1 out of every 3 people has dry eyes. This is a condition where your eyes sting, feel gritty and overly sensitive. This condition also known as Xerophthalmia or Keratitis Sicca causes when the tear fluid is produced too slowly or evaporates too quickly.
Dry eyes can happen to people of any age but older people are at higher risk. There are many factors that cause dry eyes like Diuretics, ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme), Antihistamines, Decongestants, Sleeping pills, Birth control pills, Antidepressants, Acne medications with isotretinoin, Morphine and other opiates.
Some medical conditions which affect the eyes and tear ducts can also be the cause. Some of these are shingles, HIV, Bell’s palsy, arthritis, diabetes, and lupus.
Skin conditions such as rosacea can also result in inflammation along the eyelids or clogged glands, interfering with healthy tear production.
A very easy and effective way of treating dry eyes is to use Coconut oil. Let’s see why.
Why Use Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a versatile ingredient which offers various benefits and uses. It has anti-inflammatory and moisturizing agents which help in keeping the eyes nourished.
Coconut oil has the below-mentioned properties
- Antibacterial: Treats and stops infections.
- Anticarcinogenic: Keeps harmful cells from spreading, while boosting immunity.
- Antifungal: Destroys infection-promoting fungus and yeast.
- Anti-inflammatory: Suppresses inflammation and repairs tissue.
- Antimicrobial: Deactivates harmful microbes and fights infection.
- Antioxidant: Protects from free radical damage.
- Antiparasitic: Gets rid of parasites from the body.
- Antiprotozoal: Kills protozoal infection.
- Antiviral: Gets rid of and Kills viruses.
- Absorption: Very easy to digest and makes nutrients readily available.
Coconut oil is loaded with a very powerful antimicrobial fatty acid called lauric acid, also found in breast milk. Lauric acid converts to monolaurin in the body which has antibacterial, and antiviral properties.
Coconut oil also contains another fatty acid called capric acid which treats infections very effectively as it has antimicrobial and antiviral properties. It fights viruses, bacteria, and yeast.
Virgin coconut oil is just not a composition of fatty acids but it also acts as a protective layer over the tear film layers from evaporation. Virgin coconut oil proves an effective remedy for those with dry eyes problem as it has anti-inflammatory properties.
It has been shown that Virgin Coconut Oil did not cause harmful effects when used on rabbits’ eyes. This finding suggests that this oil is safe to be used on human’s eyes. (1) The beneficial effect of VCO is most likely attributed to its anti-inflammatory properties, which is similar to those of natural tears.”
[Read: Benefits of Coconut Oil]
How to Use Coconut Oil for Dry Eye
Method – 1
- 6 drops of organic Virgin coconut oil
- A clean and dry dropper
- Add 6 drops of organic virgin coconut oil into a clean dropper.
- Put 2 to 3 drops of this oil in each eye.
- Blink both the eyes for 3 to 4 times.
How Many Times
Put coconut oil eye drops 2 times a day (every morning and night) for a speedy recovery.
Coconut oil has moisturizing and anti-inflammatory properties which help in providing instant lubrication to your dry and itchy eyes (2).
Method – 2
- 2 tablespoons of organic Virgin Coconut Oil
- 2 clean and dry cotton balls
- A small bowl
- Add 2 tablespoons of organic virgin coconut oil in a small bowl.
- Soak 2 clean and dry cotton balls in the oil.
- Close your eyes and rub the oil-soaked cotton balls against your eyes.
How many times
Do this for 5 to 7 minutes two times a day.
Coconut oil also contains another fatty acid called capric acid which treats infections very effectively as it has antimicrobial and antiviral properties. It fights viruses, bacteria, and yeast, thus providing you relief.
Method – 3
Massaging your eyelids will stimulate and re-activate your tear glands which will help prevent dry eyes. Massaging also improves blood circulation to your eyes and provides relaxation to the muscles surrounding them.
- Place a few drops of coconut oil on your fingertips.
- Gently rub the oil over your closed eyelids and massage for about 1 minute.
- Place your palms over your eyelids and cover them completely for another couple of minutes.
- Repeat this 2 to 3 times a day.
Things To Avoid If You Have Dry Eyes
Tobacco has more than 4000 different chemicals like acetone and formaldehyde which are highly toxic and aggravate the eyes and its tissues. Smokers are twice as likely to suffer from dry eyes compared to non-smokers. Coconut oil helps you to soothe the irritation caused by cigarette smoke.
Alcohol is another potential irritant for dry eyes. Consuming even a small amount of alcohol may increase and exasperate symptoms of dry eyes.
Below is the list of things you have to avoid if you have dry eyes.
- Prolonged computer use
- Consistent Smoking
- Excess Air conditioning
- Excessive caffeine consumption
- Dry and windy places
- Frequently rubbing your eyes
- Dehydration is one of the most common causes of this annoying condition, so make sure to increase your fluid intake to keep your body hydrated.
- Take plenty of breaks when using the computer, reading or watching TV.
- Try staying indoors when it is windy.
- Stop smoking and avoid exposure to passive smoking too.
- Acidic foods can aggravate the symptoms of dry eyes, so avoid such foods until you get rid of them.
- Avoid dry environments as dry air acts as an irritant and can worsen your condition.
Apart from following the above-mentioned remedies, also follow the other additional tips mentioned to get rid of the symptoms of dry eyes. Also, eat nutritional food and drink lots of fluids to keep the body and your eyes hydrated.