Home remedies for eye ailments

June 30, 2015

The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but this special status doesn't mean they are protected from potential hazards. Your eyes are exposed to environmental factors that can affect your vision, health and comfort.

Home remedies for eye ailments

It's easy to take care of your peepers with various home remedies, whether your eyes are just tired or you find yourself withconjunctivitis (pink eye) or a sty.

How to prevent eye ailments

You can learn how to treat eye ailments, but why not prevent them from happening in the first place, instead? Here are some ways to do just that.

  • Protect your eyes against direct sunlight, wind or dust with glasses.
  • Reduce or avoid drafts and keep humidity levels at 50 to 60 per cent.
  • Use an adjustable reading lamp with a wide emission angle for reading.
  • Get plenty of sleep at night and strengthen your body's defenses with relaxation, exercise and nutritious food.
  • Don't share eye make-up, as infections can be transferred this way.
  • Wash your hands regularly and well if you know you have been near someone with conjunctivitis.

Make a refreshing eye compress

If your eyes are strained or sore, an eye compress may be just what you need to soothe them.

What you need:

  • 10 g (1/3 ounce) cornflower
  • 10 g (1/3 ounce) yellow sweet clover (yellow melilot)
  • 20 g (2/3 ounce) plantain (the herb, not the banana)

How to make (and use) the compress:

  • Pour about 300 millilitres (10 ounces) of boiling water over the herbs.
  • Leave for ten minutes, then strain. Leave to cool.
  • Soak gauze pads in the cooled solution, then place onto your tired, closed eyes.

Swollen eyelids

Swelling results from a build up of tissue fluid in the eyelid. Anything cold can help soothe the inflammation by contracting the blood vessels and stimulating circulation. Here are some things to try:

  • Scoop a little cold plain yogurt onto a cloth to make a poultice and place it over your closed eyes for 15 minutes.
  • Apply slices of cold cucumber to your eyelids for 10 minutes.
  • Apply a cold pack to your swollen eyelids. Crushed ice in a cloth works just as well, as does a metal spoon cooled in the refrigerator (not in the freezer!) and placed carefully on your eyelids

Treating pink eye

When the layer between your eyelid and eyeball, the conjunctiva, becomes inflamed the result is itchy, red and watery eyes. If the cause is a viral or bacterial infection, the ailment is highly contagious, so get yourself to a doctor. If, on the other hand, your conjunctivitis is caused by wind, smoke, chlorinated water, cosmetics or an allergic reaction, you can effectively treat it with home remedies. Here are some further pointers for managing your condition.

  • Keep it clean. Carefully remove the discharge caused by the inflammation several times a day with a cotton ball soaked in distilled water.
  • Give yourself an eyebath.
  • After cleansing, soothe your inflamed eyes with eyebright (euphrasia) compresses. Here's how:
  1. Finely chop  five to 10 millilitres (one to two teaspoons) of the herb eyebright and pour 250 millilitres (one cup) of boiling water over it.
  2. Let the mixture steep for two minutes before straining.
  3. When it's lukewarm, soak two sterile gauze pads in the liquid and apply to your eyes for several minutes.
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