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How to Get Natural Relief for Itchy, Dry Eyes

Cool breezes are a welcome relief — if only it weren’t for the itchy dry-eye symptoms that ramp up by 175 percent in fall! And for women over 50, a menopausal hormone plunge also makes it harder for the body to produce enough hydrating tears, leaving 70 percent of us with chronic dry eyes.

The good news: These natural tricks ease symptoms in a blink. Find what’s causing your dry eyes and how to help.

Wake up with irritated eyes?

Start your day with coffee or tea, and research in Ophthalmology suggests your eyes will begin producing significantly more tears in under 45 minutes. Credit goes to caffeine in the brews, which stimulates tiny eye glands and prods them to churn out lubricating tears.

Tip: Boost the benefit with a sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg. The spices’ antioxidants block inflammation in tear ducts so they stay in tip-top shape.

Look at a screen all day?

Placing warm, damp chamomile tea bags over your eyes cuts eyestrain symptoms by up to 80 percent in 5 minutes. Research at Kansas City’s Tauber Eye Center shows heat liquefies hardened oil blocking the meibomian glands, letting hydrating tears flow, while anti-inflammatory chamomile eases irritation.

Have rosacea?

Try MSM drops. They’re powered by a natural sulfur molecule called methylsulfonylmethane. One MSM drop per eye daily cools the underlying inflammation responsible for itchy, bloodshot eyes that often accompany a rosacea flare.

Try: Dexterity Health Liquid MSM Drops (Buy on Amazon, $18).

Feeling more symptoms after menopause?

Enjoying nutty treats daily cuts dry eye symptoms by up to 68 percent. Brigham and Women’s Hospital scientists say omega-3s in nuts such as walnuts, peanuts and hazelnuts offset hormonal dips that leave eyes parched.

Sensitive to light?

Does it ever feel like you’re staring at the sun, even indoors? This affects 75 percent of folks with dry eye, say University of Miami scientists. A better fix than donning sunglasses inside, which makes inflamed nerves more photosensitive: pink “FL-41” lenses. They filter up to 25 times more irritating blue light without worsening sensitivity.

Try: Braddell Optics FL-41 Glasses (Buy on Amazon, $25).

Next time you find yourself irritated with dry eyes, remember these tips to get fast relief!

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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