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Dry Eyes

Updated: Jul 22, 2023

'O brother! I would weep,

But my dry eyes seem to shed dust for tears.'

~V. A. R., "The King's Death," Poems, 1867

Dry eyes is a common condition that occurs when the eyes don’t make enough tears, or the tears evaporate too quickly. This leads to the eyes drying out and becoming irritated. Simply called dry eye syndrome.

‘When the heart stops oozing blood & the outpouring is clear as water (so to speak) then you know you've turned the corner & will be well.’

Grace Butcher


Perhaps you can relate to one or more of these:

Burning incense day + night?

Heart gone to stone?

Reading + writing in the glare of a computer screen?

No moisture in the air?

Smoky mountains, wildfires + bar bq's all 'round?

Long + sleepless nights?

Relentless heartbreaking days?

A side-effect of certain meds?

Getting older?

Certain makeup + eye-liners?

Eye surgeries + eye drop preservatives?

Been outside in windy or sunny environments?

All these and more can affect our eyes.

You're not alone, it happens to everyone at some point

‘When you look inward & all pathways are no longer dark but clearly lighted & shine like transparent drinking straws then you know you'll find your way alone.’

Grace Butcher


Blinking more regularly. ...

Taking frequent computer breaks. ...

Washing your eyelids. ...

Applying a warm compress. ...

Eating more fish. ...

Using a humidifier and air filter. ...

Changing your diet. ...

Reducing or completely cutting out drinking + smoking ...

Warm compresses....

Washing crusty lashes...

Staying hydrated...

Wearing wraparound sunglasses...

Getting more sleep... altho' this is sometimes easier said than done ...

sleeping in a dark room might help ...

‘When the gray morning has nothing to do with you & doesn't weigh you down like a heavy blanket, then you know that moving will be easy again and your body will flow through time like the river it really is, smooth & deep. no rocks, no shallows to smash or catch you, keep you from moving on.’

Grace Butcher



Chamomile is a plant with many benefits. It is primarily known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Application instructions: You can make a chamomile infusion then simply soak two cotton pads and leave them to rest on the eyes for 5 to 10 minutes.

Cornflower water

Cornflower water provides instant relief from dry eyes. It soothes and hydrates the eyes by acting on eye fatigue.

Application instructions: Apply cornflower water to cotton pads and leave them on your eyes for 5 to 10 minutes.

Castor oil

Castor oil is one of the bases of many eye drops because it helps retain water. It helps prevent tear evaporation and therefore reduce dry eye.

Application instructions: Apply eye drops containing castor oil in the evening before sleeping. Caution: it's advisable not to wear contact lenses within 12 hours after application.


Omega-3s helps improve the quality of tears by providing lipids. A sufficient amount of oil in tears limits tear evaporation and keeps the eye hydrated.

Application instructions: They are found in many foods, particularly in fatty fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel, and in certain oils, primarily vegetable oils such as rapeseed, nut and flaxseed oils.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A deficiency can cause dry eye, but that is not all. Vitamin A helps to heal the cornea and thus prevent irritation.

Application instructions: You can use it in an ointment or eye drops rich in vitamin A, dietary supplements or by incorporating it into your diet with foods such as liver, dairy products and eggs, coloured vegetables and fruits like tomatoes, peppers, mango and melon.

‘When the heart slows to its normal rhythm and the beauty of birdsong at dawn doesn't make you cry because you are alone listening, then you know that everything has happened that is going to for now, and you can get on with your life & everything about it that was yours alone and always finer than anyone could ever imagine

it would be without them.’

Grace Butcher


To anyone reading this, cry it out, it's ok, we're all in this together,

we're all broken trying to heal. Just take deep breaths,

we'll get through this together. ...


'My brain is many colors, vague,

like massed flowers:

total spectrum of petals

beginning with black.

I wear my costume inside

like blood and bones,

keep graphs of my ups and downs,

discover people laugh more

at my falls than at my flying.

The moral of this story is:

sad eyes need also tears.'


Model for photos: Salma Hayek

Poet: Grace Butcher


Copyright 2023 © Julie Von Nonveiller Cairnes. All rights reserved.

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