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Dry eyes are a common problem. due to a secretion disorder) and is felt primarily as an unpleasant rubbing. Many causes can be responsible for the symptom, for example conjunctivitis or hormonal changes. Last but not least, because the irritation can permanently lead to eye inflammation, the dryness should be counteracted. A wide range of options are available, particularly from the pool of experience and naturopathy.
Dry eye and accompanying symptoms
Dry eyes are primarily perceived as rubbing and stinging, as a grain of sand or a foreign body feeling. Depending on the cause, the dry feeling in the eyes can be accompanied by burning, itching, reddening of the eyes and eye fatigue. In some cases, those affected also complain of fibrillation of the eyes, eye pain or a change in the feeling of dryness and increased lacrimation.
Especially in the morning after waking up, the eyes are dry and difficult to open. Usually both eyes are affected, but one-sided dry eyes can also occur. If left untreated, dryness from rubbing can lead to conjunctivitis (conjunctivitis sicca) or corneal inflammation.
Possible causes of dry eyes
There are numerous causes of dry eyes. It is very common as a symptom of conjunctivitis and rheumatism or as a side effect of medication (e.g. "pill") and lack of sleep.
In many cases, however, the problem also exists in women after the menopause, because a reduced function of the lacrimal glands can occur as part of hormonal changes. Too long wearing times of contact lenses with low oxygen permeability and low water content, which also sit poorly, can also promote a foreign body feeling in the eye and irritation.
Different environmental influences can cause dry eyes. These include dust, smoke, ozone, UV rays, dry heat in the sauna or heated rooms, air conditioning, wind, drafts and cosmetics. Other causes include age-related tears and a vitamin A deficiency, which is caused, among other things, by liver dysfunction.
According to the experience of traditional Chinese medicine, eye complaints and diseases are always associated with liver disorders, while Indian medicine associates them with excessive (energetic) heat.
If you watch TV for a long time or work or play on the screen, there may be a delay in the blinking frequency and dry eyes (so-called Office Eye Syndrome or Gamer Eye). Inadequate fluid intake is also a possible cause. This could result from bottlenecks for the vessels or for the supplying nerves.
Unilateral dry eye is less common and is usually due to drafts, unilateral conjunctivitis, or lack of eyelid closure, such as paralysis of an eyelid.
Treatment for dry eyes
In conventional medicine, artificial tear fluid for local wetting is usually used to relieve the symptoms. However, naturopathy has numerous non-medicinal measures available to counteract dry eyes through internal applications. This is based on the assumption that the eyes are also connected to the entire organism.
Danger: In the case of inflammatory processes, suspected rheumatism, liver disorders or other organic diseases, a medical examination should be carried out.
Naturopathic treatment for external use
On the outside, experience with Ayurveda aloe vera gel and rose water can provide the eyes with cooling and moisture. A refreshment with cornflowers and stone clover provides refreshment for tired and sensitive eyes.Refreshment pad for the eyes:
- 300 ml of distilled water or spring water
- 10 g cornflowers
- 10 g stone clover
- 20 g ribwort plantain
Bring the water to a boil and add the herbs. Let the infusion brew for 10 minutes, then strain it through a sieve or pass cloth and wait until the liquid has cooled. Now two cotton pads are soaked in the broth, drained a little and placed on the closed eyes. The remaining liquid can be stored well in a sterile, sealable bottle.
If the feeling of dryness occurs due to eye strain (e.g. after a long working day in front of the PC monitor), rinsing with parsley can alleviate the symptoms. Because the medicinal herb is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, lutein and zeaxanthin - substances that are very important for the eyesight and health of the eyes. For the application you need a so-called eye bath, which is available in every pharmacy.Parsley rinse for dry eyes:
- Bring about 750 ml of water to the boil
- Wash a handful of fresh parsley thoroughly under running water
- Now the herb is scalded with the boiling water
- Let the infusion steep for a few hours and then filter it carefully
- Fill the eye bath with the broth
- Hold the container close to your eye with your head bent, then gently tilt your head back
- Open the eye and rinse it by slowly moving the head back and forth
- If necessary, the application can be repeated several times a day
A proven home remedy for conjunctivitis, tired eyes or e.g. in case of inflammation of the eyelid (barley grain) there is a covering with eyebright (euphrasia). The plant has an analgesic, cleansing and anti-inflammatory effect - especially on the eyes - and has therefore been valued for centuries as a natural remedy for problems and injuries in the area of the eyes.Eyebright compress:
- Put two teaspoons of eyebright herb in a saucepan
- Pour 250 ml of cold water over it
- Boil the whole thing up
- After two minutes of steeping, the infusion is carefully filtered
- Soak a cotton pad in the cooled brew and place it on the closed eye
Home remedies for dry eyes for internal use
Licorice is recommended for internal use, among other things, because it should have a moisturizing and cooling effect (beware of high blood pressure!).
A tea with the tried and tested eye medicinal herb Euphrasia supports the clarification of the eyes from the inside.Recipe for eyebright tea:
- Put a tablespoon of dried or two tablespoons of fresh eyebright herb in a jug
- Pour half a liter of boiling water over it
- Let the infusion steep for 10 minutes before straining
- Drink three cups of the tea throughout the day
Help through Chinese medicine and osteopathy
Chinese medicine works with medicinal herbs for eye complaints, which among other things are said to be related to the liver meridian. By treating acupuncture points on this meridian, causal energy weaknesses are to be compensated for.
From the mechanical point of view of naturopathic manual forms of treatment such as osteopathy, and here in particular craniosacral osteopathy, attempts are made to clear the inflow paths for all vessels in the event of a functional problem with mechanical pressure or tension.
Tips for avoiding dry eyes
People who are constantly in front of the screen should deliberately keep their eyes on another target for a moment or close their eyelids for a few seconds in the meantime. The eyes should always get fresh air, especially when staying in heated or air-conditioned rooms.
Contact lens wearers can alleviate the symptoms by installing a break (preferably) in the middle of the day. In any case, enough water should be drunk to avoid internal dehydration. (jvs, nr)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Jeanette Viñals Stein, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch
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- Hans-Jürgen Hettenkofer, Matthias Schneider, Jürgen Braun: Rheumatology: Diagnostics - Clinic - Therapy, Thieme, 2014
- Wolfgang Schachinger et al .: Handbook Ayurveda, Trias, 2005
- Xiaobo Zhang et al .: "Dry Eye Management: Targeting the Ocular Surface Microenvironment", in: International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Volume 18 Issue 7, 2017, mdpi.com