Optimel Manuka Honey Eye Drops: A Natural Treatment for Dry Eyes

Written and Medically Reviewed by Dr Leigh Plowman, Optometrist (updated Sept 2022)

Curious to learn about Optimel? How does it help dry eyes?

Dry eye disease is one of the most widespread eye conditions in the world.

Over time, dry eyes can cause pain and discomfort and can increase the risk of eye infection, resulting in permanent life-changing damages.

It is essential to get proper treatment for dry eyes to stop it from developing further and to reduce the symptoms.

Tear deficiency and meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) are the leading causes of dry eyes. Treating the disease from its root cause is always the best course.

Throughout the years, eye care experts, researchers and scientists have continuously worked on developing new treatment plans, devices, procedures and medications to help treat dry eye disease. When it comes to treatments, the most sought out by the majority of the patients are eye drops or artificial tears. 

These artificial tears act as a lubrication for the eye that is having problems producing its own lubricant. There are several brands of eye drops in the market with each one offering different merit over the others. They mainly differ in their formula and solutions.

Optimel eye drops is one of the most innovative eye drops in the market today and is well-known as an effective treatment for dry eyes.

Read on to learn more about Optimel eye products and see if it’s the perfect eye drops for you as well!

What are Optimel Eye Drops?

optimel eye drops
Optimel Drops

Optimel is eye care products made with pharmaceutical-grade honey. Yes, honey. Optimel products use honey from bees of the Leptospermum species. This eye drop utilises the standardised and natural antibacterial property of honey to alleviate dry eyes symptoms.

The Optimel product line comes in with two major variety — Optimel eye drops and Optimel Forte gel. The eye drops contain less honey which only totals to up to 16.5% of the formula. On the other hand, the forte gel is more concentrated and is 98% honey.

How Does it Work for Dry Eyes?

Manuka honey’s active ingredient is called Methylglyoxal (MGO). This ingredient helps kill bacteria around the eyelids.

It helps to stabilise the health of the surface of the eye by creating a microenvironment on the ocular surface. Within this microenvironment, the formula helps heal the surface of the eye and prevent further damage, made possible by the antibacterial properties of Manuka honey. Optimel decreases the bacterial load on the surface of the eye.

honey for dry eyes

Optimel products are often associated with spontaneous tearing and blinking due to the transient low pH and hyperosmotic environment it provides. The tearing and blinking help rapidly displace the formula over the eye surface, providing a lubrication effect.

The product also supports eyelid hygiene. When applied to the eyelid margin, the low pH environment helps limit bacterial growth. Crusts that may form in the margin of the eyelid with the presence of the formula are more likely to be soft and soluble. With this, Optimel products also help treat inflammation around the meibomian glands.

Who Can Benefit from Optimel Products?

Patients can benefit from Optimel products that reduce dry eye symptoms such as soreness, inflammation and irritation in the eyes and eyelids.

Optimel products are suitable for patients suffering from any of the following:

  1. Evaporative dry eye disease
  2. Aqueous tear deficiency
  3. Meibomian gland disease
  4. Blepharitis
  5. Corneal erosion
  6. Colonised ocular surface

Optimel Eye Drops vs. Gel

As mentioned earlier, the main difference between the two varieties is how concentrated the formula is. The eye gel is more concentrated with 98% honey while the 16.5% honey eye drops are less concentrated. Choosing which one is better for a patient would depend on the severity of the dry eye disease.

Optimel eye drops are a milder formulation and are better suited for patients with mild dry eyes. Those who have more sensitive eyes can also choose eye drops instead.

For more severe cases of dry eyes, Optimel Forte eye gel would be a better option since it is a more concentrated formula. Patients with meibomian gland dysfunction can also benefit more with the eye gel since it is directly applied to the eyelids.

Consult with an eye care professional to confirm which product is suitable for you and how you can use it.

Reminders and Precautions

  1. Stinging is normal in a few minutes after application. It can last for up to 5 to 10 minutes before going away completely. The more concentrated Optimel eye gel may sting more compared to the eye drops.
  2. If you get other reaction aside from the transient stinging, cease use and contact your eye care provider.
  3. Do not use Optimel products if you have a history of hypersensitivity or allergy to honey.
  4. Do not apply the eye drops or gel while wearing contact lenses. Wait for at least half an hour before wearing contact lenses.
  5. The product is for single patient use only.
  6. Always consult your eye care provider before starting any treatment to ensure that you’re using the appropriate medication for your condition.

Optimel is definitely a must-have eye product in eye care clinics. It is just one of the many treatment options for patients suffering from dry eye disease.

Ready to try Optimel?

Shop Optimel Drops and Gel here

Dry eyes can really get irritating. Finding the right treatment to reduce the symptoms on its early stage is essential, not just for your eyes but also for your daily life comfort.

Don’t wait for your dry eyes to damage your life for the long run. Find a dry eye clinic and book an appointment.

Want to learn more about dry eye disease and other treatment options? Check out our page for 31 Best Dry Eye Treatments now!

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