must consult a doctor before using Triphala powder.
- Triphala Ghrita
Triphala Ghrita is an Ayurvedic remedy produced by blending ghee with various herbs. It can be ingested with water or incorporated into warm milk. This Ayurvedic solution is effective in alleviating the discomfort of itchy eyes.
- Coconut oil
Coconut is rich in fatty acids, such as capric acid and lauric acid, which offer notable advantages for your skin. These fatty acids possess excellent moisturizing properties and have anti-inflammatory qualities, making them ideal for delivering immediate relief to dry and irritated eyes by providing essential lubrication. Place a couple of drops of 100% organic virgin coconut oil into both of your eyes, blink several times to facilitate absorption.
- Ayurvedic eye drops
Ayurvedic eye drops if used properly as per recommendation by an Ayurvedic doctor can help in production of tears and manage dry eyes.
Dry eye syndrome can also be attributed to vitamin deficiencies, as research has established connections between the deficiency of vitamins D, B12, and A and the onset of this condition. Therefore, it is advisable to incorporate foods abundant in these essential vitamins into your diet. Nutrient-rich options such as orange juice, cereals, carrots, spinach, broccoli, and ghee serve as excellent sources of vitamins D and A. Enhancing your dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids is another beneficial approach. Foods such as spinach, soybeans, and chia seeds are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which promote the development of the protective tear layer for your eyes. It’s advisable to consult with your Ayurvedic before considering supplements for these nutrients.
- Netra Tarpana
Netra Tarpana stands as one of the most strongly recommended therapies for addressing dry eyes. In this method, a dough made from white flour is employed to form a perimeter around the eyes, creating a barrier. Subsequently, a liquid form of ghee derived from cow’s milk is meticulously poured onto the eyelids. This treatment serves to enhance eyesight, alleviate eye irritation, and provide relaxation to the eye tissues.
Quick tips to prevent dry eyes
To maintain optimal eye comfort and prevent dryness:
- Shield your eyes from dry air and strong winds.
- Enhance indoor humidity by using a humidifier.
- Take regular breaks during extended visual tasks to rest your eyes.
- Keep your eyes moist with artificial tears.
- Avoid smoking, as it can worsen dry eye symptoms.
- Minimize glare from electronic screens with anti-glare glasses.
- Consult an Ayurvedic practitioner from renowned hospitals like Dr basu Eye Hospital
- Boost your omega-3 intake with foods rich in these fatty acids.
- Address dry skin around your eyes by gently applying a blend of milk, apple cider vinegar, and vitamin E oil with a cotton ball. Milk hydrates, apple cider balances pH, and vitamin E offers moisture and antioxidants for youthful skin.
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