Have you ever looked at the ingredients in over-the-counter (OTC) eye drops? If not, you should! Visine and other brands of eye drops contain steriods, NSAIDs, beta receptor blockers and other chemicals and synthetics – yuk! Do you really want to put that stuff in your eyes?
Beta blockers target the beta receptor. Beta receptors are found on cells of the heart muscles, smooth muscles, airways, arteries, kidneys, and other tissues that are part of the sympathetic nervous system and lead to stress responses, especially when they are stimulated by epinephrine (adrenaline). Beta blockers interfere with the binding to the receptor of epinephrine and other stress hormones, and weaken the effects of stress hormones. Beta blockers are used for the management of cardiac arrhythmias, so what are they doing in your eye drops?
Some side effects of OTC steroid eye drops are symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as: rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, and trouble breathing.
Alpha agonists can cause burning or stinging, fatigue, headache, drowsiness, dry mouth and nose, and also they have a higher likelihood of allergic reaction.
Beta blockers‘ side effects include low blood pressure, reduced pulse rate, fatigue, shortness of breath, and in rare occasions, reduced libido and depression.
Allergy eye relief OTC drops contain a histamine antagonist (commonly called an antihistamine) which is a pharmaceutical drug that inhibits the action of histamine by blocking it from attaching to histamine receptors; or it may inhibit the enzymatic activity of histidine decarboxylase, catalyzing the transformation of histidine into histamine (atypical antihistaminics). Antihistamines are commonly used for the relief of allergies caused by intolerance of proteins. [Thank you, Wikipedia.]
All of your cells contain receptors and receptors sites and each cell is looking for the cell which contains the key that fits its receptor sites; this is how cells speak to each other. If we block the cells from talking, we create a cascade of events which ultimately affect every cell in our body, disrupting communication and functions or side effects.
Visine’s Original Formula contains: Active ingredient – Tetrahydrozoline HCl 0.05% – Redness reliever; Inactive ingredients -benzalkonium chloride, boric acid, edetate disodium, purified water, sodium borate, sodium chloride; this is according to their website. But note that most companies do not disclose all ingredients. And here are their published warnings on their website:
Ask a doctor before use if you have narrow angle glaucoma.
When using this product
- pupils may become enlarged temporarily
- overuse may cause more eye redness
- remove contact lenses before using
- do not use if this solution changes color or becomes cloudy
- do not touch tip of container to any surface to avoid contamination
- replace cap after each use
Stop use and ask a doctor if
- you feel eye pain
- changes in vision occur
- redness or irritation of the eye lasts
- condition worsens or lasts more than 72 hours
If pregnant or breast-feeding, ask a health professional before use. Keep out of reach of children. If swallowed, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.
So let’s look at some of the ingredients. Tetrahydrozoline is an alpha agonist and its main mechanism of action is the constriction of conjunctival blood vessels. This serves to relieve the redness of the eye caused by minor ocular irritants. An urban legend suggests that tetrahydrozoline can cause violent diarrhea if administered orally, such as by putting a few drops of Visine in an unsuspecting person’s beverage. However, the actual results of the “Visine Prank” may be worse, varying from severe nausea and vomiting to seizures or a coma. Diarrhea is not a side effect. [Information courtesy of Wikipedia] And remember the side effects of alpha agonists: stinging, fatigue, headache, drowsiness, dry mouth and nose, and also they have a higher likelihood of allergic reaction.
Benzalkonium chloride, also known as alkyldimethylbenzylammonium chloride and ADBAC, is a cationic surface-acting agent belonging to the quaternary ammonium group. It has three main categories of use: as a biocide, a cationic surfactant, and phase transfer agent in the chemical industry. The applications are extremely wide ranging, from disinfectant formulations, such as being an active ingredient in Dettol and Lysol brand products, to microbial corrosion inhibition in the oilfield sector, and a multi-surface mould, algae and moss remover. It is used in:
- Pharmaceuticals such as leave-on skin antiseptics.
- Antiseptic in Bactine to safely treat childhood scrapes and cuts
- Advanced, next-generation hand sanitizers
- Personal care products such as eye, ear and nasal drops, as a preservative
- Hygienic towelettes and wet wipes
- Cleaners for floor and hard surfaces as a disinfectant
- High-level surgical instrument sterilizing and disinfection solutions
- Air and surface sprayable disinfectants
- Over-the-counter herpes cold sore and fever blister single-application treatments such as RELEEV and Viroxyn
Why would you put this in your eyes???
Here is a truly natural solution, which has been shown to benefit your eye health and the only one I will use.
Gary Young has used this recipe for his patients at the Ecuador Clinic for macular degeneration, health issues, cataracts, and improving sight. I’ve been using it for a couple of years and love it! I started using this recipe before I had to have a vision exam in order to purchase new contacts. And I knew my vision had deteriorated from my last exam. So I put the drops in my eyes every night for about 6 months prior to the exam and my prescription had not changed according to their records, but I know what I was not seeing and I know what I was seeing as a result of using these drops – clearly my vision had improved! The recipe is as follows – and ONLY use Young Living Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils in your eyes!
- 7-10 drops of Frankincense (I have also used Sacred Frankincense)
- 7-10 drops of Rosemary
- 7-10 drops of Cypress
- 2 Tbsp of V-6
- Put oils in a glass dropper bottle with a lid on it, preferably cobalt blue glass. Do not store the bottle with the glass dropper in it because the oils will cause the rubber to disintegrate; this is one of the benefits of Young Living Oils, they eat up the petrochemicals and toxins in our body just like they do with plastics. Put a drop in each eye every night before bed.
My experience has been that I can see much more clearly just after putting the drops in my eye so I am also going to experiment with putting a drop in my eyes in the morning.
Frankincense has many wonderful properties including having molecules shown to be anti-inflammatory, it can also stimulates the limbic system which is the center of emotions, very helpful to address the emotional and spiritual side of “seeing”. Frankincense contains sesquiterpene molecules which studies have shown enable it to go beyond the blood brain barrier to elevate the mind and overstress stress and despair while increasing the leukocyte activity to maintain wellness. Any essential oil with a molecular size less than 500 amu (atomic mass unit) can penetrate and affect DNA and cellular memory (note: most essential oils are less than 300 amu). Frankincense contains mostly monoterpene molecules which are 136 amu.**
Rosemary has been shown to support the nervous system as well as the endocrine system and it also has other wonderful properties such as having the ability to eliminate toxins in the liver and kidneys.
Cypress is excellent for circulation and can also strengthen blood capillary walls according to research. The fragrance of cypress can also heal emotional trauma.
Our eyes require nutrition just like every cell in our body, so here are some recommended supplements:
- Water – drink ½ your body weight in ounces daily; water is a necessity for all of your cells!
- NingXia Red - Contains a huge amount of antioxidants SOD, Carotenoids in proper balance, 278 mg zeaxanthin and 2 mg lutein per gram of dried wolfberries, and 7 medical grade oils delivering 93% d-limonene – a potent antioxidant and a marker for bioactivity.
- Mineral Essence – Over 60 trace minerals essential for every cell’s optimum health as well as the catalyst to absorb and process vitamins.
- Super B – In a study by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School found that women who took a combination of folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 had a 35 percent to 40 percent lower risk of developing age-related macular degeneration than the women who took a placebo.
- Super C – The eye has the highest concentration of vitamin C of any other organ in the body. Before a cataract forms, the lens of the eye becomes completely devoid of vitamin C and also glutathione.
- MegaCal – A wonderful source of calcium, magnesium, manganese, and vitamin C. MegaCal supports normal ocular, bone and vascular health as well as normal nerve function and contains 205 mg of calcium and 187 mg of magnesium per serving.
- OmegaGize – Essential fatty Acids of DHA, EPA & ALA with the addition of clove, German (blue) chamomile and spearmint essential oils – these vital nutrients support normal brain, heart, skin, eyes, and joint function.
- Sulfurzyme – Sulfur is essential for the healthy growth of every cell in the body including the eyes, equalizing water pressure inside the cells.
So as you can see, there are many qualities to each oil and using Young Living medical grade or therapeutic grade essential oils guarantees that all of the oil’s molecules are in each drop without toxic chemicals and synthetics. You do have a choice and one that is natural and organic, straight from Mother Nature.
*Research: Vienna and Berlin Universities (Nasel, 1992): sesquiterpenes can increase levels of oxygen in the brain by up to 28 percent.
**Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple by David Stewart, PhD
See The Essential Oils Desk Reference, 5th Edition for the latest research on medical grade essential oils.
*NOTE: I appreciate all the comments I am receiving about my experience, however, do note that this is MY experience and this is what I CHOOSE to use for my every day health: ingesting Young Living Essential Oils which are medical grade, using them topically, diffusing, and yes, using this eye drop recipe. I am recommending, however, that you read the labels of everything you use, research the ingredients and then decide if you want to use toxic chemicals in your body. Chemicals and synthetics are killing every species on our planet. I am healthy and vibrant thanks to Young Living and I will continue to make the healthiest choice available to me. For those of you who want more research, I will be posting more soon.
Diana Ewald is a Young Living Independent Distributor, Member 534462. To purchase Young Living Essential Oils, visit www.AromatherapyLiving.com.
Don’t expect the same results unless you are using Young Living Therapeutic Grade essential oils and supplements. Also each person is different so they may not work as well for you as it does for others so try another oil or supplement that would work better for you. Essential oil testimonials are an effective way of learning and sharing. With this knowledge, we can take control of our own personal health. However, we are required by law to state: “These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Products and techniques mentioned are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.” Information provided here is in no way intended to replace proper medical help.