Best Home Remedies For Red Eyes
Remedies for red eyes will depend on the specific cause. For eye strain, take regular eye breaks, position your computer comfortably, avoid glare, and exercise your eyes. For dry eyes, use humidifiers, wear specialized glasses, and have omega 3 fatty acids. For sun exposure, wear sunglasses, avoid contacts, and use an ice pack. For conjunctivitis, use an eye compress, try chamomile, euphrasia, or honey, and check out homeopathy. For blepharitis, adopt a good eye hygiene routine. For iritis, try turmeric.
Are you suffering from reddened eyes and looking for a remedy? Various conditions can cause red eyes and the treatment naturally depends on what’s causing it. Let’s take a look at a few home remedies that can be helpful for certain conditions which can make your eyes red.
1. Home Remedies For Red Eye Caused By Eye Fatigue
Eye strain is a common reason for red eyes that can easily be remedied. Try the following remedies:
Take A Break
Rest your eyes if you need to do use a computer continuously for a while. Take a 15-minute break from your computer every 2 hours. Also, follow the 20:20:20 rule: take a break of about 20 seconds to look into the distance (about 20 feet away) after every 20 minutes spent on the computer. This will give your eyes a chance to refocus. Consciously blinking will also help hydrate your eyes.1
Position Yourself Comfortably
Make sure that your computer is positioned in a way that reduces eye strain. Ideally, the center of the screen should be around 4 or 5 inches below eye level at a distance of 20 to 28 inches from you.2
Let There Be Light
Make sure that you have sufficient light while you work. Any glare coming off your computer screen can strain your eyes, so try to avoid that. An anti-glare filter may help you with this.3
If there is no way to minimize glare from light sources, consider using a screen glare filter. These filters decrease the amount of light reflected from the screen.
Exercise Your Eyes
You might be a yoga enthusiast but did you know that your eyes can benefit from yoga too? Practice eye exercises that can help relax your eyes. Try
- Palming: Rub the palms of your hands together till they feel warm. Now close your eyes and place your palms over them without exerting pressure till the heat from your palms has been absorbed by your eyes. Repeat thrice.
- Blinking: Blink your eyes 10 times rapidly. Now close your eyes and take 5 to 6 relaxed breaths. Repeat 5 times.
- Sideways Viewing: Sit with your spine straight and your legs stretched out. Now extend both your arms straight ahead and make a thumbs up sign with your hands. Then without moving your head focus your eyes on the following positions one after the other: a) left thumb, b) space between your eyebrows, c) right thumb d) space between your eyebrows e) left thumb. Repeat this exercise 10 times.4
2. Red Eye Caused By Dry Eyes
This condition causes your eyes to become red and swollen because they can’t produce sufficient tears to lubricate themselves. If an underlying condition like blepharitis is causing your dry eyes then dealing with it can be helpful. Your doctor may advise eye drops that lubricate your eyes or medicines to lessen inflammation. Here are some things that you can do to ease the symptoms caused by this condition.
Get Environmental Protection
Wind, smoke, hot air, and dust can irritate your eyes. Use wrap-around glasses to protect your eyes from these. Also, avoid using eye makeup which can block glands in your eyelids.
Use Specialized Glasses
Specialized glasses known as moisture chamber spectacles are sometimes used to treat dry eye. They wrap around your eyes and protect them from irritants as well as help to retain moisture. Your doctor may also advise the use of special contact lenses if normal lenses are causing dry eyes.
Use A Humidifier
A humidifier can increase moisture in your surrounding and help to improve the symptoms of dry eye. You can also use an air filter if your environment is dusty and it’s irritating to your eyes. 5
Get Your Omegas
Having omega 3 fatty acids may help improve dry eyes. You can get these beneficial fats from oily fish like sardines, salmon, and tuna as well as soy products, leafy vegetables, and vegetable oils. Omega 7, which is found in sea buckthorn oil, can be useful too. 6
3. Red Eye Caused By Sun Exposure
Excess exposure to ultraviolet rays can cause a painful inflammation of the cornea known as a flash burn. This is akin to a sunburn in your skin. Your cornea usually heals in a couple of days. But it’s important to see a doctor as this condition can leave you open to an infection which can cause vision loss. Your doctor may advise dilating drops which help your eyes heal, cover your eyes with a dressing to allow them rest, and prescribe antibiotics. 7 Meanwhile, here are a couple of things that you can do.
Wear good quality sunglasses that block 99 to 100% of UV-A and UV-B rays. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat can also block the sun’s rays from getting to your eyes.
Avoid Contact Lenses
Avoid wearing your contact lens if you’re suffering from flash eyes as this can irritate your eyes.8
Use An Ice Pack
You can fill a plastic bag with ice, wrap it in a towel and place it over your eyes for around 20 minutes to lessen the pain.9
4. Red Eye Caused By Conjunctivitis
Inflammation of the tissue that covers your eye in the front can cause your eye to redden when you have conjunctivitis. This condition can be caused by viral and bacterial infections as well as irritants and allergies. This condition usually clears up on its own in a couple of weeks but your doctor may prescribe antibiotics in certain cases. Here are some helpful steps that you can take.
Use An Eye Compress
Applying a warm compress thrice a day for around 5 to 10 minutes to your eyes can lessen the discomfort caused by bacterial or viral conjunctivitis. Meanwhile, a cool compress may be more soothing if you have allergic conjunctivitis. You can also use a damp, cold tea bag as a compress.10 11
Try Natural Remedies
Some natural and herbal remedies have been found to be effective at treating conjunctivitis. But do keep in mind that it’s important to check in with your doctor before starting any of these treatments:
Chamomile can serve as a soothing eyewash if you have conjunctivitis. The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of this herb may be responsible for its effectiveness.12 Steep 2 to 3 teaspoons of chamomile in a pint of boiling water. Strain and cool this tea before using it as an eye wash.13
Honey can be helpful in clearing up bacterial conjunctivitis. An animal study found that the topical application of honey lessened redness, swelling, and pus discharge.14 You can soak a sterile cotton swab in clean water to which medical grade honey has been added and leave it for a few minutes on your eyes.[
Euphrasia has traditionally been used to treat eye disorders. The healing capacity of this herb has been attributed to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties.15 According to one study, euphrasia eye drops were effective at clearing conjunctivitis completely in 81.5% participants while 17% showed marked improvements.16
Steep a teaspoon of euphrasia in a cup of boiling water for 10 minutes and strain. Wait for the solution to cool before using it as an eye wash. 17
Check Out Homeopathy
Homeopathy has several remedies for conjunctivitis. Medicinal preparations like argent nit (nitrate of silver), apis mel (a remedy made from honey bees), or belladonna (deadly nightshade) may be recommended by your homeopathic doctor depending on the particulars of your case. Do keep in mind that homeopathic remedies can vary depending on the individual and it’s important to get the advice of a homeopathic doctor before trying out a remedy.18
5. Red Eye Caused By Blepharitis
Blepharitis, a condition where you see swelling and redness at the edges of your eyelids, occurs as a reaction against bacteria. Skin disorders like seborrhoeic dermatitis are also associated with this condition. Good eye hygiene can be helpful if you have blepharitis.
Try This Eye-Care Regimen
Follow this routine twice a day to effectively cleans grime and oily debris from your eyes.
Use A Warm Compress
Soak a clean towel in water that has been boiled and cooled to a comfortable warm temperature. Place this over your eyes for around 10 minutes for relief. Remember to soak the towel in warm water again if it goes cold. This makes the oil secreted by the glands in your eyes more fluid.
Get An Eyelid Massage
Massage your closed eyes gently in a circular motion with your little finger. Then roll a cotton bud over your closed lids toward the edges of your eyes to push oils out of your glands.
Scrub Your Lids
Fill a vessel with a pint of water that has been boiled and then allowed to cool to a warm temperature. Now add a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda to this water to make a cleaning solution. Dip a clean cotton swab into this solution and gently clean your eyelids and eyelashes removing all dirt, crusts, and germs 19
Clean With Baby Shampoo
Place a warm washcloth over your eyes to loosen crusts. Now dilute about 3 drops of baby shampoo in 3 ounces of warm water and use this solution to wipe away crusts and debris with a clean cloth. Finally, wash your eyes in warm water and dry them off. Do this a couple of times a day.20
6. Red Eye Caused By Iritis
Inflammation of your iris which is known as iritis can also cause red eyes. Steroid medications are usually used to treat this condition but research indicates that curcumin, a component present in turmeric, can be as effective as steroid medications.21 Do speak to your doctor to find out if this remedy will work for you and how you need to take it.
References [ + ]
|1, 2.||↑||Computer Vision Syndrome. American Optometric Association.|
|3.||↑||Eye safety. National Health Service.|
|4.||↑||Saraswati, Swami Satyananda, and Janez Kristijan Hiti. Asana pranayama mudra bandha. Bihar Yoga Bharati, 1996.|
|5, 6.||↑||Dry eye syndrome – Self-help . National Health Service.|
|7.||↑||Eyes – flash burns. Department of Health & Human Services.|
|8.||↑||Prevent Eye Damage. United States Environmental Protection Agency.|
|9.||↑||Flash Burn to Eye. Fairview Health Services.|
|10, 13, 17.||↑||Longe, Jacqueline L. The Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine. Gale Cengage, 2005.|
|11.||↑||Conjunctivitis or pink eye. National Institutes of Health.|
|12, 15.||↑||Hechtman, Leah. Clinical naturopathic medicine. Elsevier Health Sciences, 2013.|
|14.||↑||Al-Waili, Noori S. “Investigating the antimicrobial activity of natural honey and its effects on the pathogenic bacterial infections of surgical wounds and conjunctiva.” Journal of medicinal food 7, no. 2 (2004): 210-222.|
|16.||↑||Stoss, Matthias, Christoph Michels, Ellen Peter, Ramona Beutke, and Robert William Gorter. “Prospective cohort trial of Euphrasia single-dose eye drops in conjunctivitis.” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 6, no. 6 (2000): 499-508.|
|18.||↑||Eye conditions. British Homeopathic Association.|
|19.||↑||Blepharitis – Treatment. National Health Service.|
|20.||↑||Komaroff, Anthony L., ed. Harvard Medical School family health guide. Simon and Schuster, 2005.|
|21.||↑||Lal, B., A. K. Kapoor, O. P. Asthana, P. K. Agrawal, R. Prasad, P. Kumar, and R. C. Srimal. “Efficacy of curcumin in the management of chronic anterior uveitis.” Phytotherapy Research 13, no. 4 (1999): 318-322.|