How To Relieve Dry Eye Syndrome Naturally

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2006-08-02 08:44

Dry Eyes

Every time we blink, our eyelids spread tears over our eyes to lubricate, moisturize and wash dust and debris from them. Tears are secreted by specialized glands located around the eye and are essential for their maintenance and health. Tears are made up of a combination of water (for moisture), oil (for lubrication), mucus (for even spreading), and antibodies (to resist infections). If there is an imbalance in our tear production system, we can suffer from dry eyes.

People who have dry eyes often experience burning, itching or irritation that tends to worsens as the day goes by. Some individuals describe the sensation as if there is something in their eye. Other indicators of dry eye include redness, scratchiness, blurred vision that improves with blinking, and excessive tearing.

It is estimated that approximately ten million Americans suffer from dry eyes. In fact, it is the number one reason people see their eye doctors. There are many reasons why someone can have dry eyes. Bottom line, it occurs when we don't have enough tears, the composition of our tears is incorrect, or our tears are not lubricating our eyes correctly.

Of the many causes, the most common one is aging. As we age, we can experience an oil deficiency in the body. Oil is a necessary component of tears and without it the water in our eyes can evaporate too fast. Hot, dry or windy climates, rooms that are air-conditioned and even cigarette smoke can dry out the eyes as well. Individuals who wear contact lenses are also at a greater risk, as are people taking antihistamines, antidepressants, birth control pills and certain types of blood pressure medications. If you notice discomfort after periods of reading, watching TV, or working on the computer, you may be suffering from dry eyes too.

At times, people who suffer from dry eyes have structural problems of the eye, an eyelid disease or a deficiency of tear producing glands. Dry eyes may also be a symptom of a systemic disorder such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disorder, vitamin deficiency, Parkinson's disease or Sjogrens disease. Recently, evidence has come to light that hormone replacement therapy, pregnancy, lactation, menstruation and menopause may also increase symptoms of dry eyes.

Fortunately, there are a number of natural and alternative health remedies that can be used to help reduce and eliminate dry eyes.

Recommendations For Dry Eye Syndrome

  • Avoid rubbing your eyes.

  • Remember to blink. Blinking helps spread your tears more evenly. This is especially important when reading, watching TV and working on the computer.

  • Keep your indoor humidity between 30 and 50 percent. If you find that the air in your house is dry, try using a humidifier to add moisture to the air.

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