Each year, millions of people suffer from dry eye.
Dry eyes occur when there are not enough tears produced to adequately moisten the eye, or when the tears produced are poor quality and do not properly lubricate the eye.
Currently, there are two FDA-approved prescription eye drops on the market to treat dry eye, Restasis and Xiidra; however, many users experience adverse side effects1,2 to one or both medications or do not notice any significant improvement after use.
In particular, Restasis requires months of use before improvement can be expected, and many people suffering from dry eye long for more immediate relief.
While dry eye is a chronic condition and there is no known cure, there are many ways to improve dry eye without naturally. Keep reading for tips to improve your dry eyes, no prescription required.
1. Invest in a humidifier
Humidifiers are designed to add moisture to the air, preventing dryness to eyes and skin.
Many people suffering from dry eyes notice that their eyes feel the most uncomfortable immediately after waking up in the morning. Having a humidifier works its magic while you sleep can make a significant impact on the condition of your eyes when you wake up.
Depending on your work environment, you may also want to consider purchasing a small desk humidifier, as some office environments are drying.
2. Limit exposure to fans and hair dryers
Rapid air movement can dry out the eyes. Additionally, stay away from cigarette smoke, which can be extremely irritating to dry eye.
3. Consider taking an eye vitamin daily, such HyrdoEye Softgels
If youâ€™re searching for a more affordable option, consider taking a fish oil capsule in its place.
Vegetarian? Try flaxseed oil instead.
Fish oil and flaxseed oil both contain omega 3 fatty acids which are essential to your overall health. Doctors are hopeful that in some cases, omega 3 fatty acids may also improve dry eyes.
4. Start and end your day with a bruder mask.
Place your bruder mask in the microwave for 15-20 seconds, testing the level heat on your arm before placing it on your eyes.
The bruder mask should be kept on your closed eyes for 15-20 minutes. This moist heat will open up the oil glands around your eyes, improving the quality of your tears.
If you donâ€™t have access to a bruder mask or a microwave, a warm compress will do the trick. Soak a washcloth in hot water, squeeze out the excess water, and place the washcloth over your closed eyelids.
5. Take long, hot showers
This is kind of a catch-22 because long, hot showers aren’t great for your skin, but they can help dry eyes.
The rising steam naturally moisturizes for your eyes. You can also close your eyes and gently place under the shower head for a moment, allowing warm water to roll down your closed eyelids.
6. Close your eyes and gently massage your eyelids, using curricular motions
Doing so can stimulate the glands that produce oil, improving the quality of your tears.
7. Consider taking a break from eye makeup
When tiny makeup particles enter the tear film, eyes become irritated, worsening dry eye symptoms. If you must wear eye makeup, use high quality products and keep your makeup to a minimum.
8. Make sure your lashes and eyelids are thoroughly cleaned each day
Consider purchasing a lash and lid cleanser, preferably one that lists hydrochloric acid as a primary ingredient, as this aids in fighting inflammation.
Once your makeup is removed, simply close your eyes, spray the cleanser generously onto each eyelid, and use your fingers to massage the cleanser into the lids.
9. Use non-prescription eye drops or artificial tears to temporarily improve the moisture in your eye
Gel drops can be more beneficial that liquid drops, as they coat the surface of the eyeball longer, but they can also cause blurred vision, so they are best for nighttime use only.
For daytime use, try Retaine, although this product is slightly more expensive than generic drugstore brands, many dry eye sufferers find it to be the most effective and long-lasting.
10. If you wear protective lenses, reconsider whether glasses or contacts are the best option
Many dry eye sufferers experience great difficulty with contact lenses and switch to glasses instead.
However, certain brands of daily silicone hydrogel lenses, such as MyDay 1 Day Toric may actually improve dry eyes for some people.
To re-wet your lenses during the day, always use a high quality eye drop (such as Retaine) rather than a re-wetting drop for contact lenses.
- Cunha, John P., “Xiidra Side Effects Center”, RxList,
https://www.rxlist.com/xiidra-side-effects-drug-center.htm , Accessed April 12, 2019.
- Cunha, John P., “Restasis Side Effects Center”, RxList,
https://www.rxlist.com/restasis-side-effects-drug-center.htm , Accessed April 12, 2019.