Castor oil eye drops help relieve symptoms of cataract, itching of the eyes and also treats dry eyes. If you have persistent dry eyes or long-standing itchy eye problems, then getting just any other eye drop medication would not just do; you need a castor oil eye drop that has a lubricating effect as well.
What is castor oil?
Castor oil is a viscous oil made by crushing castor beans into a smooth paste; the oil is then extracted by boiling. The castor plant is very common in some parts of India and Africa; it is also found in South America.
See how to make castor oil at home from the Youtube video below
Uses of castor oil for eyes
Castor oil is used in the treating of eye conditions such as blepharitis – which is an inflammation of the eyelids. It was found in a study that the topical application of castor oil to the eyelid every day for a period of four weeks is effective for the reduction of eyelash matting.
This oil is also used in making lubricating eye drops, that are useful for chronic eye conditions such as cataract, dry eyes, and persistent itchiness of the eyes.
Benefits of using castor oil eye drops for dry eyes
- Castor oil is used in making artificial tears for the treatment of chronic dry eyes. It can do this by adding more lipid to tears and increasing the thickness of the lipid layers in tears.
- Abnormality in the gland that produces tears known as meibomian gland can be treated by mixing 2% of castor oil and 5% of hydrogenated castor oil with little or no side effects.
Castor oil protects from dry eyes by forming a thin layer of film that traps moisture and prevents it from escaping from the eyes.
Examples of Castor oil eye drops for dry eyes?
Some artificial eye drops made with castor oil are listed below; these are actually artificial tears used for the treatment of chronic dry eyes.
- Refresh Optive Advanced
- Another one is Refresh Optive Mega-3
These are made by a combination of water with castor oil ad therefore always good to shake before using them because of the emulsion they form.
How to use castor oil eye drops
- Ensure your hands are clean
- Shake the eye drops before using them.
- Use 1 or 2 drops into each eye and close the eye for a few minutes before opening it.
- You can apply as directed by your physician or about 3 times per day.
Can homemade castor oil eye drops be used in the eyes?
Making castor oil at home is easy but guaranteeing a clean and hygienic procedure while making it for use in the eyes is most likely not possible. It is better you buy castor oil eye drops from a pharmaceutical shop than making it at home.
Some people do have allergic reactions to castor oil such as itchiness of the eys, swelling, red eyes, dizziness, and nausea. Others may have breathing difficulties; it is advisable to stop the use of any castor oil containing eye medication when you experience any of these side effects.
Another side effect of using castor oil eye drops is that it can cause blurry vision because of the effect of the thin film formed by the castor eye drop. This usually goes away after a few minutes.
Prevention of dry eyes
- Always read in a bright place
- During seasons that are dry, use eyeglasses to protect from wind.
- Avoid the prolonged staring at the computer or phone
- Avoid exposure to smoke such as smoking
- Stop smoking and avoid eye exposure to smoke.