Widely discussed as a homeopathic treatment for everything from hangovers to acne to the common cold, manuka honey is now being looked at as a treatment for helping manage the relentless symptoms of Dry Eye Disease. Yes, you read correctly; the honey sitting in your kitchen cupboard has a multitude of impressive healing powers that you probably weren’t aware of.
In fact, the restorative properties of honey are so remarkable that researchers at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia are planning to put manuka honey to the test to determine whether it can be an effective solution for dry eye symptoms. The study will focus on the efficacy of an eye drop that contains a small amount of manuka honey for the treatment of symptoms like ocular itching, burning and redness. Previous research has reported that manuka honey can in fact aid in reducing inflammatory markers on the cornea. Exactly how much? Only time will tell.
Two separate trials will be conducted and the honey treatment’s efficacy will be compared to more conventional dry eye treatments such as over-the-counter artificial tears. The initial trial will include patients who are unable to wear contact lenses for long periods of time due to dry eye symptoms. A larger secondary trial will involve patients who experience the more severe symptoms that often coincide with Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD).
Study lead, Dr. Julie Albietz says that the anti-inflammatory effects of honey deserve further investigation since inflammation is one of the key factors in chronic dry eye disease. Albietz also says that the problem with current dry eye treatments is that many over-the-counter lubricants and gels contain harsh steroids or added chemicals and are often insufficient when it comes to lasting relief of symptoms.
Since honey is a natural, nontoxic and entirely safe ingredient, the results of these trials are being highly anticipated. If the honey formula proves to be effective, eye drops containing manuka honey would be a sure fire hit among chemical-conscious dry eye suffers. For now, we’ll stay posted on the results of these studies and hope that manuka honey is indeed the ‘sweet’ treatment that Dry Eye Disease has been calling for.
What do you think? Will honey drops prevail against dry eye symptoms or is this natural treatment simply too good to be true?