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Remedy for Dry Eyes

Last Modified on Apr 26, 2016

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.

Remedies for Dry Eyes

The Popularity of Dry Eyes Remedies - Full List

Alphabetical Popularity Recent Post
Alkaline Water Eye Drops12015-09-01
Aloe Vera, Avoid Coffee32011-09-24
Apple Cider Vinegar32009-07-18
Avoid Fan Use12016-02-24
Baking Soda22013-06-18
Black Cohosh12011-03-25
Black seed oil,also called Nigella Sativa, for dry eyes12016-02-18
Blood Serum Drops12015-07-25
Castor Oil212016-01-23
Coconut Oil22010-11-13
Coconut Oil and Coconut Milk12015-11-30
Cod Liver Oil12012-07-04
Eliminating Wheat22013-10-14
Eye Exercises12009-12-06
Fish Oil02014-08-14
Fish or Flax Seed Oil92013-01-10
Frankincense and Lemon Oil12015-01-05
Grape Seed Oil12011-11-20
Humidifier, Change of Location12015-11-29
Hydrosol Silver22016-01-04
Lugol's Iodine12009-08-09
Mouth Guard12013-10-18
Multiple Remedies12015-06-13
Oil Pulling42010-03-19
Olive Oil12012-02-19
Palmitoeic Acid02014-09-19
Vitamin B1212010-08-04
Vitamins A, E12011-10-09

2 User Reviews | 1 YEA

Posted by Almost Cured (Washington, Dc, Usa) on 12/31/2010

[YEA]  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!

Replied by Peterpan
Peabody, Ma/usa
How often do you have to go? Every week? Os was it a cure?

Alkaline Water Eye Drops  
4 User Reviews | 1 BETTER BUT NOT CURED

Posted by Rhonda (Lakewoood) on 09/01/2015

[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]  Tried all other remedies listed and they worked better than prescription eye drops but chiro suggested eye drops made from alkaline water and they seem to work best. Every day eyes are getting better.

Replied by Rsw
Hi Rhonda,

Do you make your own alkaline water or is it something you buy? I have tried Dave's baking soda and water on the eyelids, which is helpful, but are you saying you put it into your eyes? Thank you for recipe or brand name. I have Sjogren's and would appreciate some relief.

Replied by Debbie
Phoenix, Arizona
What are alkaline water eyedrops and how did you get them or make them?
Replied by Jose
Walnut, California, Usa
I would also like to know about alkaline drops for eyes, I have dried eyes but prescription eye drops don't do much for me. Thank you

Aloe Vera, Avoid Coffee  
12 User Reviews | 3 YEA

Posted by Dave Donate
(Fountain Inn, Sc) on 09/24/2011


Two recommendations:

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.

Replied by Eileen
Summerville, Sc
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.
Replied by Dave Donate

Fountain Inn, Sc

So sorry to have missed your 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 my experience 90 percent of all my burning eye/dry eye condition is related to coffee and eating spicy products.

Replied by Schwabbie
Fontana, Ca
[YEA]   I also notice that I can count on a dry eye episode if I drink coffee, caffeinated or not.
Replied by Dave Donate

Fountain Inn, Sc
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.

Replied by Terry
[YEA]   I had such horrible dry eyes. My vision was so blurred and I was getting no help from drops or ointments. When I went for an eye exam they had to reapply the drops a few times because they were so dry and itchy. I read your suggestion to use aloe Vera gel on the lids......I cannot believe how wonderful my eyes feel. Thank you.
Replied by Diana
Dresden, Germany
Hello, I suffer from severe Dry Eye Syndrome since one year. And by the time I started to feel the discomfort and annoy at my eyes I was on a strict (but very varied and healthy) diet due to GERD. Thus I was not allowed to eat any fruits or vegetables, not to mention coffee or spicy food. And I still started to feel the effects of Dry Eye Syndrome. What I want to point out is the fact, that the dry eye has nothing to do with the fact, that you eat some fruits or drink coffee once in a while. And one more thing: Omega3 pills have just Placebo effects. Try not to take them a whole month, and you?ll see that nothing has changed. You feel the same with or without them. Sad, but true. Keep trying other remedies, although I'm about to give it up.
Replied by Diana
Hello, I suffer from severe Dry Eye Syndrome since one year. And by the time I started to feel the discomfort and annoy at my eyes I was on a strict (but very varied and healthy) diet due to GERD. Thus I was not allowed to eat any fruits or vegetables, not to mention coffee or spicy food. And I still started to feel the effects of Dry Eye Syndrome. What I want to point out is the fact, that the dry eye has nothing to do with the fact, that you eat some fruits or drink coffee once in a while. And one more thing: Omega3 pills have just Placebo effects. Try not to take them a whole month, and you'll see that nothing has changed. You feel the same with or without them. Sad, but true. Keep trying other remedies, although I'm about to give it up.
Replied by Om
Hope, Bc Canada
Please read up on cold pressed castor oil. Namaste, Om
Replied by Frances
Cabarlah, AU
Dry eyes and post-Lasix surgery, both my sister and step daughter were advised to use capsules of hyaluronic acid for approx. 6 mo. to alleviate the dryness.
Replied by Ann
Sussex, Uk
Reading these comments has helped me tremendously on my search for health for my watery eyes and stinging lids. Castor Oil worked wonders and did reduce bags! Acupuncture was helping a lot, but I was curious my acupuncturist was treating skin and lungs. Finally went to eye clinic in hospital to see if tear ducts were draining properly. Verdict - wasn't dry eye at all, but dermatitis! very relieved and amazed that all but my acupuncturist were missing the point. I thought the red skin was from very abundant tearing of eyes. So before surgery or anything drastic, look at the pages of this website to see if contact dermatitis explains your symptoms better - I know, sounds counterintuitive, but applying 50/50 cider vinegar (with mere) and water has reduced the redness and tearing has all but stopped. I agree about coffee - try to avoid it, same with sulphates (in wine). good luck.
Replied by C

I was wondering if you use Aloe Vera cream, drops or gel? Could you link the brand you use perhaps? Thank you...

Apple Cider Vinegar  
9 User Reviews | 2 YEA | 1 BETTER BUT NOT CURED

Posted by Hien (Houston, Tx) on 07/18/2009

[YEA]  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

Replied by Sylvia
Sydney, Australia
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?
Replied by Jag
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.
Replied by Lori
Portland, Or
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.
Replied by Mousy
Portland, Or
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.
Replied by Glynis
Springfield, Mo
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]   Thank you, thank you, thank you. My eyes hurt so bad I could barely read the instructions. Could not figure out if I was supposed to use recipe as an eye wash or wipe my eyelids with it. Tried as a wash (burned) added two more parts of water (still burned) then wiped on eyelid (did not burn). I continued wiping my eyelids with the solution and received soothing. Eye are still somewhat sore but will continue to use. Thank you to Earthclinic and all who reply and read. Thank you.

Posted by E'Leighne (Compton, California) on 03/04/2008

[YEA]  ... 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.

Replied by Cat
Lax, Ca
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.

Replied by Paola
To reply for the parasite in distilled water, you can safely replace the distilled water to a contact lens solution that has no chemical in it its the saline solution of baush& lomb for sensitive eyes. Found in different pharmacies .

Avoid Fan Use  
1 User Reviews | 1 YEA

Posted by Danamarie (California) on 02/24/2016

[YEA]  I was starting to get dry, red, irriated eyes and the eye doctor told me to stop using a fan. it worked.

Baking Soda  
7 User Reviews | 2 YEA

Posted by Dave Donate
(Fountain Inn, Sc) on 06/18/2013

[YEA]  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.

Replied by Heather
I was so psyched to see that you drank the remainder of the water!!! Not only will it help but your body in alkaline dominance, but baking soda is one the ealiest known forms of chemotherap. Simple baking soda has the power to wipe out most forms of cancer. The government was so intent on keeping this information away from us that in 1913 the Rockefellers (same ones that own the national reserve and basically america) started and funded the American Cancer Assoc. to control all information we woukd receive. How sickening. I just made my brother start baking soda for cancer he was told waa aggresive, growing, he must start chemo n radiation immediatly etc etc...his last appointment they couldn't visibly see the cancer anymore...imagine that. Thanks for the info on eyes! Trying it right now. I use it for hair, exfoliating.
Replied by Dave Donate

Fountain Inn, Sc
Hello Heather,

Thank you for commenting on the Dry Eye method.

Pretty simple. I used to spend a lot of money on eye drops. It's now been four or five years since I've had to buy drops. I just use the Baking Soda on closed eyelids...dry off with a tissue and re apply. In my case I have diagnosed dry eye by an ophthalmologist. But the real agitator is the acidic condition of the body. Anytime I get too much acid producing foods, there comes the agitation. The acid on dry eye...ouch. So the Soda neutralizes the acid in the eye and I drink the rest to help alkalize in the body.

Please let us know how it works for you.

Replied by Rhonda
Lakewood, Ca
[YEA]   Baking soda works much better than prescription eye drops for me. It lasts longer so you don't have to apply as frequently as drops and it is more effective as well. Stops tearing and more soothing. One eye seems to be cured while the other still gets watery. When that happens, I apply remedy to lid as someone on EC recommended. Then when it returns, I do it again. Much happier that I found this remedy.
Replied by Dave Donate

Fountain Inn, Sc
Hello Rhonda,

Baking Soda for Eye Lids replaced need for eye drops...

That was my suggestion and really one of the best remedies I've come across; eye burning or eye irritation can cause havoc. Glad you found it effective.

As a reminder to folks...use a quarter teaspoon in a cup of water. Dissolve...then dab on eye lids....close eyes to do this. Then take a paper towel and wipe off, and reapply keeping eyes closed for a few seconds. The alkaline neutralizes the acid in eyes and that is very effective in lots of eye irritation cases.

Replied by Karen
Smithville, Tx
I see two different amounts of water and baking soda:

1/3 teaspoon in 1/2 cup of water in your first post, then

1/4 teaspoon in 1 cup of water in a follow-up post.

Am curious which one is preferable. Thanks.

Replied by Dave Donate

Fountain Inn, S.c.

  • This might be me you were writing to. I have been using baking soda mixed in water and gently applying to closed eyes ...eyelids... for a number of years now. Dry eye situation is much improved. Whenever I have too much coffee or too many acidic products if I use the baking soda and water this always helps immensely and usually completely relieves me of the difficulty. You asked which quantity is correct. There is no certain amount but I typically use about a third of a teaspoon baking soda and a half glass of water. It can be less it can be more. Whatever suits you.

Black Cohosh  
1 User Reviews | 1 YEA

Posted by Diamond (Salisbury, Ma.usa) on 03/25/2011

[YEA]  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.

Black seed oil,also called Nigella Sativa, for dry eyes  
1 User Reviews | 1 YEA

Posted by Tammy (Las Vegas, Nevada) on 02/18/2016

[YEA]  Black Seed Oil in just a few days relieved my terribly dry eyes. They were so bad that I had to use ointment in them at night, sometimes if I didn't, when I would wake up they would be so painful and feel like they were ripping. I had an antibiotic ointment by the side of my bed, and I would put over the counter ointment in my eyes regularly. I was amazed that in just a few days, taking a tiny dosage (1/4 teaspoon) of black seed oil, I had no trouble with dry eyes at all when I woke up in the morning! I do not know if I have Sjogren's, but I do have some of the symptoms, I just haven't been tested yet.

Blood Serum Drops  
1 User Reviews | 1 YEA

Posted by Jt (Tucson, Az) on 07/25/2015

[YEA]  A natural treatment for dry eyes that your doctor can prescribe is blood serum drops. Your blood is drawn, sent to a compounding pharmacy and is specific to you. The recommended dose is 4 times a day, but you can use as often as you like. The prescription is a 6 month supply, which is in a individual syringes and must be kept in the freezer. A syringe can be kept for a week in the refrigerator, using 4 times a day last about 5 days.

I have been using the treatment for 6 weeks. At my check up I had moderate improvement, at only a quarter of the way through the prescription. Our blood serum carries stem cells, so effectively we are healing ourselves.

The blood draw was $40 and the prescription was $265, even though it is spendy, at $50 a month it is certainly worth a try.


1 User Reviews | 1 YEA

Posted by Ben (London, Uk) on 07/09/2014

[YEA]  I look at a computer screen for approx 10-12 hrs a day and I get very dry eyes. The best natural remedy I find is to eat 1x raw carrot per day. This is the best natural remedy I have used.

Cheers, Ben

Castor Oil  
71 User Reviews | 19 YEA | 3 NAY | 2 BETTER BUT NOT CURED | 1 SIDE EFFECT

Posted by Melanie (Unicoi, Tennessee) on 01/23/2016

[SIDE EFFECTS]  I recently started using castor oil (at bedtime) for my dry eyes. Has anyone found that the castor oil "burns" their eyes? It is uncomfortable and causes my vision to be blurry.

Replied by Mama To Many Donate

Yes, I too find that castor oil burns a bit and blurs the vision because of the oil. By morning though it is not blurry.

You could try just putting the castor oil on your eyelids. It is quite penetrating and that may achieve your goal, even as well as putting it into your eyes.

Or try Dave's formula for dry eyes.

~Mama to Many~

Posted by Joan (New York City) on 10/22/2015

[YEA]  I am 74 years old. I was diagnosed with blepharitis and dry eyes many years ago. Over the years I was noncompliant and never washed my lids with baby shampoo or used warm compresses. I rarely used natural tears. Since (a bad allergy season) June of this year my eyes worsened drmatically. They have been swollen, very bloodshot, with constant tearing..etc.

After 4 visits to the eyes doctors, and they prescribing Zylet, Restasis, Lastacaft, and too many other medications to list here, nothing brought me relief. I have been in touch with Dr. Yang of TheraLife Eye in California. She advised to stop using baby shampoo, that it is a detergent and more irritating to the eyes. I have also been taking Sea Buckthorn caps, Omega 3, Genteal Gel, and natural tears. I stopped washing my lids with baby shampoo.

Last evening, I dabbed cold press castor oil around my eyes. When I woke this morning the swelling and irritation was improved 75%. I will continue this, as it has brought me relief.

Replied by Jennysmom2
Hi, I am glad you have found relief. I use castor oil in my eyes from time to time. I don't know about the other medications, but I just wanted to comment that Restasis contains castor oil. Just another example of drug companies trying to make money off of us when natural remedies are at our fingertips for pennies. Best wishes
Replied by Sridhar
Tell me in detail castor oil means which one? *hexane free? or pure organic cold pressed is enough?

Posted by Ronald (Ca) on 07/07/2015

[YEA]  I tried various suggested cures for dry eyes, but they didn't totally work. Here is what I found that works for me.

I take a night guard (light blocker over the eyes), fold a paper towel in thirds, tear in half which now fits inside the blocker, lightly coat it with castor oil, saturate with water and put paper towel inside of blocker and over the eyes.

I also use lubricant eye drops in the eyes and that concoction lasts all night. In the AM I don't have dry eyes when I wake up.

Posted by Carol (Annapolis, Md) on 01/10/2014

[YEA]  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.

Replied by Jill
Chicago, IL
I just started using castor oil last nite after researching and stumbling upon Earth Clinic. Did you feel immediate relief or did it take a few applications?
Replied by Norma
Nashville, Tn
[YEA]   I been awakening to dry, bloodshot eyes so I was very concerned with how my eye was looking... it wasn't good, so I looked up some natural remedies and this was it just what I needed, castor. so very happy thanks so very much. keep up the great work, k .
Replied by Jill
[NAY]   Castor oil has never worked for me. I've been taking fish oil for about three months but it hasn't seemed to have helped much.