The Benefits of Using Castor Oil and Flax Oil for Dry Eyes
The Purchase That Started the Conversation
A chance remark can sometimes result in an interesting discovery.
I purchased some based on the strength of a conversation which I had with a friend. The result was interesting. I found that over time some of the dark pigment marks on my skin began to fade and my skin felt softer. I wanted to share this revelation with someone so I discussed the result with my sister who lives in Australia. Bio-Oil
Please consult with an ophthalmologist before introducing any foreign material into your eye. It is important to first have your condition diagnosed by a medical professional before treatment. Anything introduced into the eye should be sterile to avoid chances of infection; be sure to acquire products that meet these standards.
It emerged from our conversation that she too had recently purchased a very expensive skin product to address the pigment marks which she was also having with her skin and which were caused by the many hours she had spent in the sun in hot countries.
The product she used cost her over $75. She felt that this was extortionate and admitted to me that there had been no improvement in her skin! She was curious to try the Bio-Oil which I had used because by comparison it was a much cheaper product.
I told her that if she decided to go the bio oil route she should keep the product away from her eyes as it can sting a little and can make your eyes blurry.
She laughed and said that was not an issue as she had been using both cold pressed castor oil and cold pressed flax oil for her eyes on the advice of her ophthalmologist. It seems that both these oils have really helped to alleviate the dry eye symptoms which she has always suffered from since she went through a botched eye operation.
Castor Oil and Flax Oil for Dry Eyes
I have spent a fair bit of time writing articles on my computer over the years and my eyes are apt to become easily tired and red after extended periods of looking at the screen. I know I really should take breaks, but I confess I don’t always, especially if I am engrossed in doing something interesting. I had a Lasik operation myself some years back for what was then short-sightedness, and more recently a cataract operation.
My ears naturally pricked up when my sister told me her eye specialist had recommended that she use castor oil or flax oil for her dry eyes. It seemed a good idea and I tried it myself.
The results have been good. I apply the oil when my eyes feel scratchy or dry using a small clean eyedropper, putting one or two drops into each eye at night before going to bed or when I feel it necessary. The castor oil does seem to have reduced my own dry eye symptoms.
If I apply the oil just after a hot shower when my body is wet and warm, the oil appears to be more easily absorbed. The benefits of the oil do seem to outway the mild irritation of having blurry eyes for a while which is why I like to apply it at night when I don't notice it as much. Another benefit of the oil seems to be a noticeable improvement in my eyelashes which appear to have grown thick and strong!
There is a strange story going around in which it is said that some people believe that a single flax seed placed in the eye helps to remove a foreign body from the eye if there is one present.
It seems you have to suffer the inconvenience of having two items placed in the eye in order to have the other one taken out! If you look at the flax seed closely, you will see that it closely resembles a football, which is flat on one side. This apparently allows the flax seed to float around the eye until it finds the foreign body; it then attaches itself to the particle, allowing you to remove the foreign item from your eye along with the seed.
Perhaps it is one of those ‘strange but true’ stories!
It should be noted that the validity of this claim has not been tested by myself, and I recommend further research before attempting to use a flax seed to remove foreign objects from an eye.
Castor Oil and Its Many Uses
Castor oil has many uses, far too many to mention here, but it is used in soap, shampoo, lipsticks, and other cosmetics. It is also found in most of the plastic items we use each day. It was used in the early days as a lubricant for mechanical items such as carts or waggons, and even aeroplanes during the war.
Of course, the one thing you may remember is the daily dose given to patients who suffered from constipation or tummy ache. I do recall being horrified at being given a full bottle to take by my doctor to bring on my labour if the pains did not come before a certain date! I hasten to add that it was never used; I was fortunate enough to never have to go down that route! The children arrived on time without my having to resort to such drastic measures. I guess the oil is probably still gathering cobwebs in some far distant location. Castor oil is also used in candy-making and in flavourings for food. It is sometimes used to treat inflammation as well.
Organic Cold Pressed Castor Oil
What Causes Dry Eyes?
Dry eyes can be caused by a combination of things, left untreated they can sometimes damage the cornea. Often the cause is some type of allergy or insufficient lubrication in the eye. This occurs when tear production slows down. This is sometimes due to age. Harsh winds and the sun can also dry out the eyes.
One can purchase commercial eye drops which contain castor oil, but many people prefer to go the ‘natural route,’ and they decide to purchase cold pressed castor oil. It is important to store this in the refrigerator. Always use a sterile dropper and drop one drop of oil into each eye. This can be repeated three times a day or as required.
No evidence suggests that this is a cure for dry eyes but that it is rather for short term relief. The castor oil moisturises and reduces inflammation around the eyes. It appears to help some of the symptoms of dry eyelids which can also become very cracked, dry, and inflamed. If you apply the oil to your eyelids or lashes it will soothe them and they will become less inflamed.
If you are one of those people who suffer from dry eyes when on a plane and would like to arrive at your destination looking fresh-faced and bright-eyed, ask the air hostess for a bottle of water and some ice blocks with which to soothe your eyes. Put the water and ice into a small cup or container and apply the water and ice to your eyes. Remember the old fashioned eye bath! You should hopefully arrive at your destination with rejuvenated eyes.
The Benefits of Flax Seed Oil
The benefits of flax seed oil are well known. It is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. One usually finds this in fatty fish such as mackerel, salmon, or tuna. Flax oil has been linked to many health benefits, including the treatment and prevention of breast and prostate cancer. It is believed to be of some benefit to people who suffer from diabetes and is also linked to the prevention and treatment of macular degeneration. And, as mentioned before, flax seed oil is helpful in the treatment of dry eyes or conditions which are associated with dry eyes.
There are many conditions that will cause eyes not to produce enough tears, such as surgery or allergies. The symptoms of dry eyes after cataract or Lasik surgery can be greatly alleviated by using flax seed oil or castor oil. The omega-3 oil helps the oil glands to produce the proper conditions so that the tears have something to stick to, thereby improving the conditions in the eye. The oil also stops evaporation and keeps the eyes moist.
Have You Used Any of These Products?
I am particularly interested to hear from people who may have used any of the products mentioned above. I would love to know if you feel you have benefited from their use. Perhaps you did not see or feel any benefit. Either way, I would still love to hear your comments!
Have you used Flax Oil or Castor Oil for Dry Eyes and which one do you find the most helpful?
Questions & Answers
Can I use coconut oil in the same way for dry eyes?
I have no experience of using coconut oil, and it is not something that I would ever recommend. Always consult your doctor or ophthalmologist before using any products in your eyes.
© 2013 Sally Gulbrandsen