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!
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.
Walnut, California, Usa
Thank you so much, Dave, for posting this remedy, which a friend of mine found here and told me about. I take thyroid medication which makes aging dry eyes even drier. I was ready to give up wearing contact lenses and switch to glasses because after being awake for a few hours, my eyes burned badly and drops weren't helping. The first time I tried it, I thought my eyes were less dry but I wasn't sure. I applied it to my lids again after removing my contact lenses before bed. Day 2, it wasn't until I was going through my nightly ritual of removing my contact lenses that I realized I'd gone the whole day without any problems. They didn't burn and weren't uncomfortable at all.
I don't know how or why this works, but it does. If people have tried it and it's not working, wait a few days, or try applying it to your lids, two or three times during the day. It may be different for different people and aloe vera gel doesn't hurt anything.
I put a small drop (smaller than a pea) on my little finger and dab the other little finger into it to apply to both eyelids. I just keep rubbing it in until it feels like it's been absorbed. It will remain tacky initially, but will eventually dry.
For those asking about brands, I've used both drugstore generic brand and Fruit of the Earth Aloe Vera Gel that I picked up from Walmart. Both work the same.
Since my eyes were staying so red and veiny I decided to check out the info here on Earth Clinic for dry eyes. Wow a lot of people have this problem. The one thing I did was use aloe juice on my eye lids. I am very surprised and appreciative that my eyes are much better. I was dropping it in my eyes but it was very painful so I stopped. It was hard to believe applying it to my eye lids would work but it is great. My eyes are so much more comfortable. I tend to think more is better so the first day I did it about 8X. putting a small amount in the bottom of a glass and using my finger to dip in and apply to my eye lid until it was dripping down my face. I noticed more comfort and less red immediately. I would still suggest to check dry eye page on here. Hope this helps someone.
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.
Fountain Inn, Sc
Fountain Inn, Sc
Hope, Bc Canada
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
... 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.
I was starting to get dry, red, irriated eyes and the eye doctor told me to stop using a fan. it worked.
I've found that my burning eyes could be helped by applying a solution of Baking Soda in water to eyelids and get instant relief. And a while back my sister reminded me that my grandmother (who lived to 103) would start her day off with Baking soda in water and wash her eyes out with the solution...not just applying to eyelids. I've been doing that for a few weeks now and find my eyes don't burn nearly as much, even when I've had too much acid foods during the day (coffee, Tex-mex).
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.
Fountain Inn, Sc
Fountain Inn, Sc
Fountain Inn, S.c.
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.
I've had dry eyes for quite a few years and it has varied in intensity but the overall trend has remained to dryer over time. I mainly have the problem at night and when I wake in the morning it can be quite difficult to open my eyes as they are so dry. Applying eye drops helps, but they are more of a band aid that needs to be replaced regularly and don't seem to do anything to stop or reduce the problem.
I had read that fish oil can be helpful for dry eyes, but I have taken fish oils at up to 6 grams per day and didn't notice any improvement. I also tried using a higher quality castor oil around my eyes but not directly in them and that helped, but castor oil can be messy and it will rub off on your pillow, so not very convenient.
More recently I was experimenting with black currant seed oil capsules for another reason. I started noticing that my morning eye dryness seemed to be diminishing and somedays was not a problem at all. I discontinued the black currant seed oil and my eye dryness seemed to return so I started taking it again and the dryness seems to be diminishing again.
Based on this experience I decided to read about black currant seed oil and see if there were any reports suggesting it could help dry eyes.
I did not find any studies directly linking black currant seed oil and dry eye reduction or elimination. In looking at the label on my bottle of BCSO, I noticed that it has a fairly high gamma linolenic acid (GLA) content in the 14 to 17% area, so I decided to see if GLA has shown benefit for dry eyes and I found this on PubMed:
Cornea. 2003 Mar;22(2):97-101.
Systemic linoleic and gamma-linolenic acid therapy in dry eye syndrome with an inflammatory component.
Barabino S1, Rolando M, Camicione P, Ravera G, Zanardi S, Giuffrida S, Calabria G.
To evaluate the efficacy and anti-inflammatory activity of systemic linoleic (LA) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which decrease chronic inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis, on the ocular surface of patients with keratoconjunctivitis sicca.
In a randomized clinical trial, 26 patients with aqueous-deficient keratoconjunctivitis sicca were consecutively selected from patients presenting to Department of Neurosciences, Ophthalmology and Genetics, University of Genoa. The diagnosis was based on dry eye symptom survey score, Schirmer-1 test values, positive vital staining with lissamine green, and fluorescein break-up time (FBUT). All patients had ocular surface inflammation based on HLA-DR expression, a major histocompatibility class II antigen, on epithelial bulbar conjunctiva samples. The subjects were randomly divided into two groups of 13 patients each. The study group received tablets containing LA (28.5 mg) and GLA (15 mg) twice daily for 45 days and used tears; the control group received a tear substitute and a placebo tablet for 45 days.
Statistically significant changes in symptoms (p < 0.005), lissamine green staining (p < 0.005), and ocular surface inflammation (p < 0.05) occurred in the study group compared with controls. HLA-DR expression varied from 58.5 +/- 14.1% positive conjunctival cells to 41.3 +/- 18.9% in the treated group and from 61.4 +/- 21.9% to 58.0 +/- 13.3% in the controls. No statistically significant difference between groups was found for FBUT and the Schirmer-1 test.
Therapy with LA and GLA and tear substitutes reduces ocular surface inflammation and improves dry eye symptoms. Long-term studies are needed to confirm the role of this new therapy for keratoconjunctivitis sicca.
Cornea. 2013 Oct;32(10):1297-304. doi: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e318299549c.
Long-term Supplementation With n-6 and n-3 PUFAs Improves Moderate-to-Severe Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca: A Randomized Double-Blind Clinical Trial.
Sheppard JD Jr1, Singh R, McClellan AJ, Weikert MP, Scoper SV, Joly TJ, Whitley WO, Kakkar E, Pflugfelder SC.
Supplementation with gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) and omega-3 (n-3) polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) has been found to decrease the production of disease-relevant inflammatory mediators that are implicated in the pathogenesis of chronic dry eye. This study evaluated the effect of a supplement containing both GLA and n-3 PUFAs on signs and symptoms of moderate-to-severe keratoconjunctivitis sicca in postmenopausal patients.
This multicenter, double-masked placebo-controlled clinical trial enrolled 38 patients (both eyes) with tear dysfunction who were randomized to supplemental GLA + n-3 PUFAs or placebo for 6 months. Disease parameters, including Ocular Surface Disease Index, Schirmer test, tear breakup time, conjunctival fluorescein and lissamine green staining, and topographic corneal smoothness indexes (surface asymmetry index and surface regularity index), were assessed at baseline and at 4,12, and 24 weeks. The intensity of dendritic cell CD11c integrin and HLA-DR expression was measured in conjunctival impression cytologies.
The Ocular Surface Disease Index score improved with supplementation and was significantly lower than placebo (21 ± 4 vs. 34 ± 5) after 24 weeks (P = 0.05, n = 19 per group). The surface asymmetry index was significantly lower in supplement-treated subjects (0.37 ± 0.03, n = 15) than placebo (0.51 ± 0.03, n = 16) at 24 weeks (P = 0.005). Placebo treatment also significantly increased HLA-DR intensity by 36% ± 9% and CD11c by 34% ± 7% when compared with supplement treatment (n = 19 per group, P = 0.001,24 weeks). Neither treatment had any effect on tear production, tear breakup time, or corneal or conjunctival staining.
Supplemental GLA and n-3 PUFAs for 6 months improved ocular irritation symptoms, maintained corneal surface smoothness, and inhibited conjunctival dendritic cell maturation in patients with postmenopausal keratoconjunctivitis sicca.Clinical Trial Registration-URL: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov. Unique identifier: NCT00883649.
PMID: 23884332 DOI: 10.1097/ICO.0b013e318299549c
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2009 Aug;247(:1039-50. doi: 10.1007/s00417-009-1080-z. Epub 2009 May 5.
Efficacy of a 2-month dietary supplementation with polyunsaturated fatty acids in dry eye induced by scopolamine in a rat model.
Viau S1, Maire MA, Pasquis B, Grégoire S, Acar N, Bron AM, Bretillon L, Creuzot-Garcher CP, Joffre C.
This study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of dietary n-6 and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in dry eye in a rat model.
Female Lewis rats were fed with diets containing (1) gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), (2) eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) + docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), or (3) GLA + EPA + DHA, for 2 months before the induction of dry eye using a continuous delivery of scopolamine and during scopolamine treatment. Two, 10 and 28 days after dry-eye induction, clinical signs of corneal dryness were evaluated in vivo using fluorescein staining. MHC II expression and mucin rMuc5AC production in the conjunctival epithelium were evaluated by immunostaining. Lipids and prostaglandins (PGs) E(1) and E(2) were analysed from the exorbital lacrimal gland (LG).
Dietary PUFAs minimised the occurrence of corneal keratitis 28 days after induction of dry eye. The decrease in mucin production observed on the conjunctival epithelium was partially prevented by EPA + DHA supplementation after 2 days of scopolamine treatment, as well as by GLA and GLA + EPA + DHA diets after 10 days of treatment. The overexpression of MHC II in the conjunctival epithelium caused by dry eye induction was significantly reduced only with the GLA + EPA + DHA diet after 28 days of treatment. Dietary PUFAs were incorporated into phospholipids of the exorbital LG. Induction of dry eye was associated with a significant increase in PGE(1) and PGE(2) levels in the exorbital LG, which was inhibited by dietary EPA + DHA at 10 days (for PGE(2)) and 28 days (for PGE(1)).
Dietary GLA, EPA and DHA significantly interfered with lipid homeostasis in the exorbital LG and partially prevented the course of dry eye. In particular, our results demonstrate the efficacy of the combination of n-6 and n-3 PUFAs.
PMID: 19415319 DOI: 10.1007/s00417-009-1080-z
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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So based on these abstracts and my experience it appears that GLA is useful for dry eyes and fish oil may also work well with it, but fish oil alone was not helpful for me. Also of note is that linoleic acid (LA) may work together with GLA to help ameliorate dry eyes. With this information I looked for a supplement that may be potentially better than black currant seed oil and that supplement would be borage oil as it contains a higher percent(24%) of GLA and it also contains LA. Borage oil also has antiinflammatory properties as determined by multiple studies and consequently offers other health benefits beside alleviating dry eyes. On my next supplement order I may add the borage oil to see if it is similar or better than black currant seed oil for amelioratimg dry eyes.
This is what I used:
This will probably be the one I use next for the experiment:
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.
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.
Okay, so it has been awhile with this Borage Oil experiment and at about three weeks I noticed that my dry eye condition started to diminish, similarly to the black currant seed oil and similarly, the benefit has been slow and gradual, so I would conclude from these two experiments that both borage oil and black currant seed oil are helpful for my dry eyes which are mainly a problem at night. I would not consider either one a cure as I feel certain that if I stop using the borage oil the effect will diminish just as with the black currant seed oil. Right now the main benefit I see is that when I wake in the morning, the pain associated with trying to open my eyes is almost gone and some days not a problem at all. Same thing if I happen to awaken at night, greatly reduced pain or discomfort upon opening my eyes. I have tried castor oil drops and they are helpful, but castor oil seemed to create its own kind of irritation during my waking hours so after trying a couple of brands, I have decided against the castor oil for me.
As far as any other benefit, the borage oil may be helping my skin to seem softer or smoother, but that is a very subjective thing for an individual to try and measure without proper equipment. Studies do tend to suggest that borage oil may be beneficial for skin in that it can help prevent transepidermal water loss. I have been taking this borage oil for roughly a month now and will update again if I find any other benefit with this experiment which I plan to continue for a bit.
EC, maybe you can add borage oil to your list of potential dry eye alternatives.