Last Modified on Feb 24, 2014
Dry Eye Symptoms
Your eyes naturally lubricate themselves every time you blink; dryness occurs when there is a decrease in tear production (caused by age, contact lenses, or trauma) or greater rate of tear film evaporation. This is a common condition for people who regularly work at computers, watch TV, or even after prolonged periods of reading, as we tend not to blink as much while intently focused, leaving us with dry itchy eyes.
Dry eyes can lead to keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), also known as keratitis sicca, xerophthalmia, or dry eye syndrome. This is a chronic eye condition that exhibits stronger dry eye symptoms of burning, itching, a sandy-gritty irritation, sensitivity to light, and even watery eyes. Interestingly enough, watery eyes are a result of reflex tears that occur through eye irritation, emotional and physical injury, and do not have the same lubricating properties that prevent dry eyes. While generally most symptoms are mild, over time this can become severe if left untreated and lead to lasting eye damage.
How to Cure Dry Eyes Naturally
Our most popular remedies are castor oil and fish oil, but readers have recommended vitamin supplements, dietary changes, and have had success with acupuncture. As always, we are looking for more remedies for dry eyes, as well as feedback on what others have suggested. If you have a dry eyes cure you'd like to contribute, please let us know.
|Castor Oil||15 YEAS|
|Fish or Flax Seed Oil||9 YEAS|
Table of Contents
- QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
- POPULAR REMEDIES
- Aloe Vera, Avoid Coffee
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Baking Soda
- Black Cohosh
- Castor Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Cod Liver Oil
- Eliminating Wheat
- Eye Exercises
- Fish or Flax Seed Oil
- Grape Seed Oil
- Lugol's Iodine
- Mouth Guard
- Oil Pulling
- Olive Oil
- Remedies Needed
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamins A, E
[YEA] 12/31/2010: Almost Cured from Washington, Dc, Usa: "Hi - I had gradually worsening dry eyes due to lots of computer time and, I realize, worsening circulation despite exercising vigorously on a daily basis. I did oil pulling in the summer and it helped some, but then tried acupunture this fall for general wellness (after a marathon) and alas! Dry eyes became significantly better, along with circulation in extremities. I cannot speak more highly to the benefits of acupunture. Do yourself a favor and try it out in 2011!"Replies
04/19/2011: Peterpan from Peabody, Ma/usa replies: "How often do you have to go? Every week? Os was it a cure?"
Aloe Vera, Avoid Coffee
[YEA] 09/24/2011: David from Greenville, South Carolina Usa: "DRY EYE
I have suffered from dry eye for over twenty years and have tried dozens of various otc drops. The very best solution to the problem I have found is very inexpensive: aloe vera (I use a high quality one) annointed on the lids of the eyes. Not dropped into the eye but on the lids. Aloe is, of course, alkaline and I believe what is happening is that the aloe is netralizing an acidic condition. I was put onto the idea of putting the drops of aloe onto the eye lid by my opthomologist who had given me a prescription for eye lid drops to deal with dry eye. But I found the aloe vera worked better and at little expense. I usually apply three or four times daily or as needed.
My second recommendation is to be careful for coffee consumption, both in regular and de-caf form... The acid in the coffee is murder on sensitive eyes. I have found a direct correlation between "burning eyes" during the day and whether I've had coffee that morning. Teas don't seem to be so bad."Replies
01/28/2014: Eileen from Summerville, Sc replies: "I'm sorry to sound dense, but do I apply it to the inside of my eyelid or on the outside of my eyelid? I have two aloe plants and can use fresh, pure aloe. I'm hoping this will work for me. I had lasik surgery, and now my eyes are so dry and the lasik is not working. It's been 6 months since the surgery."
02/11/2014: Dave from Fountain Inn, Sc replies: "Eileen,
So sorry to have missed your question...you anoint the outside of eyelid with the aloe vera. Also you can use a quarter teaspoon of baking soda in quarter glass of water...the alkaline of either will neutralize the acidic eye.
Again, apply on outside of eyelid.
I usually apply and wipe off and then reapply. If you think your fingers might be even slightly oily use a paper towel to perform application.
And remember, the acidic foods are what is at work in causing the dry eye...in my experience 90 percent of all my burning eye/dry eye condition is related to coffee and eating spicy products."
[YEA] 02/24/2014: Schwabbie from Fontana, Ca replies: "I also notice that I can count on a dry eye episode if I drink coffee, caffeinated or not."
02/24/2014: Dave from Fountain Inn, Sc replies: "To Schwabbie;
And not only coffee but acidic foods of any kind. I've noticed that if I eat the fruit papaya that the burning/dry eye is not so severe.
Papaya is just miracle stuff."
Apple Cider Vinegar
[YEA] 07/18/2009: Hien from Houston, Tx: "5 parts of water 2 parts of honey and 1 part of apple cider vinegar. I had sandy, red eyes i went to see three eyes doctor, after 4 times seeing them they all gave me antibiotic and said i have eyes infection and dry. I keep using the antibiotic but i can tell not getting better, last night look online and found this lady has the same problem like mine, she gave out this home remedy, i use it since last night and this morning i feel much better, i went back to the site trying to say thank you, but i could not find it ,well thank you if you happen to get on this site. Hien Hoang"Replies
12/25/2009: Sylvia from Sydney, Australia replies: "Hien from Houston writes: 5 parts of water, 2 parts of honey and 1 part of apple cider vinegar. Do you put this in your eye or swallow it?"
09/16/2013: Jag from Nj replies: "Hien from Houston posted the remedy: "5 parts of water, 2 parts of honey and 1 part of apple cider vinegar." I also want to know, do you put this in your eye or swallow it? Please advise as my 7 yr old is suffering from dry red eyes. It wouldn't hurt to take both orally & eye wash but just wondering."
10/18/2013: Lori from Portland, Or replies: "Re: eye drops made of distilled water, honey, and Apple cider vinegar. How long will this solution keep? How often (what intervals) is it safe to use, and over what duration of time."
10/22/2013: Mousy from Portland, Or replies: "Re: eye drops made of distilled water, honey, and Apple cider vinegar. How long will this solution keep? How often (what intervals) is it safe to use, and over what duration of time."
[YEA] 03/04/2008: E'Leighne from Compton, California: "... I just started taking 1T cider vinegar every day in my water for about 2 weeks. I noticed my eyes are not as dry in the mornings as they usually are."Replies
10/10/2010: Cat from Lax, Ca replies: "This is just a word of caution I would like to add here just in case you encounter this problem I went to my ophthalmologist. I had an on-going dry eye problem last week and I went to the doctor and they wanted to plug the other two tear ducts plus another round of medication. I declined. Anyhow I told the doctor that I was putting sterilized distilled water in my eyes at night since I'm allergic to practically every eye drop. Anyhow, she warned me to STOP IT right away even though the water is sterilized she said the water could be carrying Acanthoamoeba and she checked my eyes to see I had it and I did not! Apparently "there is a water and soil-born parasite Acanthamoeba is more prevalent than most ophthalmologists think. "Amoeba are very common organisms, they are all over the globe, in fact they're one of the original life forms" drug don't work against the parasite so the problem persists and if it goes untreated, patients can lose their eyesight. "This is a kind of amoeba that has the characteristic of forming a cyst or shell around it so it can hide from predators or destruction, and can be very difficult to kill. "
The amoeba is extremely difficult to identify, but according to researchers doctors have the best chance at diagnosing the amoeba as the source of an eye infection " Anyhow I wanted to post this just in case."
[YEA] 06/18/2013: Dave from Fountain Inn, Sc: "Had dry eyes for years and in my case found it was acid related. Tried lots of remedies but the best is to dissolve a third teaspoon baking soda into a half cup of purified water. For safety sake, boil the water and let cool. Dab with clean cloth onto eyelids; repeat a minute later. I repeat: Apply to eye LIDS. Keep eyes closed until dry. The alkaline water will counter the acidic condition on eye surface.
I drink then the remainder of the baking soda water to offset my acidic system.
If I drink coffee, the dry eye problem is worse. Eating acidic foods also worsens the dry eye.
The point is: my dry eye condition was being caused by an acidic system. I had been diagnosed by an opthomologist with "dry eye" and the solution was to counter the acid in the body which I suppose had caused the dryness."
[YEA] 03/25/2011: Diamond from Salisbury, Ma.usa: "I think the castor oil people are trying for dry eyes is just great. I searched everywhere for years, I too tried many different items and they only worked temp. Then some one told me to try black cohosh sold in all herbal stores, it's sold as a capsule, I take one every morning, and it's great for every day. I also found that my dry eyes are caused from a virus. So I am working on the whole body one day at a time, one body part at a time. But good luck & I just thought I would share some extra back up info."
[YEA] 01/10/2014: Carol from Annapolis, Md: "I love EarthClinic!! I have struggled with dry eyes for so many years especially in the winter. I did try ACV which helps but when I read about Castor Oil, cold pressed, I thought why not. I purchased it and transferred a small amount to my lower lids with a q-tip and close my eyes for a moment. I do this at night and in the mooring or when my eyes feel dry. WOW!! It works. I am so grateful not to be suffering."
[YEA] 07/11/2013: Miracles from Santa Monica, Ca, United States: "I've had dry eyes over the years but it wasn't that bad. When I had it, they put in plugs to keep the moisture/water in my eyes. Then, they prescribed drops for me to put it at night and put in during the day. Then, about two years ago, my boyfriend got it as well - and we visited a few top notch eye doctors - and they prescribed Restasis.
When I discovered Earth Clinic and started testing out their remedies for other ailments and found they worked, I found the remedy for dry eyes of castor oil that many recommended. So we went to buy A-grade castor oil from the homeopathic pharmacy with the dropper, and then, we both started using it on our eyes - first on our eyelids at night. Then, after we found that the redness was nearly gone in the morning or next day, we started dropping it into our eyes. It truly works!
The white of the eyes seems much whiter and not so yellow! My lashes seem to love it and I feel like they're growing longer and thicker! The only thing is that I wear contact lens, and am trying to figure out if I should do an eye wash in the morning so there will be no more "oil" - which attaches to my daily-wear contact lens - and creates a blur!
I wanted to share with you all that the castor oil is miraculous for dry eyes and works! And, thank you to Earth Clinic and everybody else who writes in regarding wonderful remedies for healing!"Replies
07/11/2013: Bess from Calgary, Alberta, Canada replies: "Hi Miracles from Santa Monica - I am one of the posters who recommended organic castor oil for dry eyes. I, too, wear contact lenses and, because of the oil residue left in the morning, I have to use an eye wash to get rid of it. It's a small price to pay, though. I wasn't able to wear contacts for over a year because of the dryness - now, no problem. I've only come across one actual eye wash (not eye drops) here in Canada (O----x) but I'm sure you have more options where you live. I'm glad the castor oil worked for you! Cheers, Bess"
[YEA] 07/12/2013: Edna from Hayward, Ca replies: "I have been using castor oil for dry eyes after using many different eye drops that did not work.
The other result that I have observed is that it also makes eyebags minimized. Apply cold expressed castor oil with your clean finger to lower and upper eyelids - on top of the lashes, Results- eyebags will remarkably disappear."
[YEA] 07/13/2013: Trudyg replies: "I've been using castor oil--1 drop per eye at bedtime--for dry eyes. My contacts the next day are comfortable well into the evening, where before I was wanting them out by lunchtime. I just wash my eyelids w/ baby shampoo and blink several times to get some in my eyes and no problem w/ oil on contacts. Baby shampoo has something in it that numbs the eye so it doesn't feel the sting. Hate that for the kids (drug them) but I can do a drop or 2 per day and don't feel that's too much chemical. Had styes for years until I started washing w/ baby shampoo."
01/13/2014: Ignatz from San Francisco, Ca replies: "Hi Miracles - I was just curious whereabouts in Santa Monica you bought the oil with a dropper? I'm around the area a lot but have never seen castor oil sold that way and it sounds terrific. I'm longing to try this as nothing has worked for my chronically red eyes yet, but I maintain hope! Thanks so much for any info."
01/15/2014: Liz from Boston, Massachusetts replies: "You can buy a dropper separately. That's what I did. Most of the big chain pharmacies have them in the eye care section."
[YEA] 05/28/2013: Shruti from Virgina, USA: "I started having dry eyes suddenly since 2 months no diagnosis yet. I have tried everything from drops to warm compressions.. Started using castor oil 1 drop in each eye at bed time and WOW haven't had dry eyes since even if I skip a day I don't feel dry and don't need any drops either in the day time and my eyes are white white white. I saw this remedy online by some lady from Florida and I really want to thank her."
[YEA] 09/25/2012: Bob A from Mcdonough, Georgia, Usa: "[YEA] I was unable to drive or even walk due to "dry eye" syndrome caused by a "heavy pollen season"' here in Georgia, USA. I was told to treat it with "gel" eye drops every 2 hours, costing $10 for a tiny bottle. After 7 weeks and NO improvement in my sight, my brother suggested I try a home remedy.
I tried 2 drops of cold pressed, cold processed castor oil every night in an 8-oz bottle. The thick, oozy liquid felt like molasses, but the next day I received a pleasant surprise: I could see better than I had in days! Every day improved, until by the 10th day, my eyes were healed- and the "dry eye" never returned! I cancelled my eye doctor visits and never went back. Never once did I notice the slightest side effect.
The 8-oz bottle of good castor oil costs only $7, with enough product to treat 1000 eyes! Just have a little faith in Earth Clinic. I do!"Replies
08/09/2013: Kris from Maine replies: "Two drops castor oil in 8 oz of water and then drink it or do I put the drops in the eyes? Thanks."
[YEA] 01/26/2014: Vera from Connecticut replies: "if you read carefully, he is just describing the 8 oz bottle to buy... use 2 drops every night in you eyes and you will get over a 1000 doses in 1 bottle... this is why DRs dont tell you this... they would make NO money!"
[YEA] 09/17/2012: Mike from Raleigh, Nc: "I'm 57 and have suffered with eyes that are 'glued' shut every morning for the last two years. If I open one before soaking it in saline, it tears the cornea and takes about two days to heal. I've tried every eye drop and also wake up two or three times per night to wet them. Strange but I have no significant daytime issues with dryness.
After reading this post, I went to Whole Foods and bought cold pressed Castor Oil. I dropped one drop in each eye before bed time and woke up to a completely rested and lubricated eye. I can't believe it. Only a sample of one so far but I had to post this. I'll update as I progress."Replies
07/20/2013: Happyeyes from Bay City, Mi replies: "I was just diagnosed with Recurrant Cornal Erosion. I had an abrasion about a year ago that has never seemed to heal. When I was finally diagnosed (after multiple doctor visit to several doctors) I was told that I would probably need daily drops and nightly ointment for the rest of my life. While I am willing to spend the money, if it means I don't have the intense, stabbing pain of continually ripping up my cornia, I would do it. But I am so glad to see there is a more economical remedy - and one that is natural! I can't wait to try it! THANK YOU!"
07/20/2013: Andrea C from Cardiff, Wales replies: "Do not put castor oil in your eyes! It damages the retina! Love Andrea C xxxx"
07/21/2013: Alice from San Juan, Tx replies: "Any proof of this? I've been using castor oil nightly for quite some time."
[YEA] 09/04/2012: Meowy from Sd, Ca: "I bought castor oil and it did not work it made my eyes, red irritated sensitive, the oil itself felt slightly gritty to me. Few month later my ND suggested I buy a bottle of castor oil for massage on my abdomen. I bought a large bottle and this particular castor oil seemed smooth, thick and not gritty (Homehealth) I decided to try a drop in my eyes and it worked without any side effects! Please note all Organic Cold Pressed Castor Oils are not the same."
[NAY] 02/26/2012: Jennywren from Perth, Western Australia: "Well snap, a few days after starting to put castor oil in my eyes I got conjunctivitis! They had been red and swollen for a few mornings (I'd put them in my eyes before bedtime) and then one morning I couldn't open my eyes has they had gummed together and were a red raw mess! Yep, looked it up and apparently castor oil contains a natural toxin called ricin than can cause conjunctivitis. A few drops of colloidal silver and it went away after a couple of days. Onto another oil methinks!"Replies
03/03/2013: Lisa from Las Vegas, Nv replies: "The oils you are using are not "sterile" which means that they are not pure enought to be intended for use in the eye BECAUSE the oils may be contaminated and that puts you at risk of infection which can lead to visual impairments, even blindness. May I suggest you investigate IPL, Intense Pulsed Light Therapy, to unclog the pores that secrete lubricants. IPL is not covered by insurance, and may cost about $350 per session."
05/24/2013: Anonymouscat from Pdx, Or replies: "The research showed that castor oil caused Cytotoxicity which means is the quality of being toxic to cells and that other oils such as olive oil should be used in eye ointments. This is odd because at the ND told me to used castor oil pack on my abdomen for a small surgical scar so my thought is maybe on the skin but not safe for eyes."
05/24/2013: Bess from Calgary, Alberta, Canada replies: "Hi Anonymouscat: Dr. Carolyn Dean (medical doctor, naturopath, acupuncturist, herbalist and much more) wrote an article called, The Eyes Have It. She recommends using castor oil for dry eyes.
Evidently Ayurvedic practitioners prescribe it. Many over-the-counter, as well as prescription eye medications contain castor oil as well.
In this article, Dr. Dean also tells you how to make your own cayenne remedy for the eyes (improves blood circulation and opens up tear ducts). I haven't been brave enough to try that yet! Hope you find the article interesting. Cheers, Bess"
[YEA] 02/13/2012: Mary from Richmond, Va: "I was on a web site and some folks were talking about castor oil for the eye. I went to youtube and saw the woman describing how you do it. So, I decided to get me some castor oil and try it. Now, just to preface, I am 57 and have been have some kind of eye problem (dry, twitch, pressure, etc. For over 30 years. In one night, my eyes feel better than they have in years. For one, they are not rolling around in pain anymore. I usually am twisting them all day. As a teacher, this makes it really difficult to focus on reading out loud, etc. Now, I am mad. Mad at all the doctors who could never suggest something so simple. I am my best physician.
Castor Oil rocks!
02/14/2012: Francisca from Zug, Switzerland replies: "Mary, basically the young lady says one should put two drops of castor oil in each eye. I don't have a dropper but I tried a few times to put some castor oil on my eye lid and let it go inside as well but each time I woke up with swollen eyes. Didn't this happen to you? I tried two different brands of Castor oil from the health food shop. When I use the vitamin A cream the doctor prescribed or Bepanthene for the eyes this doesn't happen. Actually my eyes were a lot better but now they are a bit dry again, maybe because I stopped taking the lin seed oil capsules. I am now trying the Krill oil advised here but so far no luck! Maybe I go back to the lin seed oil which was advised to me by a contact lense specialist in an Eye Hospital. After a little while I had no more problems with my contact lenses and needed no cream during the night at all! Even with a humidifier on a regular basis my eyes are now feeling dry again!"
07/25/2013: Anonymous from Portland , Oregon replies: "My MD has a naturopathic education. He gave me organic cold pressed castor oil in GLASS bottles not in plastic. Apparently castor oil in plastic is very toxic and leeches plastic into the castor oil! This explain why everytime I would use castor oil in plastic bottle my eyes would burn badly until I started using in the glass bottles He also gave me 100% unbleached organic wool to place over my eyes soaked in castor oil and hot water bottle placed over the wool. Make sure that the hot water bottle cap is secure and just be careful to not make too hot. It also suggested not use heating pad on the body because of EMF waves interfere with body energetic system."
[NAY] 12/14/2011: Francisca from Zug, Zug, Switzerland: "Castor oil didn't work for my dry eyes. I tried it a few times, with different kinds of Castor Oil bought in health food shops but I woke up with swollen red eyes every time. I didn't use a droper as I didn't have one, I just put it around my eyes and let it run in a bit. But my eyes are better though although I am now living in an incredibly dry apartment (the Swiss give a new meaning to insulation.... ). I follow the advice I saw here of using more grape seed oil in my cooking and occasionally also drink a bit. I now sleep most nights without the use of a cream whether before I would wake up in the middle of the night or in the morning with very gritty eyes.
I also stopped drinking too much water and the sense of dryness in my mouth, especially at night also disappeared. I am not thirsty during the day anymore either. The more I drank the more I seemed to need to drink, not a good thing! And after years of getting up during the night to go to the bathroom although I am now older I hardly ever do that anymore!
I guess that the bottom line is: listen to your body!"