Everyone is looking for quick solutions – the quickest way to make money, the quickest way to lose weight, the quickest way to get done with all your work… you get the point. While finding the quickest way to reach your office from home makes sense, some things like meditating, spending time with yourself, and even healing takes time. We are often so caught up in the fast life, we forget to take a step back and give ourselves some time to just be and relax and that can take a toll on the body particularly on your eyes and your gut. Instead of finding a “quick fix” below are some solutions that can help your body recuperate from the fast life for the long term.
ITCHY, RED EYES
Quick Fix: Over the Counter (OVC) Eye Drops
Why it is harmful: Itchiness and red eyes are common problems young millennia face due to excessive screen time, constant partying, and lack of sleep. A quick way to curb this issue is by putting eye drops that are easily and readily available in any pharmacy. However, excessive eye drops can have side effects on the eyes and the body.
Ophthalmologist and eye surgeon Dr. Rajesh Khanna says chemicals such as vasoconstrictor and naphazoline used in eye drops can “constrict blood flow in the outer blood vessels of the eye. Every time you use it, the blood vessels constrict, but when you stop using it, the blood rebounds. It’s a vicious cycle.” He continues to say there are two types of tears in the eyes: basal and reflex. “There’s a pump in the eye called the lacrimal pump, which produces basal tears 24/7—these flow across the eye, where the lid spreads the tears like windshield wipers. These are the tears you need all the time. To have healthier eyes, we need to improve the number of basal tears. The other type of tear is the reflex tear, which we get when our eyes react to something, like wind striking the eye. 1 When excessive external chemicals go into the eyes in excess, the eyes can get irritated and the issue at hand can get worse. Some symptoms due to excessive eye drops are more redness and irritation in the eyes, nausea, vomiting, and even dizziness. 2
Long Term Solution: To prevent red eyes and itchiness altogether, simple eye care can go a long way.
1 Try to minimize the amount of wind that hits your eyes. Sunglasses or an eye mask can help protect your eyes from this.
2 Avoid sitting in front of air conditioners – not only can cold wind affect your eyes, but can also cause nose irritation.
3 Splashing cool water over the eyes and the end of the day to help wash away any irritants and allergens that are often the cause of red and itchy eyes.
4 Eat lutein and beta-carotene based foods that include leafy vegetables, kale, almonds, carrots, sweet potato, and cantaloupe to name a few. For those with excessive eye irritation, natural medication like Eyemax is also a great option to have.
5 Basal Tears: Basal tears are constantly present in the eye to ensure the cornea is wet and nourished as it has no blood vessels and is dependent on tears for oxygen. 3 While basal tears are only found within the body and no external foods can increase the basal tears, doing warm moist compresses can help increase lubricate production and cause healthier tear flow to activate basal tears. 4
Quick Fix: Antacid
Why it is Harmful: A healthy digestive system is determined by what we eat, drink, and our environment. Our busy and social lives can hinder our lifestyle by eating out way too much, drinking alcoholic and aerated drinks, and sleeping irregularly. All of these problems can have a direct impact on the digestive system. And what is the solution to an upset digestive system, heartburn, or even a bloated stomach? Pop in an antacid. While that may put you at temporary ease, having antacids daily are very harmful to the body and cause an imbalance to the stomach acids in the body.
Did you know having too little stomach acid could cause similar problems to have too much acid in the stomach? 5 While you may get temporary relief from an antacid, potential food allergy, over-colonization in the small intestine, diarrhea, and even calcium deficiency can result when taking the medication. 6 The same issues along with weak hair and nails, bad breath, abdominal pain, and too much burping and passing gas are the results of too little acid in your stomach or when you’ve had too many antacids.
Long term Solution: Too much antacid mitigates bad as well as the good bacteria that are needed for the stomach to do its job. Over time, the body stops producing the good bacteria as well when too many anti-acid pills are taken. The correct way to balance the acids in your stomach is:
1 Probiotics: Yogurt, pickles and even dark chocolate are a great source of probiotics. 7 Not only do probiotics provide good bacteria, but it also helps in digesting the food that we eat. When good bacteria flourishes, the bad cant thrive.
2 Zinc: Zinc protects the digestive lining and helps break down food by attaching over 300 enzymes – proteins that break down other molecules. 8 Eggs, nuts, red meat, and seafood are all great sources of zinc.
3 Bitter foods: when your taste buds register bitter foods, the stomach starts to secrete acid, which helps with digesting. Radicchio lettuce, endive, and bitter melons are good options for stomach secretion.
4 Natural acids: including natural acids like lemon, vinegar, and even lime juice is great for the gut because it triggers your mouth to salivate which helps in digesting and helps break down macromolecules in foods. 9 For an extra sensitive stomach, natural supplements like Your Gut is a great additive that can help balance the digestive system.
The next time you have trouble with an itchy eye or an upset stomach, rather than reaching out for something that you can get over the counter, check up on your eating habits and lifestyle. Make the changes necessary and don’t forget to give yourself some time to rest and relax because that can go a very long way!