Eyes

3 Ways to Keep Your Eyes Hydrated and Healthy Through the Holidays

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The holidays are packed with so many fun things to see and do! And these science-backed tricks keep eyes hydrated and healthy so you can take in all the fun.

Nibble on a praline.

Why so dry? “70 percent of postmenopausal women will experience dry-eye symptoms,” says Amina I. Malik, M.D., chief of Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery at Houston Methodist Hospital. That’s because a drop in sex hormones makes it harder for eyes to produce protective compounds in tears. The fix: pralines! Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that women who ate foods packed with omega-3 fatty acids (found in nuts and seafood), which boost eye lubrication, cut risk of dry eye by as much as 68 percent.

Give eyes a ‘spa break’.

It’s as relaxing as a spa treatment yet costs pennies! Simply steep chamomile tea bags in hot water, then place the comfortably warm, wet bags on your eyelids. Doing so for 5 minutes will cut dry-eye symptoms by 80 percent and keep keep your eyes hydrated, research suggests. “Heat placed on the eyelids helps liquefy hardened oil within the meibomian glands along the rim of the eye,” Dr. Malik explains. “While chamomile is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and can help soothe tired eyes and restore moisture.” Indeed, research at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland finds that the flowering herb boasts anti-inflammatory properties that function like NSAIDs, without side effects.

Sprinkle sips with cinnamon.

A single mug of coffee or tea boosts tear production within 45 minutes, Japanese research finds. Study authors credit caffeine in the brews with stimulating tear glands. Tip: Up the effects with a dusting of anti-inflammatory spices. “Nutmeg and cinnamon can help lessen our dry-eye symptoms by blocking the inflammatory cascade that plays a crucial role in dry-eye disease,” Dr. Malik adds.

This article originally appeared in our print magazine.

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