I have been able to wear contact lenses, without discomfort, since I was 13 years old. I felt pretty lucky abou this, as I have a sister who has never been able to wear contacts full time, and I have much drier eyes than she does (since she never took Accutane). Contacts never bothered me before... until this year.
For the last several months, my contact lenses have been bothering me in a way they usually don't. I find that they feel drier in my eyes, and irritate them, a lot sooner than they normally would. I used to be able to wear them all day, as long as I was staying well-hydrated. But now, even if I drink a gallon of water per day, my contacts still bother me.
This dry eye issue seemed to happen around the same time the skin on my neck and arms started to take on this really soft, almost kind of "droopy" feeling, my skin didn't have before. Like, basically, the skin of an older person who's not far from developing "turkey neck." So I can't help thinking that, due to hormonal changes and my age, my body is suddenly just not producing the same amount of something (hydrating) that it used to. I know one of those things is probably estrogen, and I had heard there's something about estrogen that helps to keep your body well lubricaated.
So I googled it, and found this article about boosting your own estrogen levels. One of them was about using Evening primrose oil, which I've used in the past and it does seem to help your skin to retain moisture.
10. Evening primrose oil
Evening primrose oil (EPO) is a traditional herbal remedy that contains high levels of omega-6 fatty acids, making it a popular supplement for conditions such as PMS and menopause. There’s very little recent research on the benefits of evening primrose oil for estrogen.
So, I searched the Amazon reviews for the words "dry eye" and found quite a few reviews where people said it helped them in that regard.
Evening Primrose Oil fo Dry Eyes
You can see this study, here:
Once referred to the study, informed consent was obtained and subjects were randomized, using a random number generator, to one of two groups. Both groups were given a prescription-only medical food supplement, Tears Again HYDRATETM (OCuSOFT, Rosenberg, TX), consisting of four geltabs containing a total of 1000 mg of omega-3 EFAs derived from flaxseed oil and 500 mg of omega-6 EFAs (GLA) derived from evening primrose oil, both of which are microencapsulated in a proprietary liposome process designed to improve absorption. The amount of EFAs per food supplement serving is similar to that used in other research on evening primrose oil16 and identical to that used in other research on flaxseed oil.11
Supplementation with the proper balance of omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids improved TBUT and relieved patient symptoms. The addition of topical cyclosporine did not convey any statistically significant improvement in TBUT beyond that achieved by the supplement.
From the United States
Hyaluronic Acid for Dry Eyes
I'd read about hyaluronic acid in the past, knowing it is something that really hydrates the skin. So, I took a look on Amazon, to see if others might have reported that it could be something that helped their dry eyes. And sure enough... I found several reviewers who said it did seem to help their dry eyes. I am pasting those reviews (along with the product they were reviewing) further down the page.
There have been so many times I've learned that something we're used to buying (and might think was "invented by man") is actually produced by your own body, and we've just learned how to duplicate it. I am super grateful to the people who've learned how to replicate this stuff, because it's extremely helpful. But it's just important to keep in mind, how powerful mother nature is, and to me that explains why these things work so well. When we take supplements like hyaluronic acid, we're just giving our bodies the things we already had.
Hyaluronic acid, also known as hyaluronan, is a clear, gooey substance that is naturally produced by your body. The largest amounts of it are found in your skin, connective tissue and eyes. Its main function is to retain water to keep your tissues well lubricated and moist.Apr 21, 2018
You can also see a study, highlighted below, that shows how it helped people with their dry eyes. It helped the ones who actually took the hyaluronic acid (but not the people who took the placebo).
I'm definitely going to order this stuff!
3.2. Secondary Outcome
From the United States
One last thing I want to mention - I know that Alpha Lipoic Acid helps to regenerate blood vessels, so I looked on Amazon to see if it might somehow help with dry eyes. I didn't see anything in the reviews, but I am going to try to take this anyway because I had an accident where something fell on my eye and it made mone of my eyes a little more astigmatic than it usually is. Astigmatism gets worse if the shape of your eye changes, and I can't help thinking the shape of my eye could have changed slightly if scar tissue had built up somewhat, after I had that accident. I didn't notice it right away, but over the next few weeks it seemed that it became more noticeable, so I couldn't help wondering if it was due to scar tissue. So I will be taking Alpha Lipoic acid too. Will put the brand I plan to order, below.
Effects of Nutritional Supplement with α-Lipoic Acid in Patients with Recurrent Pterygium
Jorge Guillermo Hurtado Godinez1 , Leonel Garcia Benavides1*, Sara Pascoe Gonzalez1 , Ivan Isidro Hernandez Cañaveral1 , Francisco Javier Galvez Gastelum1 and Irinea Yañez Sanchez2
1 INTEC, Departamento de Fisiología, Centro Universitario de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Guadalajara, Jalisco, México 2Centro de Investigación en Nanociencia y Nanotecnología, Centro Universitario de los Valles, Universidad de Guadalajara, Jalisco, México *Corresponding author: Leonel García Benavides M.D., PhD., Instituto de Terapéutica Experimental y Clínica Departamento de Fisiología, CUCS, U de G, Sierra Mojada 950, edificio P, 1° piso, Colonia Independencia, CP 44340, Guadalajara, Jalisco, México, Tel (52) (33) 10585200 ext. 33659, 33660; Fax (52) (33) 36173499; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Received date: Feb 13, 2014, Accepted date: May 13, 2014, Published date: May 20, 2014 Copyright: © 2014 Godinez JGH, et al.
Results: Pterygium recurrence was similar in both groups. A significant increment of fibroelastic tissue was observed in the placebo compared with the α-lipoic acid group. Number and caliber of blood vessels, extracellular matrix content and presence of inflammatory infiltrated cells decreased in the α-lipoic acid group. Myofibroblasts were also localized and smaller. Conclusions: Treatment with α-lipoic acid improved clinical appearances through decreased fibroelastic tissue size. Recurrence was similar. Blood vessels, extracellular matrix content and inflammatory infiltrated cells reduced with α-lipoic acid.
Out of 5,697 ratings there are 169 that have the word "neuropathy" in them. I know this post is not about neuropathy, but I am pointing this out because, the fact that ALA is helpful in regenerating new blood vessels, seems to be the thing that helps people with their neuropathy. So I'm posting some of those reviews below, in case it may help some people to see that it could be helpful in regenerating new blood vessels.