Dry eye syndrome is a condition wherein the tear ducts do not produce enough tears to lubricate the eyes. The result is persistent stinging sensation in the eye. It also causes dryness, irritation, and itchiness. Dry eye syndrome is medically referred to as Keratitis sicca. Keratitis sicca denotes the decrease in tear supply quantity or quality.
Causes of Dry Eye Syndrome
There are so many things that cause dry eye syndrome. It could be the environment, an underlying condition, a long-term health problem or even habits we don’t think much about.
The eyes need constant lubrication to function properly. Each time we blink, the eyes are lubricated. But there are times when we don’t blink enough to hydrate the eyes. When we do tasks that require focus, we tend to blink less. This causes dryness in the eyes.
Certain conditions also cause dry eyes. These conditions include being on an airplane, being in an air-conditioned room or being exposed to dry air. Using contact lenses also cause this condition.
Dry eyes could also serve as a symptom for an underlying health condition. It could be a symptom of various autoimmune diseases, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis or damaged tear ducts. Conditions such as Bell’s palsy or stroke make it difficult to blink. This leads to tears evaporating and rapid dryness of the eyes.
Dry eyes could be caused by vitamin A deficiency too. Vitamin A is important in keeping the eyesight sharp. It also keeps the tear glands healthy. Vitamin A deficiency leads to the breakdown of the tear glands. It could also lead to night blindness and cataracts.
Natural Remedies for Dry Eye Syndrome
The main cause of dry eye syndrome is dehydration. And so, drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water every day helps prevent this condition. Water supports all your body’s metabolic functions. By increasing your water intake, you cut the risk of disorders related to dehydration.
Lubricating the Eyes
It’s equally important to lubricate the eyes before you sleep. This helps retain moisture in the eyes. The tears won’t evaporate. You can use prescription lubricants or apply a moist towel on closed eyes before sleeping.
If you work long hours, take a break and do your blinking exercises. This helps lubricate the eyes. It also prevents overworking the optic nerves.
Castor oil is a humectant. It helps retain moisture. Instead of using an eye drop, try using castor oil instead. Studies show that castor oil is an excellent remedy for dry eyes.
Flaxseed oil is packed with omega 3 fatty acids. It doesn’t just hydrate the eyes, it keeps the nerves healthy! Again, add a drop of flax seed oil in each eye. Blink several times to spread the oil.
Apart from using various treatments to hydrate the eyes, observe better eye hygiene. Do not rub your eyes if they are itchy. Instead, use eye drops to alleviate irritation. Always wash your hands so you don’t transfer irritants to the eyes. This could worsen your condition.