Manuka honey and it’s antibacterial properties are no doubt one of the longest standing natural antimicrobials used in science and every year new uses are popping up. Honey is not only preservative free but it has a long self-life, is unaffected by UV, non-toxic, relatively abundant and has shown a rapid clinical affect when used in treatment. Manuka honey can also be used side by side with antibiotic therapies with no adverse affects. So let’s talk about a study done last year in 2015 on postoperative patients who had cataracts removed. Within one month of surgery 0.5 percent of patients can develop corneal epithelial edema (swelling of the cornea). If untreated this can result in a complete loss of vision.
The Cornea is a membrane made up of cells that line the outer layer of the eye, it’s functions are not only to protect the eye but also to keep the cornea dry and clear by moving excess fluid out of the eye. If there is a loss of the cells in this layer, caused by surgery, then water retention occurs which ultimately results in corneal edema or swelling of the cornea.
In this study 18 patients from the Vision Eye Institute in Brisbane Australia who developed corneal edema were treated with Optimel Antibacterial Manuka Eye Drops. Optimel was the first therapeutic honey regulated as a medical device for professional eye care both in Europe and Australia. All 18 patients showed a reduction in corneal epithelial edema, improved corneal clarity and better visualization of the intraocular structures after the initial Optimel application.Before Treatment After Treatment
Pure honey works by being a powerful hyperosmotic agent. Meaning, it draws fluid rapidly away from the cornea allowing a temporary clearing of the eye. It also contains broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties, which show efficiency against antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria and provide an ideal treatment to prevent disease both before and after eye surgery.
Although this was only a small study it provides preliminary evidence of the safety and efficacy of standardized, regulatory approved manuka honey in the management of post-operative corneal edema and keeps the door open to the use of honey in treatments for a variety of eye ailments.
So don’t shut the door on Manuka honey because although it may be expensive it is proving time and time again to be beneficial in many ways within the scientific community.
Albietz, J. )., & Lenton, L. ). (2015). Standardized antibacterial Manuka honey in the management of persistent post-operative corneal oedema: A case series. Clinical And Experimental Optometry, 98(5), 464-472. doi:10.1111/cxo.12295