I don’t like to admit this, but I am somewhat of an expert on pink eye and eye sickness. It is something I have battled frequently for my entire life. I was born without functioning bottom tear ducts in both of my eyes, so my tears don’t drain after being produced. The constant tear production and pooling process creates the same affect as a stagnant pond in nature. Without drainage and circulation, bacteria accumulates and thrives. Growing up, I was in and out of the medical doctor at least once a month for conjunctivitis or some other form of an eye infection. This was a constant battle for me all the way through my college years. No one ever explained WHY my eyes were so susceptible to getting sick.
That was until I met my now husband, Dr. Dave. He was the one person to explain the nervous system to me and its role on allowing my eyes to heal. I began getting regular chiropractic adjustments in 2007. For me, that meant 3-4 adjustments per week based on the damage in my neck. The nerves going to my eyes were literally being pinched off by the bones in my neck due to ligament damage that I had never known about until then. It took a few months of consistent chiropractic care, but soon I noticed I wasn’t getting sick anymore. For the first time in my life, I had gone 4 months without an eye infection! And I noticed something else.. My eyes were draining better on their own! I used to have to wipe my eyes with tissue multiple times in an hour — often friends or classmates would ask me if I was okay, thinking I was crying. I realized that not only were my eyes healthier and warding off sickness better, but I was able to wait 2-3 hours without having to wipe my eyes!
Now fast forward six years, after getting my spine corrected, and fully incorporating the 5 Essentials of Health into my life, my eyes have been doing even better! This recent bout with pink eye is one of maybe 4 times I’ve had it in the last six years. Who can complain about that looking back from where I have come from?
All of this said, I want to share my tips for helping your eyes heal naturally without the use of antibiotics. Something to remember about antibiotics is that they kill both the bad bacteria AND the good. A man-made antibiotic knows no difference. Our body needs its good bacteria as it is the foundation for our immune system. Also, an eye infection is not always bacterial. My doctors growing up told me “there’s a 50/50 chance it could be bacterial or viral,” so they would give me an antibiotic eye drop plus some pill for viral infection. I don’t remember the names of the medications, but I do remember thinking how come I needed pills and drops that really didn’t help and why couldn’t my body heal on its own. It wasn’t until much later in life that I learned that my body CAN HEAL if I just give it the best opportunity to do so.
Here is what I do to fight an eye infection naturally. It’s all about addressing your immune system. The only time you will get an eye infection is when your immune system is weakened. Here are my tips to boost you:
- GET ADJUSTED Your body has an amazing ability to heal itself. That power starts in the brain and travels through the spinal cord to every organ and cell of your body. Chiropractic looks for any interference in the spine which prevents the healing power from traveling to the places it needs to. Each adjustment to your nervous system boosts your immunity anywhere from 200-400%! Do yourself the favor and get your neck checked by your Maximized Living doctor. Getting corrective care adjustments can greatly accelerate your healing when you are sick. Visit MaximizedLiving.com to find a corrective care chiropractor near you.
- COLLOIDAL SILVER This is what I use in place of an antibacterial eye drop medication. There are two ways you can use this. You can drop 2-3 drops directly into each eye 3-5 times per day. Or you can fill an eye wash cup with colloidal silver and wash your eye that way 3-5 times per day. Make sure you have 10ppm colloidal silver (proven to kill the bad bacteria in 6 minutes or less on contact). It’s best to treat both eyes with colloidal silver in case there is bacteria cross contamination. Often just as your one eye is healing, the other will get sick. That’s never fun.
(You can alternatively use a few drops of fresh breast milk directly into each eye to naturally kill any bad bacteria in the eye. The breast milk will also soothe the irritation.)
- GARLIC Raw garlic is a natural antibiotic, antihistamine and holds many immune boosting capabilities. If you can handle eating it raw, pop a couple cloves in your mouth throughout the day, chew and swallow. Most likely you won’t be able to handle this (I know I can’t!). Instead, find raw garlic capsules and supplement that way. 2,000-6,000mg daily is a healthy high dose to boost your immune system. I’ll usually do 2,000mg in the morning and 2,000mg before bed when I’m sick.
- OIL OF OREGANO Oil of oregano contains natural compounds that combat viral, bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections. It is a powerful oil and a few drops can go a long way! One of the most important things to look for when buying Oil of Oregano is the amount of Carvacrol and Thymol. Most of the health benefits of Oil of Oregano are due to these two active ingredients. Oil of Oregano can come in different strengths. The higher the carvacrol concentration, the stronger it’s antimicrobial effects. Also, be sure it is organic. There are two ways to dose Oil of Oregano for an eye infection: 1) Place 4-6 drop sublingually (beneath your tongue) and hold for 30 seconds before swallowing. Repeat up to 10 times daily. 2) In a shot glass of filtered water, float 15 drops on the surface. Take the shot and let the oil coat your throat. Repeat up to 10 times daily.
- VITAMIN C Up to 10,000mg daily is a safe high dose for Vitamin C. Be sure you are using a high quality and safe brand that meets food-grade standards. If you’re not sure, ask your Maximized Living doctor!
- VITAMIN D3 Vitamin D3 is a HUGE immune booster, believe it or not. And we often wonder why we get sick in the fall and winter months more than summer. Well, it mostly has to do with our lack of vitamin D during those 6 months. Not only are we not getting outside as much with less skin exposed, but we are farther away from the sun as well so the precious healing rays can’t reach us as effectively even if we were outside! Up to 20,000 IUs daily is a safe high dose for Vitamin D 3 while sick. On a daily basis in the fall/winter, I take 10,000 IUs daily to make up for lack of sunlight (5,000 IUs daily in the summer months). Be sure you are using a high quality and safe brand that meets food-grade standards. If you’re not sure, ask your Maximized Living doctor!
- WATER Drink PLENTY of pure, filtered water each day. Normally you want to drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water daily. When you’re sick, you need to drink even more! This does not include tea, almond milk, or protein shakes, etc. It needs to be pure water to hydrate your cells and help to flush out toxins.
- PLAIN TISSUE When dealing with an eye infection, this is a very important step to take. By “plain tissue,” I mean just tissue, not the kind that’s got “vitamins or lotion added.” Did you ever think about how they get lotion onto a tissue? It’s definitely NOT natural. It’s actually toxic chemicals that have been studied and shown to make you more sick (so the can sell more tissue?)! Instead, you should use only plain, uncoated tissue sheets or a handkerchief (wash often). Unbleached tissue is best, as we all know the dangers of chlorine to our health. And guess what? Natural uncoated tissue is actually less expensive than the more commercial ‘lotion added’ tissues!
- COLD EYE COMPRESS I know, I know. When your eyes are sick with crusty gunk and swollen, we want to use a hot washcloth to soften the gunk away. What’s actually better is using a cold washcloth and actually holding it over your eyes for some time. A hot compress will actually create more inflammation to your eyes, worsening your symptoms. Instead run a clean wash cloth under freezing cold water, wring it out well, and hold it on your eyes for 10-20 minutes at a time as many times a day as you can. I like to do this right before putting the colloidal silver drops into my eyes. And I usually do the cold compress for 15 minutes 5-6 times per day (about every 2 hours if I’m able to). It really, really helps you get through the day.
- EAT FOODS HIGH IN VITAMIN A Vitamin A is one of the main vitamins your eyes utilize to keep healthy and strong. Eat plenty of spinach, sweet potato, kale, and more foods found here.