black and white closeup of girl's eyes with bags over forehead

11 Ways to Get Rid of Dry Eyes

As published on:

Dry eyes can make your eyes feel itchy and gritty all day. But you don’t have to sit back and endure the discomfort. There are ways you can get rid of dry eyes symptoms.

Even if you can’t cure the underlying causes of chronic dry eyes, there’s a lot you can do to alleviate symptoms.

Some treatments, like medication and tear duct-blockers, are prescribed by your doctor. Others, like taking an eye health supplement, are measures you can take yourself.

There are also ways you can prevent dry eyes in the first place. Start by blinking more often, reducing exposure to blue light, eating healthy, and giving up smoking.

Take a look at these 11 tips for healthier, happier eyes.

1. Take Prescribed Medication

The right medication prescribed by your doctor will treat the underlying cause of dry eyes. Medication can help reduce eyelid inflammation, stimulate tear production, and keep your eye lubricated for long periods.

You can take medications orally or through eye drops. In addition, your doctor may recommend the application of ointments at night. These help soothe symptoms of inflammation and irritation and prevent tear evaporation.

But bear in mind that the long-term use of eye drops can make dry eyes worse

2. Rest Your Eyes and Blink Often

Reading at night, watching TV, knitting, or doing other detailed work can tire and dry out your eyes. It’s important to take breaks in between. This will rest your eyes and help them regain some of their moisture.

Also, blink more often. Blinking will spread the tear film evenly over the surface of your eyes. This will help moisten and nourish them by supplying essential nutrients and oxygen.

Your blink rate can drop significantly while looking at a screen or reading, so remember to blink!

3. Reduce Screen Time

If you’re sitting in front of a computer or using your smartphone all day, your dry eye symptoms can get worse. That’s because your blink rate slows down while you’re using these devices. Better limit the time you spend before screens.

You can follow the 20-20-20 rule. Take a break from the screen and look at a wall 20 feet away every 20 minutes for 20 seconds. You should also keep the screen at arm’s length to reduce eyestrain.

woman using computer at night in dimly lit room

Tip: Turn on the blue light filter on all your devices. It may help reduce eye fatigue, lessen migraine attacks, and improve the quality of your sleep.

4. Apply a Warm Compress

Applying a warm washcloth is an effective dry eyes remedy you can try at home. You can simply soak the washcloth in hot water and place it on your eyes for a minute. Repeat a few times until your eyes feel relaxed.

The warmth will help release clogged oil from your eyelids and reduce inflammation. You may even notice an improvement in the quality of your tears.

Tip: For best results, apply the warm compress for at least 10 minutes twice a day.

5. Eat a Nutritious Diet

A study shows that eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help relieve dryness. So, include flaxseeds, chia seeds, soybean and palm oil, fish and other seafood, walnuts, and eggs in your diet.

You can also add vitamin A and vitamin D, lutein, and zinc to your food. These nutrients will improve your eye health, reduce inflammation, and support tear production.

6. Try Artificial Tears

Artificial tears can help relieve symptoms like dryness, itchiness, burning sensation, and constant watering of the eyes. They can provide instant relief and will moisten the surface of your eye.

But wetting drops don’t cure the underlying causes of dry eyes so don’t expect miracles from them.

You can opt for over-the-counter or prescription artificial tears. These come with or without preservatives.

The benefit of using artificial tears with preservatives is that you can use them for long periods. But preservatives may irritate your eye or cause allergic reactions.

As already noted, long-term use of artificial tears can worsen dry eyes and cause other symptoms. You may want to discuss treatment options with your doctor.

7. Wear Sunglasses

How to get rid of dry eyes using sunglassesWearing sunglasses every day will keep the wind and dry air out. That way, your eyes will feel moistened and comfortable when you’re outside.

young woman wearing sunglasses outdoors

Make sure to also wear sunglasses when you’re riding a bike or motorcycle, driving a convertible, skiing, or paragliding.

What’s more, there are also specific glasses for dry eyes with moisture chambers. You can find these glasses in drug stores.

8. Use Punctal Plugs

Another dry eye treatment is using punctal plugs. These are tiny devices that block your tear ducts. They work like the drain stopper in bathtubs and help keep the surface of your eye moist all through the day.

Punctal plugs relieve symptoms of dry, itchy, and burning eyes. Your eye doctor will examine your eye before inserting the plug in your eye.

There are different types of plugs, like silicone and acrylic plugs. Your doctor will suggest the right one for you.

9. Use a Humidifier

Low humidity in the air can cause dry eyes, too. The symptoms are even more prominent during the winter months. It’s good to have a humidifier in your living area or bedroom, and one in your office.

Humidifiers add moisture to the air. As a result, your tears will dry slowly, keeping your eyes moist and comfortable. Also, avoid using a hairdryer, heater, or air conditioner. All these devices decrease humidity levels in the air.

10. Make Lifestyle Changes

Your lifestyle and everyday habits can improve your dry eyes. Stay hydrated to improve tear production. If you’re wearing contact lenses, switch to glasses as wearing these can reduce the amount of oxygen your eyes receive.

woman drinking water from transparent glass seen in profile

Make sure to remove your eye makeup at the end of the day. Clean your eyelids before bedtime to remove bacteria that can inflame your eyelids and make them flakey. And finally, if you smoke, quit to reduce direct eye exposure to pollution.

Tip: You can also massage your eyelids gently, near your eyelashes. Do this before bedtime to stimulate your tear glands and reduce dryness in the morning.

11. Take an Eye Health Supplement

Nutritional deficiencies can contribute to dry eyes and make symptoms worse. They may affect your tear gland’s ability to produce enough tears. They may also lower the quality of the tear film that lubricates your eyes.

SightC from Sightsage is an easy-to-take, plant-based vision health supplement informed by over 30 years of clinical experience in treating patients with eye problems.

It’s rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients, including lutein, zeaxanthin, and beta-carotene, which are scientifically proven to help maintain healthy vision. 

Learn more about SightC.

Back to blog