Manuka honey to treat dry eye. Silly fad or scientific fact?
This one is real. There’s scientific evidence for Manuka honey’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
And what’s that got to do with dry eyes?
The tear film on our eyes is made of both water and oil and needs the right balance of each for comfort and clear vision. Meibomian glands produce the oil component and most cases of dry eye are caused by meibomian gland dysfunction. If too little oil, or poor quality oil, is released, the water component evaporates too quickly, leaving the surface of the eye dry and causing discomfort and/or blurred vision.
Meibomian gland dysfunction is driven by inflammation. Inflammation of the glands affects the quality of the oils they produce. It can even lead to a build-up of fibrosis (scar tissue) within the glands, which blocks them so no oils can be expressed. And the same inflammation also adds to the general soreness of your eyes.
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to bacteria. Methylglyoxal in Manuka honey helps to kill any bacteria and prevent that inflammatory response, relieving sore eyes and reducing the effect of inflammation on your meibomian glands.
We aren’t certain whether pathogenic bacteria cause the disease, or whether they aggravate the disease. But the bottom line is that some people respond to the antibacterial effect of the honey.
At the Dry Eyes Clinic, we frequently recommend Optimel Manuka honey eye drops, which are suitable for any type of dry eye disease and are available online. Use them three times a day for the best effect and don’t worry about the burning sensation when you put them in. It soon eases off.
*Existing patients of the Dry Eyes Clinic can purchase at a discount from The Body Doctor. (No, we don’t get a commission or any other benefit.) Get in touch with us by phone or email for your code.