(NaturalNews) People often complain of having dry eyes, whether it's due to allergies, contact lens use or an underlying health condition. In fact, about 33 million Americans suffer from the frustrations of dry eye (1).
However, rather than turning to repeated use of over-the-counter eye drops, which may cause blurred vision and systemic problems such as weakness, blood pressure changes and stomach pain (1), there are healthy foods and drinks that alleviate the bothersome feeling. They have the ability to fight dry eye naturally, restoring moisture levels to the eyes safely and easily.
Top foods and drinks to help fight dry eye
Dark, leafy greens such as kale and spinach contain antioxidants that fight oxidative stress (2). Since harmful free radicals can contribute to dry eye, eating foods rich in antioxidants may combat this problem.
Consume plenty of water. It helps the entire body stay hydrated, and this of course includes keeping eyes moisturized. According to the Institute of Medicine, women should have about 90 ounces of water daily, and men should strive for a minimum of 125 ounces daily (1). This water should come from both purified drinking water and food.
Food high in potassium, such as bananas, kelp, almonds, avocado and figs, are helpful in fighting dry eye, since it's been observed that those with the condition often have low potassium levels (1). Dr. Michael Lange, optometric physician and certified nutrition specialist, explains that lack of potassium and dehydration go hand in hand. He says that, since potassium helps the body maintain proper electrolyte levels which can be compromised by dehydration, the link between obtaining adequate water (as mentioned above) and potassium makes it obvious that people with dry eye should consume both (3).
Foods with a high omega-3 content, such as walnuts and ground flax seeds, are recommended by the Mayo Clinic to obtain dry eye relief (4). The anti-inflammatory properties that omega-3 contains is thought to play in a role in relief.
The Clinic also suggests other tips such as stopping smoking and taking eye breaks (closing eyes for a few minutes or blinking rapidly), especially if one is regularly at the computer, to help replenish the eyes' moisture levels.
About the author: Raw Michelle is a natural health blogger and researcher, sharing her passions with others, using the Internet as her medium. She discusses topics in a straight forward way in hopes to help people from all walks of life achieve optimal health and well-being. She has authored and published hundreds of articles on topics such as the raw food diet and green living in general.