Dry Eye Home Remedies and Natural Treatments

Letzte Aktualisierung:
23. April 2024

dry eye home remedies

While eye drops are the most common treatment for dry eyes, providing immediate relief by moisturizing the eye surface, their frequent application can be inconvenient for many people. Fortunately, there are several effective home remedies and natural treatments that can help alleviate dry eye symptoms, offering a more sustainable approach to managing this condition.

1. Warm Compresses and Heated Eye Masks

Meibomian gland dysfunction, the leading cause of dry eyes, occurs when the glands responsible for producing the lipid layer of the tear film become blocked.1 Applying heat to the eyelids can help melt and release these obstructions, improving the quality of the tear film and reducing evaporation.2 To use warm compresses, soak a clean cloth in warm water (not too hot) and place it over closed eyes for several minutes. Alternatively, you can use a specially designed heated eye mask for added convenience.

2. Maintain Proper Eyelid Hygiene

Inflammation plays a significant role in the development and progression of dry eyes, making eyelid hygiene a crucial aspect of managing this condition.3 Cleaning your eyelids daily with a cotton pad soaked in Eyebright tea can help reduce inflammation and prevent bacterial growth. Eyebright, a medicinal plant known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, is often used in natural remedies for eye problems and is sometimes included in commercial eye drops.4

3. Prioritize Quality Sleep

A lack of restful sleep can contribute to the development and worsening of dry eye symptoms. Studies have demonstrated a clear link between poor sleep quality or insufficient sleep duration and an increased risk of dry eyes.5,6 Establishing a consistent sleep routine and ensuring you get enough quality sleep can help alleviate dry eye symptoms and promote overall eye health.

4. Increase Omega-3 Intake

Omega-3 fatty acids, known for their anti-inflammatory properties, can improve the composition of the lipid layer produced by the meibomian glands, reducing tear evaporation and maintaining eye moisture. The therapeutic benefits of omega-3 supplementation for dry eye syndrome have been well-documented.7 If you prefer not to take supplements, incorporating fatty fish like mackerel, salmon, and herring into your diet can help increase your omega-3 intake.

5. Ensure Adequate Vitamin A Intake

Vitamin A plays a vital role in maintaining eye health and function, with studies indicating that a deficiency in this essential nutrient can lead to dry eyes.8,9 While severe Vitamin A deficiency is rare, suboptimal levels can still impact eye health. To ensure an adequate supply, include Vitamin A-rich foods in your diet, such as pumpkin, carrots, sweet potatoes (which contain beta-carotene that the body converts to Vitamin A), and liver.

6. Limit Contact Lens Wear

Daily contact lens wear can contribute to the development of dry eyes, with many people citing this as the primary reason for discontinuing contact lens use.10 Opting for glasses more often can help reduce the strain on your eyes and improve dry eye symptoms.

7. Optimize Your Environment

Dry, heated air and air-conditioned environments can exacerbate dry eye symptoms. Using a humidifier to increase air moisture levels can help alleviate discomfort and prevent further irritation.

8. Practice Conscious Blinking

The average person blinks around 17 times per minute, but this rate can drop significantly when focusing on tasks like working at a computer.11,12 Since blinking helps distribute tear film and moisturize the eye surface, a reduced blink rate can contribute to dry eyes. Using software that monitors blink frequency and provides reminders can help you maintain a healthy blink rate and improve dry eye symptoms.

The Power of Natural Remedies for Dry Eyes

While persistent dry eye symptoms should always be evaluated by a healthcare professional to rule out underlying conditions and prevent further damage, many people find relief through natural remedies and lifestyle modifications. By incorporating these simple yet effective strategies into your daily routine, you can help alleviate dry eye discomfort and promote long-term eye health.


1. Tong L, Chaurasia SS, Mehta JS, Beuerman RW. Screening for Meibomian Gland Disease: Its Relation to Dry Eye Subtypes and Symptoms in a Tertiary Referral Clinic in Singapore. Investigative Opthalmology & Visual Science. 2010;51(7):3449. doi:10.1167/iovs.09-4445

2. Olson MC, Korb DR, Greiner J v. Increase in Tear Film Lipid Layer Thickness Following Treatment with Warm Compresses in Patients with Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. Eye & Contact Lens: Science & Clinical Practice. 2003;29(2):96-99. doi:10.1097/01.ICL.0000060998.20142.8D

3. Pflugfelder SC, de Paiva CS. The Pathophysiology of Dry Eye Disease. Ophthalmology. 2017;124(11):S4-S13. doi:10.1016/j.ophtha.2017.07.010

4. Paduch R, Woźniak A, Niedziela P, Rejdak R. Assessment of Eyebright (Euphrasia Officinalis L.) Extract Activity in Relation to Human Corneal Cells Using In Vitro Tests. Balkan Medical Journal. 2014;33(1):29-36. doi:10.5152/balkanmedj.2014.8377

5. Tang L, Wang X, Wu J, et al. Sleep Deprivation Induces Dry Eye Through Inhibition of PPARα Expression in Corneal Epithelium. Investigative Opthalmology & Visual Science. 2018;59(13):5494. doi:10.1167/iovs.18-24504

6. Lee W, Lim S-S, Won J-U, et al. The association between sleep duration and dry eye syndrome among Korean adults. Sleep Medicine. 2015;16(11):1327-1331. doi:10.1016/j.sleep.2015.06.021

7. Borras J, Oleñik A. Effectiveness and tolerability of dietary supplementation with a combination of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants in the treatment of dry eye symptoms: results of a prospective study. Clinical Ophthalmology. January 2014:169. doi:10.2147/OPTH.S54658

8. Alanazi SA, El-Hiti GA, Al-Baloud AA, et al. Effects of short-term oral vitamin A supplementation on the ocular tear film in patients with dry eye. Clinical Ophthalmology. 2019;Volume 13:599-604. doi:10.2147/OPTH.S198349

9. Wardeh R, Besgen V, Sekundo W. Therapy-resistant dry itchy eyes. Journal of Ophthalmic Inflammation and Infection. 2019;9(1):13. doi:10.1186/s12348-019-0178-7

10. Pritchard N, Fonn D, Brazeau D. Discontinuation of contact lens wear: a survey. International Contact Lens Clinic. 1999;26(6):157-162. doi:10.1016/S0892-8967(01)00040-2

11. Bentivoglio AR, Bressman SB, Cassetta E, Carretta D, Tonali P, Albanese A. Analysis of blink rate patterns in normal subjects. Movement Disorders. 1997;12(6):1028-1034. doi:10.1002/mds.870120629

12. Freudenthaler N, Neuf H, Kadner G, Schlote T. Characteristics of spontaneous eyeblink activity during video display terminal use in healthy volunteers. Graefe’s Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology. 2003;241(11):914-920. doi:10.1007/s00417-003-0786-6

About the Author

Gerrit Sonnabend

With a background in qualitative research and data science, Gerrit has extensively researched the causes of dry eyes. With Blinkr, he has developed an effective solution for dry eyes caused by computer screen work,