Sweet treat: using manuka honey to ease dry eye

New research has investigated the effect of eye drops containing manuka honey on meibomian gland dysfunction

A new study has investigated the effectiveness of manuka honey eye drops in the treatment of meibomian gland dysfunction.

The research, published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology, involved randomly assigning 59 dry eye patients either regular lubricating eye drops or Optimel 16% manuka honey eye-drops.

The Standard Patient Evaluation of Eye Dryness (SPEED) was measured in each patient at the start of the trial and at a follow up appointment three weeks later.

Different ocular surface parameters were graded during a slit lamp examination.

The researchers found that after three weeks those treated with conventional drops showed minimal difference in SPEED score. However, measurements of tear film break-up time, corneal surface stain, lid margin, conjunctival redness, as well as meibum quality and expressibility showed significant improvements.

Those who received Optimel drops had a significant difference in SPEED score. The Optimel group also demonstrated improvements in lid margin redness, conjunctival redness, corneal surface stain, and meibum quality and expressibility.

The study group concluded that the manuka honey eye drops were an effective alternative treatment for meibomian gland dysfunction.