4 Strategies for Natural Dry Eye Treatment

Suffering from the sting and blurred vision of dry eye syndrome? Look to these natural dry eye treatment options---effective, safe, and easy to do at home.

natural dry eye treatment

Doctors at the Eye Institute of Wyoming recently introduced a new machine, Lipiflow, that helps the eye's tear glands produce natural tears.

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Did you know Oct. 12, 2017 is World Sight Day? The event is designed to attract global attention to blindness prevention, vision impairment, and other eyesight issues. One increasingly common ailment that now affects more than 25 million Americans: dry eye syndrome. Stinging eyes, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, and eye fatigue are just some of the uncomfortable symptoms. Fortunately, there are natural dry eye treatment options that can help.

Simply put, people with dry eyes don’t produce enough tears, or they produce poor-quality tears, so their eyes don’t stay properly moisturized. The result is irritation and discomfort in the eyes.

While prescription medications (which sometimes include chemotherapy drugs) bring some people relief, they can have serious side effects and can cause more harm than good. Instead, look to these natural dry eye treatment options, which are effective, safe, and easy to do at home.


Simply adjusting a few habits and taking all-natural supplements can make a world of difference if you suffer from dry eye syndrome. Start by making sure you’re drinking plenty of water daily. Then, add an omega-3 supplement to your daily routine to see if your symptoms improve. Consider also the amount of vitamin D you get. And, of course, stay away from eye-irritating conditions and elements.

1. Hydrate

Tears are made up of a mixture of water, oil, and mucus. People with dry eye tend to show signs of poor hydration. Because your body needs adequate amounts of water to make plenty of high-quality tears, staying hydrated is one of the most important steps you can take in controlling dry eyes.

Read more about why it’s important to stay hydrated and find tips for drinking enough water daily by clicking here.[1]

2. Boost Your Omega-3 Intake

A recent study found that one of the protective factors against having dry eye syndrome is consuming a diet high in omega-3 fatty acids.[2] Along with plenty of water, tear production also requires fatty oils. Supplementing with healthy omega-3 fatty acids is a very effective dry eye natural remedy.[3-5]

A large meta-analysis published in 2014 found that participants who took omega-3 supplements had better scores on two dry eye syndrome tests (the tear break-up time and Schirmer’s tests).[3] You can boost your omega-3 intake by taking a supplement like fish oil, or by consuming these foods with omega 3s.

3. Avoid Eye-Aggravating Factors

Many people find that certain environmental conditions and habits can make their symptoms worse. For example, tasks that require concentration (where you tend to keep your eyes open and blink less often) may worsen dry eyes. When doing something like reading, using a computer, or driving for prolonged periods, try to take breaks regularly to let your eyes recover and get moist. Wind, dry air, and smoke are also often aggravating to the condition.

4. Get Enough Vitamin D

Vitamin D may also help dry eye symptoms. In one recent study, people who were deficient in vitamin D had significantly lower scores on both the Schirmer and tear break-up time tests, indicating that vitamin D levels may correlate with the severity of the condition.[6]

Learn how to get enough vitamin D to keep your eyes and your body healthy here.

Share Your Experience

Do you have dry eye syndrome? What natural treatment options have you tried? Did they work? Share your experience in the comments section below.



For further reading on how to protect your vision, see these University Health News posts:

[1] Clin Experiment Ophthalmol. 2015 May 7. [Epub ahead of print]

[2] Optom Vis Sci. 2015 Mar 10. [Epub ahead of print]

[3] “Med Sci Monit. 2014 Sep 6;20:1583-9.

[4] J Ophthalmic Vis Res. 2014 Oct-Dec;9(4):487-93.

[5] Mol Vis. 2015 May 11;21:555-67.

[6] Eye (Lond). 2015 Jun 12. [Epub ahead of print]

Originally published in 2014, this post is regularly updated.

As a service to our readers, University Health News offers a vast archive of free digital content. Please note the date published or last update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.

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UHN Staff

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  • I remember suffering from severe dry eyes a long time ago. It was so bad that cutting onions was something so painful for a long time that I found ways to do it where it will not hurt as much. I refrigerated the onions which helped cut down the sting when I cut them for cooking. In the afternoon I was useless because my eyes burnt and I would need to go to bed and sleep to recover. I did not read or use the computer after about 5 PM because I was totally useless. In the morning when I woke up, my eyelids would be glued together and I would have to clean my eyes by washing them before I can start the day. My doctor prescribed this expensive eye drops they advertise on tv all the time that cost without insurance about $350 per packet that contains a months supply. Good thing I had insurance so I only paid $35 but it did not work so I stopped. It was as good as systane, in fact the latter was better. I was so desperate because my life was cut short. Then I got one of those advertising booklets from Biowell that said all the good things that I was suffering from will be relieved including not being able to drive at night which was also my case. I tried their product called oculind plus. At first I did not notice anything but since I had the product, I just automatically took 2 every day. Months later I suddenly realized that I am not cleaning my eyes in the morning, did not hurt any more when I cut onions and most importantly, I can drive at night now. This is not a pitch for the biowell. They have not paid me anything or given me free samples but I tell everyone about my experience to share my good luck for finding this product. It might be expensive for some people but there are sales where they offer big discounts when it happens so I take advantage of those when they come. I tried being without it when I run out. It will do for a few months but I have to get the product again because then my symptoms come back. I am 77 years old now and when I started taking this, I was in my 50s, I think. I can never be without it. I spend a lot of money (a bulk of my social security check goes into these) so I can not certainly afford to keep this up but oculind plus is one I an not be without. I can afford to stop it maybe for a month or two but would certainly need to be on it again. I have not tried any other product that I have received in the mail that have almost the same ingredients and costs about as much because to me, if it works, why change? I have proven it so I will stay with it. I can read also all night if I have to without blur or pain. I can even read without glasses if I have to but I have to squint a little. Although my driver license says I need to drive with glasses, I do not have to now because I found out it did not make a difference when I misplaced my glasses and could not find them. I was in a hurry and left to go somewhere. It was fine. I did not need it. The only reason why I should have them is because if I was stopped and my license says I should have glasses on, I might get a ticket and you know how much it costs nowadays to get a ticket. I hope this helps someone. Try it for a few months and you will see. Do not give up like I said in my case, it did not happen right away. It was so subtle I forgot I had dry eyes.


  • I had dry eyes for years and was using various eye drops recommended by optician. Then one side of my mouth became very dry, such that I would wake up in the morning with that side of my tongue stuck to my teeth. Eventually that area of my tongue became “bald”, just a shiny patch. At this point my dentist suggested I see my GP. Tests were done for Sjogrens but came back negative. I’ve always been very health conscious, cod liver oil, plenty of Omega 3, etc. In my case extra Omega 6 (evening primrose) made all the difference, even though I thought I was getting the balance right. (I have wondered if I might have pyroluria, where there is a greater need for Omega 6.) Now I can even have the windows open in the car as we drive along!!! And at 72, I’m no youngster.?

  • Seabuckthorn oil capsules have proved very helpful to me. They contain Omega 7. Also I occasionally use a Dyson humidifier during the winter when the air indoors has been made very dry due to central heating. Anne

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