DRY EYES

Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH

This article deals especially with eye dryness but presented here remedies should also work for other types of dryness.

SYMPTOMS

– Sandy feeling and pain in eyes

– Eye tiredness

– Swollen and itchy eyes

– Eyelid twitching

– Blurred vision, often worsening after focusing for a prolonged period or at the end of the day

– Eye redness

– Periods of excessive tearing

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POSSIBLE CAUSES

Dry eyes can occur when eyes are unable to produce enough tears (complex mixture of water, mucus, and fatty oils called lipids) or if you produce poor-quality tears (imbalance in the composition of their tears). If oil glands don’t produce enough oil, the watery layer of tears evaporates quickly, causing dry eyes.

There are many possible causes of this condition:

Dehydration (lack of water in the body caused by drinking insufficient amount of water, diet low in fruits and fresh vegetables, sweating, hot environment, fever, etc.).

Omega 7 deficiency.

Omega 3 deficiency.

Vitamin A deficiency.

Dry air.

Stimulants, especially smoking, coffee, black and green tea, caffeinated products (caffeine dehydrates eyes and skin).

Contact lens users often experience dry eyes.

– At least half of patients with diabetes exhibit dry eye symptoms. Excessive sugar in the blood over time can damage the blood vessels in your retina and pull fluid from the lens of your eye.

– Dry eye syndrome is common in people whose meibomian glands are clogged, especially when it is associated with rosacea or other skin disorders and blepharitis (inflammation of the edge of eyelids).

Central heating and air conditioning may contribute to the problem.

– Any tasks requiring more concentration that reduce the frequency of eye blinking, such as prolonged driving, working at a computer, or reading. Many individuals with dry eyes blame their computers for causing the symptoms.

– Dry eyes are common in people who are over 50 years old. Tear production tends to diminish as people get older.

Hormonal imbalance during the menopause may also increase the risk of dry eyes or intimate dryness.

– Dry eyes are also associated with rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, thyroid disorders, lupus, and scleroderma.

– Some medications such as antihistamines, beta-blockers, decongestants, antidepressants, drugs used to treat Parkinson’s disease, anticonvulsants, antipsychotics, or hormone replacement therapy can trigger dry eyes.

– Diet low in antioxidants.

– Causes of dry eye disease include LASIK laser eye surgery. LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) is the most commonly performed laser eye surgery to treat hyperopia (farsightedness), myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism.

REMEDIES

Apart from implementing principles from the HEALTH RECOVERY PLAN > you also need to do the following:

– Check your blood glucose levels and if it is high or if you are already diagnosed with diabetes learn how to recover from this condition >

– Take Buckthorn oil (Omega 7) supplements. It is regarded as number one remedy especially for dry eyes but it helps also in other types of dryness. Buckthorn oil (high in Omega 7 fatty acids) works by regenerating mucous membranes. Omega 7 fatty acids have been shown to help with protecting the internal organs and the linings of the eyes, skin, mouth, as well as the respiratory, digestive and urogenital tract. It is also used to strengthen the immune system and promote healthy skin.

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Omega 3. Consume at least 1 tablespoon of ground golden flax seed with breakfast every day: “Ever since I have been putting flax meal on my cereal in the morning, it has cleared up my red eyes from dry eye. This is a inexpensive alternative to keeping your eyes healthy…try it.” – Susan Barlow.

Remember that flax seeds lose a lot of its potency after being ground due to oxidation of weak omega 3. For this reason it is more beneficial to buy whole flax seeds, grind them in a coffee grinder and eat within 15 minutes of grinding.

– In addition, take good quality Omega 3 fish oil (HealthAid as it is molecularly distilled and perfectly free from contaminants, Viridian also makes good organic omega 3 fish oil with antioxidants to prevent oxidation).

– Drink more distilled or at least filtered soft (low in calcium) water >

– Studies show vitamin A eye drops could be very effective for the treatment of dry eye syndrome. In fact, according to certain study over-the-counter lubricating eye drops with vitamin A were equaly effective for the treatment of dry eyes as more expensive prescription drops formulated for dry eye relief.

– Increase humidity of the air, especially in n winter. Use at least an inexpensive ceramic radiator hanging water humidifier, or even better, get an electric one. A good example is the “1byone Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier” >. It uses ultrasonic technology, is very quiet and humidifies its space very evenly.

– Often eat raw spinach as it is a great source of antioxidant lutein.

– Quit smoking and stay away from alcohol, sugar, salt, caffeine, black tea, and caffeinated products as it can also reduce your dry eye symptoms, as caffeine is known to dehydrate.

– Take Chlorella every day at least before breakfast. Since Chlorella is a powerful detoxifier and energy booster it is better if you start with a smaller dose such as 1 teaspoon or 3 tablets 30 minutes before breakfast and the same amount 30 minutes before lunch with 2 glasses of water, vegetable juice or smoothie. Then gradually increase the intake every day (by approximately 1 tablet) until reaching the maximum dose of 2 heaped tablespoons or 10 – 20 tablets (500mg) 30 min before breakfast and the same amount 30 min before lunch. Altogether you can take 2-6 round tablespoons or about 20-40 tablets (500mg per tablet) of chlorella a day. The dose of course also depends on age and body weight.  If you don’t like the taste of Chlorella powder take tablets. Since Chlorella is a form of highly nutritious food it is advisable and more beneficial to chew or at least break the tablets in mouth before swallowing them as it will make easier for the digestive system to process it later. While taking chlorella remember to increase your water intake to 3 times a day 2-3 glasses between meals. If you experience sleeping problems due to the fact that chlorella boosts energy I would suggest to take it only before breakfast. Keep in mind that there are many sources and types of Chlorella available so make sure you buy good quality product such as chlorella offered by Pukka.

– Everyday take excellent Clean greens powder (Pukka).

– Try to use Swanson Night Time Eye Lubricant as it relieves irritation and burning due to dryness of the eye. Always choose a preservative-free drops or spray. The preservatives in drops can lead to you to an allergy and make dry eyes syndrome even worse. Use eye drops at least 5 to 6 times a day because if you don’t use them often enough they may not work. Don’t use drops that promise to brighten the eyes as they contain chemicals which constrict the blood vessels to reduce the redness.

– Take 2 caps a day of EyeVit Plus (HealthAid) – an excellent eye strengthening formula consisting of powerful antioxidants and ingredients such as beta-carotene, lutein, zinc, bilberry and eyebright, EPA, DHA Omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin A, etc.

EyeVit Plus Ingredients

– According to Dr Michael Greger, “A plant-based diet may be the best thing for patients with dry eye disease, those who wear contact lenses, and those who wish to maximize their tear secretions. People with dry eyes should be advised to lower protein, total fat, and cholesterol intake, and increase complex carbohydrates. Increase vitamin A content by eating red, orange, yellow, and dark green leafy vegetables; increase zinc and folate by eating whole-grains, beans, and raw vegetables—especially spinach; ensure sufficient B6 and potassium intake by eating nuts, bananas, and beans; ensure sufficient vitamin C by eating citrus; eliminate alcohol and caffeine; reduce sugar and salt intake, and increase water consumption to six to eight glasses per day. We know dehydration can cause a dry mouth and also those suffering from dry eyes are comparatively dehydrated. The tear secretion decreases with progressive dehydration, just like saliva secretion decreases, giving us a dry mouth. And indeed, as one gets more and more dehydrated, the urine concentrates, and so does tear fluid. But one can reverse that with rehydration, raising the exciting prospect that improving whole-body hydration by getting people to drink more water might confer important therapeutic effects for patients with dry eyes. The researchers recommend eight cups of water a day for women and ten cups a day for men.”

– Dark leafy greens help to support eye health. And that those with the highest consumption of carotenoid-rich vegetables, especially ones rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, had increased vision health.

– Consume organic fruits on empty stomach. It will have alkalise your body for more optimal health and hydration.

– Place a warm wet compress on your eyes 2 or 3 times a day for at least 5 minutes or longer. It will impose a relaxing effect on the eyes and promotes a healthier tear flow. Instead of water you can use herbal teas such as calendula, eyebright, chamomile, etc.

– Position your computer screen below eye level.

– Every day eat fresh raw (not cooked) sprouts (alfalfa sprouts, watercress sprouts, sunflower sprouts, etc.).
The process of seed germination results in a dramatic increase in their vitamin, mineral and phytochemical content. According to Dr. J. Mercola, „Sprouts can contain up to 30 times the nutrition of organic vegetables! Sprouted seed, nut or bean has a whopping 43 times the enzyme power when compared to the non-sprouted variety! Sprouts are the highest source of ENZYMES which improve digestion of food and absorption of essential nutrients.”
Sprouts are also bioactive food as they are the only plant based food that is still growing as we consume them! Purchasing very inexpensive sprouts at retail stores is the simplest method for adding sprouts to your menu, but growing them at home on a large tray with soil is much better. Using good quality soil to grow your own sprouts, you make them organic and free from pesticides and other unwanted chemicals. I make my own sunflower sprouts as they are most delicious and very potent. Try to avoid consuming the same type of sprouts every day for a longer period of time. Instead use variety of different sprouts but the most important seem to be fresh sunflower sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, and watercress sprouts. On YouTube you will find numerous videos explaining how to make your own sprouts at home.

– Drink 1 or 2 glasses of fresh raw and possibly cold-pressed (using slow juicer) vegetable juices (carrots, beets, broccoli, kale or spinach, etc.)  2 to 3 times a day before meals or instead. It is even better to have them with chlorella or spirulina, alfalfa, turmeric and barley grass. If you want to maintain your health drink 2 to 3 times 1 glass. In case your intension is to treat different health problems such as cancer, etc. you need to have 2 glasses 3 to 4 times a day.

Zinc: 15-30mg a day after meal

– Every day have at least two tablespoons of soaked overnight in water (or plant milk) chia seed with meal as it regulates blood glucose, increases energy, helps to reduce appetite and lose weight, and increases energy. Chia seed is also one of the highest plant sources of the very beneficial and anti-inflammatory omega 3 fatty acids.

– Avoid or at least significantly reduce consumption of dairy and meat products. If you only reduce consumption of animal foods, bad fats, sugar, and refined foods you may not see positive results quickly and get discouraged as a result. Go to RECIPES > in order to learn how to substitute animal foods.

– Eliminate the following from your diet: Animal fats, margarines (high in dangerous trans-fats), and bad oils (sunflower oil, soya oil, corn oil, vegetable oil, etc.) as they are high in pro-inflammatory polyunsaturated fatty acid. For cooking use only raw organic coconut oil. For salad dressing you may use cold pressed flax oil (but not for cooking).

OMEGA 7 TESTIMONIALS

Julie Martin, 56: “After taking Omega 7 capsules (Pharma Nord) for 3 weeks my mouth started feeling moister. After 6 weeks my eyes were healthier and moister.”

“When one of Linda’s friends recommended that she try Sea Buckthorn oil, an Omega 7 supplement, she didn’t have anything to lose. Sea Buckthorn is a berry that has been used in Asian traditional medicine for more than a thousand years. The oil is rich in beta carotene, vitamins and Omegas 3, 6, 7 and 9. Pharmacist Dennis Gore explains: ‘As we grow older the body finds it harder to repair itself. The water from the tears isn’t enough to lubricate the eye and in extreme cases the cornea can be damaged and eyesight is affected. It is the lack of oil in the eye that makes it feel dry and the Omega 7 found in Sea Buckthorn helps to replace this’. Within a few weeks of taking two capsules three times a day, Linda began to notice a change. ‘I didn’t really think it would work but one day when I had forgotten my eye drops I braced myself for a day of discomfort that never came. My eyes didn’t water as they always had. It also had other effects. I’d suffered with my lower back, caused by a cracked disc, for years but since taking the Sea Buckthorn oil it hasn’t bothered me. The Omega 7 is also supposed to help with the menopause, which I’ve just started going through, and although I’ve had a few hot flushes, I’ve barely suffered. It may be a placebo effect but I never expected to see such a difference.”

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