Posted on: 11.07.2022 Posted by: Drlark Comments: 0

June 15, 2004

Vision Health

Help for Dry Eyes

Dry eyes are a surprisingly common problem, affecting

approximately 30 million people in the U.S. alone.

Dry eyes aren’t just uncomfortable, they’re unhealthy. You need

tears to wash away irritants and to help protect your eyes from


Many environmental factors can cause or exacerbate dry eyes, including

chemical irritants, smog, automobile exhaust, cigarette smoke, and

wind. This may explain why walking around a crowned city affects

your eyes so badly. Other common causes of dry eyes include medications

such as antihistamines, diuretics, decongestants, tranquilizers,

and antidepressants, and soft contact lenses.

Women in midlife are particularly susceptible to this problem. As

your estrogen levels decline, tissues throughout your body—including

yourr eyes—tend to dry out. Things that never bothered you

before suddenly become irritating.

Here are some ideas to moisten your dry eyes and avoid irritating


  • Because forced hot air heat

    is incredibly dry, try using a portable humidifier. If that helps,

    consider installing a humidifier on your furnace. Avoid getting

    close to the ducts where the forced air enters the room, as the

    breeze makes the dry air even more irritating.

  • Make a list of the medications

    you take. Review it with your doctor or pharmacist to find out

    any are contributing to your problem.

  • Try lubricating eye drops

    that don’t contain preservatives or unnecessary drugs, such as


  • Avoid staring at televisions,

    computer monitors, or books for a prolonged period of time. Force

    yourself to blink frequently.

  • Be sure to drink plenty

    of water (at least eight cups a day). Stay away from caffeine,

    a potent diuretic.

  • If you wear eye makeup,

    don’t use it for a few days. If that helps, consider cutting back

    on the amount you use, experimenting with a different brand to

    see if it’s less irritating, or not using it at all. And keep

    in mind that even “hypoallergenic” eye makeup and makeup

    remover can be irritating.

  • If you wear soft contacts,

    try wearing your glasses for a few days instead. If that helps,

    consider not wearing the contacts or wearing them for only a limited

    amount of time each day or each week.

  • If you are in perimenopause

    or menopause, try natural estrogenic supports to moisten your

    body’s tissues. I recommend taking 50-100 mg of supplemental

    soy isoflavones and 80

    mg of black cohosh each day. If you’re postmenopausal and

    these supplements aren’t enough, you could try estriol (a natural

    estrogen available by prescription).

  • Be sure you’re getting enough

    essential fatty acids (EFAs) as these help keep tissues moist.

    Flaxseed is a superb source of omega-3 EFAs. I recommend taking

    one or two tablespoons of flaxseed oil or four to six tablespoons

    of ground flaxseed each day. For omega-6 EFAs, try borage seed

    oil (3–4 capsules each day) and evening primrose oil (3–6

    500 mg capsules twice daily).

Read More on Vision:

Getting Started

Age-Related Macular Degeneration



Diabetic Retinopathy

Keep It Simple Tip: Palming

Nutritional Therapies

Lutein and Zeaxanthin for Age-related

Macular Degeneration

Antioxidants for AMD and Cataracts

Help for Dry Eyes

Protect Your Eyes from Strain

Complementary Therapies

Red Light Therapy for Macular Degeneration

Ozone Therapy for Macular Degeneration



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