With many turning to home remedies for minor afflictions, those suffering from eye irritation are interested in ingredients used in homemade eyewash. Homemade eyewash can be used to treat allergic eyes, or to stop itching associated with pinkeye. Some practitioners of holistic medicine also tout homemade eyewash as a way to relieve tired or strained eyes, or to make eyes seems refreshed in those who are tired.
The most important aspect regarding homemade eyewash is to not contaminate the eye by using tap water. Since tap water can contain numerous chemicals, it may not be particularly helpful to an irritated pair of eyes. Also, any additional ingredients may possibly be contaminated with tiny bacteria that can cause serious eye infection.
Most recipes for homemade eyewash recommend using distilled water, since it is free of chemicals. As well, any preparations should be boiled, and then set aside to cool before using. This tends to eliminate possible contamination of the eye by bacteria or irritating chemicals.
A very simple recipe for homemade eyewash is to boil one cup of water with one teaspoon of salt. This liquid can then be used alone as both an eyewash and a nasal rinse. Some recommend adding herbs or tinctures to the liquid. One should be cautious when adding herbs to homemade eyewash as sensitivities to certain herbs can create more problems than they cure. As well, all herbal parts must be filtered out of the homemade eyewash prior to applying the wash to the eyes. Many recommend using a coffee filter and filtering the liquid several times.
Another homemade eyewash is a simple mixture of green tea and distilled water. One adds two parts of brewed green tea to one part of water. This is thought to make the eyes feel refreshed and cooler if they are itchy or irritated. Some also advocate using tea bags directly on closed eyes to reduce swelling of the skin and dark circles.
None of these homemade products should be kept for more than a day or two, since they have no natural preservatives and may introduce bacteria to the eye. Some herbal preparations are available in stores and may be more convenient for use than homemade eyewash.
Final consideration when preparing homemade eyewash is whether the condition you plan to use the eyewash for may need medical treatment. While eyes that are perpetually dry or itchy due to allergies may benefit from homemade eyewash, pinkeye caused by bacteria will not improve. Such a condition requires antibiotic drops and should be brought to the attention of a physician. As well, chronic dry eyes may indicate other conditions and should be addressed by a medical professional.
One should consult a physician before using homemade eyewash to be certain that one’s ingredients will not cause irritation. Usually physicians readily sanction the use of saline homemade eyewash and may even give you a guide on how to prepare it. The medical community less frequently studies additions of herbs or tinctures and doctors may caution patients to avoid them completely.