Castor oil is a multi-purpose home remedy that has been used for many years. It can be used as a laxative or moisturizer, and it can also be applied to the chest to relieve lung congestion. Some people claim to be using castor oil for vision problems.
Doctors warn this is a sure way to damage your eyes.
Millions of people have watched dozens of videos showing people applying castor oilto their eyelids and eyelashes, as well as under their eyes, to treat problems like dryness, floaters and cataracts. They also use it for glaucoma.
Castor oil can be produced by pressing seeds from the castor bean. It has been used in folk and traditional medicine for thousands of year to treat everything from bronchitis, to skin infections.
Castor oil can be used as a laxative. However, it is not widely used because of the potential side effects, such as vomiting and dizziness.
It hasn’t deterred TikTokers. After two weeks, one woman claimed that castor oil had improved her vision and she didn’t need to use reading glasses nearly as much. One woman said that it prevented an eye infection from spreading , and helped her get rid of floaters. Floaters are the thin strands or gel-like liquid in the eye which cast shadows onto the retina.
Castor oil is used in many over-the counter eye drops because of its moisturizing qualities. Doctors say that these products are designed and tested specifically to treat dry eyes. Castor oil bottles on the shelves of stores are not meant to be used in the eye and can contain dyes, preservatives or fragrances that may cause irritation or infection.
Research has shown that eye drops with low concentrations of castor oil can help with dry eye or inflammation of the eyelids. Experts say that the studies were of poor quality because they used small samples and had no control groups.
Dr. Ashley Brissette is a spokesperson of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in New York and an assistant professor at Weill Cornell Medicine. “Castor Oil is not a miracle cure. You should consult an ophthalmologist if you are concerned about your eyes.
What castor oil is good for and what it’s not good for your eye health
Castor oil does not affect cataracts. This age-related condition can cause cloudy vision, floaters, or Glaucoma. It occurs when fluid builds up and damages the optic nervous, according to Dr. Vicki C., an ophthalmologist who practices in Los Angeles.
Chan explained that “these conditions are inside the eyeball, so even if you place a drop on your eye it won’t seep in, dissolve, or fix anything.”
Brissette says castor oil is a good moisturizer. It contains ricinoleic Acid, a type fatty acid which prevents water loss from the skin. This is why you can find it in cosmetics and lotions.
Brissette explained that if castor oils get into the eyes and moisturise them, this may explain why people feel it improves their vision.
Brissette said that blurred or fluctuating vision is one of the most common complaints from people with dry eye disease.
Castor oil is also said to promote eyelash growth and eyebrows, but there have been no studies done on this theory.
Castor oil can be used externally on the skin. Dr. Chantal CousineauKrieger is an ophthalmologist at the National Eye Institute.
The other eye risks include irritation, allergy reactions, adverse interactions between eye medications, discomfort, and inflammation.
Brissette advised that castor oil should not be used to “cure” a condition.
You can lose your vision permanently if you ignore glaucoma medications. Or waiting to see if castor oilimproves cataracts could make it more difficult to remove them or increase the risk of surgical complications.
How to maintain healthy eyes
You can protect your eyes in many ways.
Cousineau suggests the 20-20-20 Rule: Take a 20-second rest every 20 minutes by looking at a distant object of 20 feet or greater. This will reduce eye strain and fatigue.
Brisette recommends that you wash your eyelids every night with an “eyelid cleanser formulated” to remove dust, bacteria and other pollutants. This helps to remove dust, bacteria and other pollutants that accumulate on eyelids and lashings throughout the day.
Experts also recommend:
- Consume a diet rich in leafy vegetables.
- Remove your makeup before going to bed
- Wear safety glasses when performing tasks such as grinding or sanding or playing sports such as racquetball and paintball.
- Wear sunglasses outside.
- Regularly check your eyes.