With summer upon us, many of us are now fighting hot, dry eyes on a regular basis. Here’s a couple of ways to keep your eyes moist naturally…without resorting to store-bought eye drops replete with chemical preservatives.
- Blink frequently. Closing the eyes releases moisture into the eyes via the tear ducts.
- If you are on the computer or watching television, use the 20/20 rule: close your eyes for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
- Position your computer lower than your eyes so your eyes aren’t wide open. This slightly reduces the surface of the eyes to the drying effects of air and wind exposure.
- If you live in a dry climate or it’s a dry season of the year (generally Fall and early Winter), invest in a humidifier for your home.
- Air filters can also help by removing irritating dust and particles before they enter the eye.
- Eat naturally oily fish. According to WebMD, “Salmon and tuna, for example, or sardines, trout, and mackerel all contain omega-3 fatty acids. Research suggests these healthy fats help the oil-making glands in your eye work better, which can ease irritation.”
- Avoid direct air flow on your eyes from appliances like hair dryers fans and air conditioners.
- Wear wrap-around sunglasses outdoors to protect eyes from drying winds, which cause tears to evaporate more quickly.
- Make your own chemical-free saline solution and use it to moisten your eyes daily. It’s easy to do. Take ½ tsp of sea salt or Himalayan pink salt. Mix with 1 cup of pure, hot water. Boil for 15 minutes. Pour into a sanitized glass bottle (preferably one with an eye dropper). Wait until cooled, and then use within 24 hours. For a deeper treatment or to clean dust and dirt out of your eyes, fill an eye cup with the saline, place eye cup tightly over one eye and tilt your head back for 1-5 minutes. Lower head over sink, empty and rinse eye cup. Repeat with other eye. A variation on this cleansing technique that is more cooling for summer is to make a 50/50 mix of rose water (without glycerin) and distilled water and bathe eyes in mix using eye cups.
- Ayurveda has wonderful techniques for treating glaucoma, preventing cataracts and improving general dry eyes and vision with triphala ghee. See a licensed practitioner for the clinical version. You can also soothe dry eyes occasionally by placing a little warm ghee or triphala ghee on your finger and spreading it over your eyelids. Remove with a tissue after approximately 10 minutes.
Chronic dry eyes can contribute to many negative eye conditions if not addressed. Use these preventive measures to keep your eyes fresh, beautiful and healthy for life.
The sole purpose of this article is to provide information about the tradition of Ayurveda. This information is not intended for use in the diagnosis, treatment, cure or prevention of any disease. If you have an acute or chronic health concern, please consult a trained health professional who can fully assess your needs and address them effectively. If you are seeking the advice of a trained ayurvedic expert, call or email Karen Callahan at info@positivelyayurvedic.