Natural Treatments for Dry Eye Disease, Eye Dryness, Redness, Meibomian Gland Dysfunction: Hyaluronic Acid

As many of you know, I am very much into natural treatments with everything—before trying drugs or surgery. I got this from my dad who is a real lover of natural treatments even though he is a Cardiothoracic surgeon and trained with Dr. Cooley and Dr. Debakey: the first heart transplants surgeons in the US.

After my mom had her near-death experience from a negative reaction to a common antibiotic after I was born, my dad really never gave us pills/medications unless we were really, really sick.

Thus we eat a lot of veggies and bone broth in our house.

With dry eyes, I am always looking for natural options. The problem is that there are few if any randomized, controlled, double blinded studies for natural options in most disease states: dry eye care is no exception. It takes a lot of money to fund these studies, which are the gold standard for proving a remedy (and not a placebo or “hope”) works to heal disease and symptoms.

Still, I do try to document what patients say help them. Even a case of 1 patient …may help a certain patient even if it is not a cure. Ideally we would love to have funds to study many of these natural options but there are no multi-million dollar companies pushing tea tree oil or other over the counter options in many cases.

Here is a case of 1: a dear friend who sent me this text:

Hi Sandy,
I know you are into alternative natural treatments and I wanted to let you know that this has been a dry eye game changer for me.  I am still taking the omega 3s too, but the combination of one dropper of this a day taken by mouth plus the omega 3s has made my dry eye significantly better.  I’ve been doing it for three weeks and would highly recommend.  Got it from the apothecary off of cedar road by the NIH.  Not taking any prescription meds for it.

This is what she is using. I have not seen any studies so would recommend you check with your eyeMD before taking this by mouth but I so far cannot find any publications of adverse reactions or side effects of taking Hyaluronic Acid by mouth.

We use Hyaluronic Acid in the gels we use for intraocular surgery, and some artificial tears have Hyaluronic Acid in it. But this was the first report from a friend stating this helped when she took it by mouth.

If you are a patient of mine, I would be interested to know if this did not help you or hurt you or helped you -if you have ever tried it –at your next visit.

Sandra Lora Cremers, MD, FACS

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