A world-first trial conducted at the Queensland University of Technology evaluating the effects of medical grade Manuka honey eye products for the treatment of meibomian gland dysfunction, also known as blepharitis (a common cause of dry eye) has revealed very encouraging results for dry eye sufferers.
Honey has a long history in skin and medical wound care. In particular medical grade Manuka (Leptospermum spp) honey eye products have mild anti-inflammatory properties which is beneficial for patients with dry eyes and due to its unique composition, naturally reduces swelling and promotes tissue healing by inhibiting the growth of microorganisms such as bacteria.
Researchers at QUT evaluated 114 participants (male and female, aged 20 to 92 years) with moderate to severe evaporative dry eye for a period of 8 weeks and found that compared to participants in the control group (using warm compresses, lid scrubs and preservative-free lubricants), those using twice-daily Optimel eye-drops (16% Manuka Honey) or Optimel eye-gel (98% Manuka Honey) had significant improvements in:
- Symptoms of dry eyes
- Tear fluid stability
- Eye and lid margin redness
- Reduced eye lid margin bacterial colony counts
Commonly reported side-effects from the use of these products were temporary redness and stinging which lasted no more than five minutes.
Please note that before trying this product you should seek professional advice from your optometrist about whether this is suitable for your eyes. Those with known allergies to bee products and honey should not use this product.