Dry Eye Remedies

Dry eye syndrome, also known as ocular surface disease or keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is a common problem affecting people today. An estimated 25 to 30 million people are affected by dry eyes in the United States alone. When the eyes are not lubricated sufficiently, it causes dry eyes, red dry eye, or eye dryness. The causes could be many, and may cause blurry vision in some cases. At times, the surface of the eye may become inflamed due to eye dryness. If ignored, the condition can lead to scars on the cornea, pain, ulcers, or in rare cases, loss of vision.


Causes of dry eyes include:
  • Aging
  • Allergies
  • Chronic inflammation of the conjunctiva
  • Constant contact lens usage that leads to loss of sensation in the cornea
  • Dry workplace or environment
  • Eyelid gland diseases
  • Eye injuries like bulging eyes or drooping eyelids
  • Extreme and inadequate vitamin dosage
  • Infrequent blinking while working at the computer or watching TV
  • LASIK surgery
  • Reaction to medications including antihistamines, anti-depressants, birth control pills, certain blood pressure medication, nasal decongestants
  • Skin disease surrounding or on the eyelid
  • Smoking


Dry eye symptoms could be any of the following:

  • Burning or stinging of the eye
  • Contact lenses that are uncomfortable
  • Decreased ability to read
  • Eye fatigue
  • Excess tears suddenly occurring after a dry eye
  • Heavy eyelids
  • Incapacity to cry when emotionally stressed
  • Pain and redness of eyes
  • Recurring episodes of blurred vision
  • Sandy or gritty sensation in your eye
  • Stringy discharge from the eye.


Here are a few home remedies that you can try at home if you are suffering from dry eyes. Warm towel compress: Moisture therapy requires you to apply a warm towel compress on your eyes to help open up oil glands that are clogged in the eyelids. The heat warms the oil present in the oil glands and helps it flow easily. All you have to do is lie down, place the compress on your eyes, and wait for around 10 minutes. Repeating this exercise many times a day will help lubricate your eyes. Make sure that it is not too hot though as it could injure your eye permanently.

Humidify the Air: Using a humidifier makes sure that there is more moisture in the air that in turn will not lead to your tears evaporating quickly. Air conditioning and furnaces reduce humidity in the air. It is also advisable to use a humidifier at night as the eyes tend to dry out more when your eyelids are closed. Excessive air movements like a fan at maximum speed could also make dry eye worse as dust particles could enter your eye and tend to irritate them. In such cases, using an air filter should help reduce irritants in the air.

Make an effort to blink: Eyes tend to get dry when they are staring either at a television, book or computer for long periods of time without a break. Make sure that you take constant breaks to rest your eyes as well as give them a chance to regain some moisture in them. Open and close your eyes for 10 seconds or so every 5 to 10 minutes. The more you blink, the more moisture is produced by your eyes.

Wash your Eyelid: Gently scrubbing your eyelids once or twice a day should help lubricate them and keep them moist. Use a shampoo or soap that will be gentle on your eyes like baby shampoo. Add a small drop on to a wet wash cloth and then gently wash your eyelids with it.

Wear Sunglasses when Going Out: Sunglasses help protect your eyes from becoming dry as the harsh light of the sun makes your eyes extra sensitive along with other natural elements like low humidity and harsh winds that cause them to dry out quickly. Try to wear warp-around sunglasses or goggles as they protect your eyes fully.

Lubricating Eye Drops, Gels and Ointments: Eye drops and gels that help lubricate your eyes are available at all pharmacies and supply more moisture on the surface of the eye. Follow the instructions given on the label for best results. Drops and gels are usually used four times a day while certain drops could have an effect for a longer period of time compared to others. Lubricating ointments are also available, and their effects last longer than drops and gels, though they could tend to blur your vision due to their thickness. So it is preferable to use an ointment in the night before you go to sleep.

Herbal Remedies: Taking a fish oil supplement or a supplement that contains omega 3 oil will help ease dry eye symptoms. Evening primrose oil or flax seed oil is also known to reduce dry eye as they tend to keep the eyes moist.


  1. www.nei.nih.gov/health/dryeye/dryeye.asp
  2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001462/
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2699789/