I cannot confirm that it is at all diet related. It started after around 8 months of being strict paleo and there was no sudden diet change around the time it started occurring.
It has caused recurrent corneal erosions. I have to keep my eyes closed upon waking and put moisturizing drops into the corners before I open them to avoid the erosions (doctor's orders). This is anytime I wake up, even only 2 hours after falling asleep my eyes will be this dry. I occasionally take 3mg of melatonin before bed, but have not noticed any difference in eye dryness whether I do or don't take it.
Things I have tried so far: 1) Using moisturizing 'oil' for eyes before going to sleep. Got it at the drugstore, didn't help at all. 2) Drink a big glass of water before bed to make sure I'm hydrated. This just makes me have to pee in the middle of the night, before which I must go through the process of putting in drops so I can open my eyes! 3) Being very, very certain that my eyes are completely closed while falling asleep. I was told that dry eyes can be caused by the eyes being partially open during sleep. No help.
Also, I do wear contacts/eyeglasses and notice no difference whether I wore contacts that day or not.
Any ideas? I know there was no sudden diet change around when it started happening, but I am inclined to think it must be in some way diet/specific food related.
asked bytylerw (151)
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on December 17, 2010
at 11:19 PM
I had severe dry eyes while eating too low carb. Following Dr. Paul's recommendations at "The Perfect Diet", I upped my carbs to his minimum of 50 grams of starch per day and the dry eyes went away. He says that minimum keeps mucus membranes intact and protective.
on September 20, 2011
at 06:47 PM
Ok, this is probably going to be controversial, but it solved the problem for me, and I have been suffering with dry eyes more years than I can remember (20 or so, I think).
Coconut oil. As in: I put it in my eyes every night before sleep (instead of those stupid, expensive eye drops/gels/ointments.) I have had zero issues with any sort of infection, and when I wake up, I don't have to rummage around for my eye drops before I can open my eyes. (As an aside, it has done wonderful things for the skin around my eyes, as well...very soft and supple.)
I am not willing to up my carbs to a degree sufficient to do away with this problem (if it would, indeed, do so.) There are other health issues (for me) that take priority as long as this one can be managed.
I decided to take this problem in hand when my husband had to have surgery due to a torn cornea (also caused by dry eyes). I don't want to follow in those footsteps!
on January 24, 2011
at 03:30 AM
Sorry you are going through this! Look online or ask your ophthamologist for a treatment procedure for dry eyes or blepharitis. Here's what I did/ do when necessary: Warm compresses, several times a day. Gently hold over your eyes. Naturally, keep everything fresh and clean. Very warm water. Gently once or twice a day, cleanse your lids, where your eyelashes grow, with gentle wiping motions. Use only preservative free drops. I found that the oily kind of eye-lid rub seemed to make me worse...but a little bit of coconut oil might just do the trick. Lots of breaks during the day and rest your eyes with your lids closed. Blink more often and more slowly. Wear wrap around sunglasses when out in the sun or wind. Definitely don't wear your contacts until this resolves, it will make a big difference when you finally feel better. All my suggestions so far that have helped me, please let us know how you are, hope this helps.
on January 01, 2012
at 08:30 AM
i have terrible eye irritation from pingueculitis. the cure would be to pay a surgeon to peel my eyeballs, i have read a lot of scientific literature and suspect that its nothing more than atherosclerosis, except on the out side of the eyeball. so, im taking a gram of vitamin C daily. i already did the Linus Pauling cure for heart atherosclerosis and can run up and down stairs without getting. winded this was befor i started paleo and my eyes improved about 75 percent. i use soothe XP eye drops and it really helps.you might try vitamine c i dont know if it will help you or not.
on November 20, 2011
at 07:42 AM
My eye doctor told me to take flaxseed oil for dry eyes, and it has helped me!
on September 20, 2011
at 01:26 PM
Previous posters have made some great suggestions (warm compresses, etc).
Have you tried using a sleep mask at night? You may not be closing your eyes completely when you sleep. If you're prone to dry eyes, that will make it a lot worse. You can get a sleep mask at any drug store pretty inexpensively. Other options that many dry eye sufferers use include goggles and placing a square of plastic wrap over each eye.
You might also try some of the nighttime ointments like Refresh PM, Systane and Genteal also make them.
Using a humidifier at night can also be very helpful.
on January 25, 2011
at 01:30 AM
I have been through this. Try taking 3 or four fish oil capsules per day, that should help, plus the warm compresses. My dry eyes were not totally cured until I started taking Restasis. Talk to an ophthalmologist who is experienced in treating dry eye about this treatment, it works very well for most people.
on December 30, 2015
at 10:37 AM
Get rid of your contacts fool! They cause eye damage because they ruin your tear film. Thats why you got dry eyes at night, your tear film has been damaged. Hopefully, you remove them early enough where the damage is not too bad.
on August 27, 2013
at 04:20 PM
I, too am working on the dry - red eye problem. I have had issues with my eyes off and on all of my life. I am 66 years old, and this past week between getting a bad head cold, having issues with allergies this time of year (I have allergic rhinitis) and making the mistake of trying eyelash extensions...oh, my goodness, there must have been something I was allergic to in the glue they used...I have had quite an extreme version for the last few days of what I suffer off and on all of the time...the last few days...red "halloween" eyes, sun sensitivity, eyes burning, and tired eyes, and totally swollen..to the point for two days I wore sunglasses in the house and would not let my boyfriend see how distorted the skin around my eyes was. Finally, about six days later now, and working with putting steroid drops every two hours in both eyes(prescribed last Friday from my ophthamologist), taking krill oil, and flaxseed oil with lignans and borage oil, hydrating like crazy, avoiding caffeine of anykind , my eyes are starting to look normal and feel a little better. The skin around them is looking a little dehydrated now from all that that area of my face has been through, and I am seeking some kind of serum that won't affect my eye and help hydrate the skin around the eye. I'm trying to really watch my diet and see if I can be as whole food oriented as possible. I am very interested in trying putting coconut oil in my eyes at night...I love taking about four coconut oil capsuls during the day...and I drink Essentia water a lot every now and then..sometimes the water makes my eyes nice and clear, but sometimes I almost get a tired eye feeling if I drink too much of that kind of water. Needless to say, I think I am working in progress trying to get some kind of stable daily thing going where I can have consistency in have clear, moist and refreshed (not so tired feeling) eyes. I appreciated everyone's input for this topic. Thank you so mucy. Pat from Colorado
on July 14, 2013
at 10:04 PM
My went to see my opthamologist ..well low and behold they have a brand new DRY EYE PROGRAM that cures dry eyes. They've seen great results so I guess count me in for now. I cannot suffer anymore I'm going crazy with Dry eyes.
My new doctor, said to wear a slight snug eye mask to keep the eyes closed and smear thick eyes gel on my eyes before putting on the mask, but I'll try it for now , but I'm signed up for the DRY eye program
PLEASE READ SOME COCONUT OILS ARE UNSAFE TO PUT IN YOUR EYES
Coconut has amazing healing properties and it antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal. However, please be careful some products have coconut oils that contain fungal toxins, IF they are made from copras, or dried coconuts, which are often contaminated with mycotoxins. you do not want this in your eyes! So call the company and simply ask them it they use only fresh coconuts to make their oil. I think the best type of Coconut oil is cold pressed organic version
I have a friend that was cured her dry eyes by seeing and Chinese medicine doctor and taking herbs, getting acupuncture. She is still tell the story of how see saw so 20 eyes doctors, but no solutions finally she decided to try Chinese medicine and it worked!
on May 21, 2013
at 01:52 PM
Do not drink alcohol at all. Drink coconut water and take communion at home. You can have some grape juice and piece of bread. Claim healing for your eyes, because Jesus suffered for your healing. Dedicate your eyes to The Lord. Evil spirits like dry places so command the evil spirit that is causing this affliction to depart from your eyes.
on April 24, 2013
at 07:27 PM
Updates on the coconut oil please?
on March 23, 2013
at 04:28 PM
I'm 61 female and am on Restasis last 2 years. Last year I started to be woken up at night with eyelids stuck to my eye. I too take Omega 3 capsules (2x day) I've tried up to 4 flax seed oil capules (I've stopped taking 4 flax since adding Omega3 but take 1 at lunch) I use regular eye drops throughout the day. I keep a bottle of drops beside the bed and I too pry my eye open and use the drop usually 2-3 per night. I've had to stop driving because the pain in my eyes make it dangerous to drive. I feel frustrated and I'm at a loss as to what to do too.
After reading the above solutions, I'm going to buy some drops without preservatives and also some cocconut oil. I sure hope for some relief.
on January 25, 2013
at 01:34 PM
My daughter recently went through this. We tried fish oil, and it was okay. Then we picked up this fish oil / flaxseed oil blend that is made specifically for eyes (in the "eye" section at the pharmacy - the brand is TheraTears) and it worked wonderfully. If she stops taking it for 2 days, the problem is back. This formula also contains vitamin E, I believe.
on January 25, 2013
at 01:05 PM
I have tried fish oil capsules, night goggles, plenty of water, and currently on restasis for three months with no change. I have a glass of water at my bed side that I dip my finger tips in and moisten my eye lids just to get to sleep and have to do it periodically throughout the night when the pain from the dry eyes wakes me. I have always had some sort of dry eye, but this problem at night just started this past November 2012. In the morning I have a lot of matter under my lower eyelids that I work out in the shower. After that I feel fine throughout the day as long as I stay out of wind. It seems that if I lay down they start to give me problems and later in the evening about 9pm. I Just turned 41 this year, some say it worsens with age. I have not tried the coconut oil, wonder if this will this harm your eyes in anyway? No one here is listing their age, it may prove helpful to see the progression based on how old one is. just a thought
on November 04, 2012
at 01:44 PM
This is all very interesting. I have been waking up with extremely dry eyes for the past two years, or so. I had been taking Adderall and thought that it may have been the drug, so I stopped that, but no change. I also get muscle cramps in my lower legs that seem to have started around the same time; although, the leg cramps do not happen every night. I read a theory by Paul Jaminet that we need a small amount of safe starch in our diet, so I added back some occasional rice. This may have helped with the muscle cramps, but not the eyes. I will keep experimenting.
on November 03, 2012
at 05:12 PM
I went to have my eyes checked young optometrist told me that my eyes do not close completely and that could be contributing to dry eyes. How come the other ten eye specialist did not mention that? I did have rhinoplasty a 3 times and wow I wish I would of just stopped after the first one. He suggested soft cotton breathable eye mask to keep the eyes closed Then he gave me some samples of Thera Tears wow it is perfect ... it has NO perservative they seem to work well it is slightly thick and works well for coating the eyes and keeping them coated without having the dry eye feeling or nor does it make your eyes even drier after using them, it seems to calm soothe my eyes and has decreased overall irritation I've tried tons of stuff just like most people suffering from dry eyes this does work. Another thing that causes dry eyes is working on the computer for hours without blinking breaks.
on October 01, 2012
at 12:52 AM
I have been suffering with Dry eye's (only at night when I sleep) for about 4 week's or so.. It is so bad that I literarily can NOT open my eye's with out using my fingers to pry my eyes open.. my eye lyds are seared to my eye ball's... It is painful, and aggervating, I can feel this taking place as I sleep at night. I have gotten where I get up and put eye drops in the sides of my eye's to help.. but honestly it is getting worse, and I am wondering WHY this is happening and is there anything going on in my body I should be concerned about, and what can I do to cure this.. sincerely, any advice is greatful... June
on May 31, 2012
at 04:44 PM
I think different types of practioners have different theories. the chinese dr thinks it is liver because energy runs through the body in particular pattern at night and depending on what time you wake up to use the bathroon at night indicates where the energy is, hence what organ the energy is going through at that time in the body. My eye dr said, "lets do the plugs" which I did with no help in fact . My dry eyes are worse with the eye drop . The hormonal specialist MD is convinced it is hormones. MY primary dr thinks it thyroid. The Naturopath thinks it is because I sustained a childhood face injury that required three rhinoplasty that it has shut off the pathways to the eyes so I need castor oil compresses on my face to penetrate deep into the tissues to dissolve all the scar tissue and open the pathways for circulations , this theory makes total sense. The ND also wants me to alkalize this make sense too. Plus suggesting using Neti pot with good old sea salt and 1-2 drop Of Collodial Silver to clear out the ear nose and throat in case it is a fungus/ yeast etc..My friend read a book and thinks drys may be related to decresed levels of melatonin and Tryptophan, so I've added those too my daily program. So take your pick of theories. I'm actually going to try the castor oil. All the eye stuff makes my eyes dried and irritated, except genteal. I actually like plain old vaseline mixed with castor oil. And I now drink tons of organic soy as a natural hormonal balancer . I think all of this work is valid I'm taking a break from opthamologist. My thought is they spend miilions more likely billions on research for cancer with the best scientist but who is that create the pancreas cancer finding enzyme machine is a 15 year old genuis who can see more than the scientist and he has other amazing inventions as well ...sometimes I think when you have too many theories in your head and are left brain dominant logival linear etc... you can be too close you can't see the forest all you see is a tree. Just is just my opionion
on January 01, 2012
at 01:37 PM
Could this be due to dry weather in winter? A humidifier might help. Or if not, some less efficient methods are to set out a large flat pan with water in your bedroom, or use a spray bottle filled with water.
on January 25, 2011
at 05:16 AM
Is it possible that you're getting too much Vitamin A, from liver perhaps? Just a thought. Vitamin A toxicity has other obvious symptoms though - headaches, sometimes joint and muscle aching, dry skin.
on December 17, 2010
at 11:56 PM
I do have dry eyes (especially bad after sleeping), but nowhere near that bad! For me, mine is mostly a combination of the eyes-not-fully-shut-while-sleeping, and also a hormonal imbalance. When I was taking birth control to balance my hormones, my vision improved and my eyes weren't nearly as dry.
Recently, since going off processed foods and eating a lot of healthy fats, my eyes are rarely very dry, though not quite what I would think of as normal. On the other hand, I've also been sleeping better and don't seem to have the slightly-opened-eyes issue either, so I don't know if my WOE is taking care of the eye issue, or the sleep issue which is taking care of the eye issue.