If you have dry eyes, then every blink can be a painful experience. Xerophthalmia, as it’s officially called, is a condition where a person’s tear ducts aren’t able to produce enough tears to keep the eye well-lubricated. If you have this condition, then your eyes often feel itchy, inflamed and look red. The most common solution to this problem is to use saline drops. However, while saline drops give you temporary relief, they do little to solve the root cause of the problem. Surprisingly, research is now showing that coconut oil can be a much more effective way to deal with chronically dry eyes.
Causes Of Dry Eyes
To be able to tackle dry eyes, we need to know why this happens in the first place. Dry eyes are often a natural part of getting older because with age, tear ducts are not as efficient as they once were. However, dry eyes can happen to people of all ages. If you’re taking medication like antidepressants, birth control pills, diuretics, morphine, sleeping pills and many more, then dry eyes are a common side-effect. Medical conditions like diabetes, arthritis and lupus also can result in dry eyes. If you’ve undergone Lasik eye surgery, then that might be the reason behind your dry eyes. Research shows that as much as 40% of people who have undergone Lasik surgery report dry eyes after the procedure. But apart from these medical reasons, sometimes the cause behind your dry eyes could be as simply as cold weather or sitting in front of a screen for too long.
Coconut Oil For Dry Eyes
Dousing your eyes with coconut oil might sound like a crazy hipster solution, but there’s research to show that it might actually work. In one study, researchers separated 9 rabbits into three groups. One group was given coconut oil, the second was given natural tears and the third group was given a saline solution. These drops were administered to them thrice a day for two weeks. At the end of the study, the rabbits were examined to check how effective coconut oil was as a re-wetting agent. When the results were analyzed, researchers discovered that coconut oil was as effective as saline drops and natural tears when it came to lubricating the rabbits’ eyes. It might have even been more effective because coconut oil has natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties which are very beneficial for dry eyes.
Always use organic coconut oil as you don’t want any pesticides coming into contact with your eyes. Make sure it’s clean coconut oil that you have never handled with your hands or contaminated in any way. Take a teaspoon of this oil in a small bowl. If it’s solid, then warm it by immersing the bowl in another bowl of hot water. Never microwave coconut oil because changes the oil’s molecular structure and kills the important lauric acid within it. Once the oil has melted, let it cool down for a bit so you don’t accidentally burn your eyes. Then with a small (sanitized) dropper, take a few drops of coconut oil and drop it into your eyes. You might feel a slight burning sensation, but that’s completely normal. If it starts burning too much, then wash out your eyes immediately. Generally though, the burning sensation goes away almost immediately. Your vision might seem a little blurred for a few minutes, but it will clear up soon. Do this twice a day until you start seeing signs of improvement. Within a week or two, your eyes should have improved so much that you’ll only need to use this oil around twice a week.
Unlike other over-the-counter solutions for dry eyes, coconut oil doesn’t just give you temporary relief from dry eyes. In fact, it works with your natural tear ducts, encouraging them to produce more tears. Coconut oil also soothes eyes, so if your eyes are itchy and inflamed, then coconut oil should be able to bring about a world of improvement.