Dry Eyes, Xerophthalmia, Sjogren’s syndrome

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Finding a good herbalist

Dry eyes are a common problem with the potential to cause profound levels of discomfort. Blinking, like swallowing and a thousand other bodily functions, is something we never think about until something goes badly wrong, whereupon it becomes hard to think about much else!

Most of what's written in this article is entirely suitable for a person to work through themselves but, especially if things are quite bad, or you just know that you need further help, then there may be a great deal of benefit to you to go to whatever lengths necessary to find a good herbalist or truly holistic practitioner to guide you on to a safe and strong treatment program. There's a short write-up to suggest how you might go about finding such a person here

Causes of dry eyes

Dry eyes can be caused by several medical conditions such as Xerophthalmia; usually associated with a deficiency in vitamin A, or Sjogren's syndrome; caused by an auto-immune condition, if you have Sjogren's then you should try to find an experienced holistic practitioner as discussed here and read the general advice on healthy immunity written up here

Another common cause for chronic dry eyes is a low thyroid function and, as this is a problem that frequently evades recognition, or is mistaken for something else, read the article on thyroid health here

The most common cause of chronic dry eye problems is simply some physical blockage or damage to the tear ducts, the lacrimal glands. For this especially, the following treatment protocol should be of much help.

Euphrasia officinalis (Eyebright)


Eyebright Formula

10mls Eyebright tincture                  
10mls Chamomile tincture               
5mls Fennel tincture                       
Makes 25mls in a bottle with a dropper.


Pour approximately 30-40mls of freshly boiled water into a small and clean receptacle, for example a medicine-measuring cup or an egg-cup. Then add 10-12 drops of the Eyebright formula. Leave the mixture to sit, uncovered, until the liquid has cooled to a comfortable temperature with which to bathe the eyes.

If it turns out that you have left it too long and it is too cool, add a little hot water from the kettle, if it hasn't cooled by the time you are ready, add a little cold water. The temperature is important, it should feel pleasantly warm on the eye, not too hot and not too cold.

Use a small clean eye-cup, as shown below, and pour in enough of the eyebright formula to fill it to about a third. Place the eye-cup over your eye to make a seal and then tilt your head back. Make sure you open and shut your eye a few times and look side to side and up and down whilst blinking in order to let the formula get everywhere it needs to go.

Discard the used solution and then put some more formula back into the eye-cup and repeat. Aim for two or more washes on each eye, putting fresh solution into the eye cup each time. Treat both eyes even if only one if obviously affected, in which case bathe the good eye first.

The whole process is quick and generally painless though it may smart for just a moment at the beginning, especially if there is any blockage or infection present. This is a very safe treatment and, so long as it is helping, it can be repeated as often as needed.


Notes on the herbs

The key ingredient in the formula; Eyebright, works by cleaning the eye and at the same time having an 'astringent' action on the tissues. In effect, this means it acts to tone the surfaces of the eye and make it more resilient to stress or damage, more about Eyebright here

The essential oils in Chamomile work as a natural antibiotic and relieve inflammation; more here

Ingredients in Fennel have a soothing action on the irritated surface of the eye; more here

Matricaria recutita (Chamomile)

Please understand that I cannot personally advise you without seeing you in my clinic.
This living 'book' is my labour of love so, wherever you are, I wish you peace & good health!



© 2011 R.J.Whelan Ltd