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Conjunctivitis and Blepharitis

Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the clear membrane that lines the eye.

Conjunctivitis is caused most commonly by infection from viruses or bacteria, or by an allergic reaction, though other causes exist, such as overexposure to sun, wind, smog, chlorine, or contact lens solution. Pinkeye is the common name for conjunctivitis. Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelid; most commonly, it is caused by a bacterial infection.

 

Rating Nutritional Supplements Herbs
ddd
Calendula
Chamomile
Comfrey
Eyebright
Goldenseal
Oregon grape
Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support and/or minimal health benefit.

 

What are the symptoms of conjunctivitis?

Conjunctivitis and blepharitis may cause mild discomfort with tearing, itching, burning, light sensitivity, and thickening of the eyelids. They may also produce a crust or discharge, occasionally causing the eyelids to stick together during sleep. The eyes and eyelids may become red, but usually there is no blurring or change in vision.

Nutritional supplements that may be helpful for conjunctivitis and blepharitis

Vitamin A deficiency has been reported in people with chronic conjunctivitis.1 It is unknown whether vitamin A supplementation can prevent conjunctivitis or help people who already have the condition.

Are there any side effects or interactions with conjunctivitis and blepharitis?

Refer to the individual supplement for information about any side effects or interactions.

Herbs that may be helpful for conjunctivitis and blepharitis

Several herbs have been traditionally used to treat eye inflammation. Examples include calendula, eyebright, chamomile, and comfrey. None of these herbs has been studied for use in conjunctivitis or blepharitis. As any preparation placed on the eye must be kept sterile, topical use of these herbs in the eyes should only be done under the supervision of an experienced healthcare professional.

Goldenseal and Oregon grape contain the antibacterial constituent known as berberine. While topical use of berberine in eye drops has been clinically studied for eye infections,2 the use of the whole herbs has not been studied for conjunctivitis or blepharitis.

Are there any side effects or interactions with conjunctivitis and blepharitis?

Refer to the individual herb for information about any side effects or interactions.

 

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