Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Why Nose Breathing Is so Important for Optimal Health and Fitness



By Dr. Mercola
Patrick McKeown is one of the top teachers of the Buteyko method — a breathing method named after the Russian physician who developed it. McKeown has been teaching the Buteyko Breathing Method full-time in his native Ireland and abroad for over a dozen years.
As he notes in the featured TED Talk, breathing is typically an ignored topic when it comes to health, yet breathing properly can improve oxygenation through your body, including your brain, and is a powerful strategy for relieving stress and anxiety.
Two of the most common breathing problems are over-breathing and mouth breathing, both of which have adverse health consequences.
Mouth breathing even alters your facial structure, causing your facial features to narrow and droop downward. Narrow and set back jaws increase the risk of developing lifelong obstructive sleep apnea.1
In the video below, McKeown reviews the many problems associated with mouth breathing specifically, and the importance of addressing mouth breathing early in childhood, as it can have lifelong repercussions.

Nose Breathing Is Key for Good Health and Stress Management

Most people will tell you to take a deep breath to calm yourself down. However, this strategy can actually have the opposite effect.
When you're stressed, your breath becomes faster, deeper and noisier, you breathe more often through your mouth and you tend to breathe with your upper chest rather than your diaphragm.
As noted by McKeown, it simply doesn't make sense to amplify your current breathing pattern if you want to bring yourself from a state of stress to a state of calm. To induce calm, you need to breathe slowly, using the diaphragm. You also want to breathe less, and breathing through your nose is key.
Your nose actually directs 30 different functions in your body. Nerves in your nasal passages (which connect to your hypothalamus) sense everything about your breathing and use that information to regulate your bodily functions.
For example, your nose releases nitric oxide (NO) during breathing, which is carried from your nose into your lungs. NO is a gas that plays a significant role in homeostasis (maintaining of balance) within your body.2,3,4,5,6  
NO also sterilizes the air carried into your lungs, opens up the airways and increases the amount of oxygen taken up in your blood. You were born to breathe through your nose, yet many develop dysfunctional breathing patterns that lead to mouth breathing.
This in turn can result in other health problems, including asthma. As a result of feeling like you're not getting enough air, asthmatics tend to breathe heavier, and when you increase the breathing volume coming into your lungs, it causes a loss of carbon dioxide (CO2).

The Importance of Carbon Dioxide Homeostasis

Contrary to popular belief, CO2 is not merely a waste gas. Although you breathe to get rid of excess CO2, it's important to maintain a certain amount of CO2 in your lungs, and for that you need to maintain a normal breathing volume.
When too much CO2 is lost through heavy breathing, it causes the smooth muscles embedded in your airways to constrict. When this happens, there is a feeling of not getting enough air and the natural reaction is to breathe more intensely.
But this simply causes an even greater loss of CO2, which constricts your airway even further. In this way, asthma symptoms feed back to the condition, and to remedy the situation you need to break this negative feedback loop by breathing through your nose and breathing less.
Also, while most believe that taking bigger breaths through your mouth allows you to take more oxygen into your body, which should make you feel better and more clear-headed, the opposite actually happens.
Deep breathing tends to make you feel a bit light-headed, and this is due to eliminating too much CO2 from your lungs, which causes your blood vessels to constrict. So, the heavier you breathe, the less oxygen is actually delivered throughout your body.
Overbreathing and mouth breathing also tend to go hand-in-hand with snoring and/or sleep apnea; conditions that decimate your sleep quality. This too contributes to the downward health spiral associated with improper breathing.

Less Is More When It Comes to Breathing

Breathing through your nose and breathing less is the answer to all of these problems. According to medical textbooks, normal breathing volume is between 4 and 7 liters of air per minute, which translates into 12 to 14 breaths.
Clinical trials involving asthmatics show they breathe between 10 to 15 liters of air per minute,7,8 and people with chronic heart disease tend to breathe between 15 to 18 liters of air per minute.9,10,11,12
This suggests breathing less is a sign of better health. Conversely, the more you breathe, the more likely you are to experience significant health problems. Your tolerance to CO2 is part of this equation, as good CO2 tolerance equates to higher levels of health and fitness.
When your body and brain have a normal CO2 tolerance, your breathing will be light and smooth as your body is not constantly trying to rid itself of excess CO2. Contrary to popular belief, the primary stimulant signaling your body to take a breath is not lack of oxygen; it's an excess CO2.
"Oxygen only drives your breathing when oxygen levels drop to about 50 percent, and that would be quite an extreme situation. So, your body breathes to get rid of the excess gas, CO2," McKeown explains.
You always need a certain amount of CO2 for normal functioning. If you have normal CO2, you will have good tolerance to it, which translates into a higher breath-hold time (the length of time you can hold your breath). Also, when you exercise, your body generates more CO2, and if you have good tolerance to it, your breathing rate will remain much lower than someone who has a poor tolerance to CO2.

How to Improve Your Blood Circulation and Lower Stress Through Proper Breathing

In his talk, McKeown leads a group demonstration of proper breathing, summarized as follows:
Place one hand on your upper chest and the other on your belly; feel your belly move slightly in and out with each breath, while your chest remains unmoving.
Close your mouth and breathe in and out through your nose. Focus your attention on the cold air coming into your nose and the slightly warmer air leaving it on the out breath.
Slowly decrease the volume of each breath, to the point it feels like you're almost not breathing at all (you'll notice your breath getting very quiet at this point). The crucial thing here is to develop a slight air hunger. This simply means there's a slight accumulation of carbon dioxide in your blood, which signals your brain to breathe.
After three or four minutes of air hunger, you'll start experiencing the beneficial effects of CO2 accumulation, such as an increase in body temperature and an increase in saliva. The former is a sign of improved blood circulation; the latter a sign that your parasympathetic nervous system has been activated, which is important for stress reduction.
When you're breathing properly, your breath will be so soft, quiet and light. It will not be visibly or audibly noticeable. By slowing down the speed of your breathing to the point where the hairs in your nose barely move, you can more easily enter into a calm, meditative state. Breathe less air into your lungs than what you were breathing before you started the exercise.
The air shortage should be tolerable and not at all stressful. If the air shortage is too much, take a break from the exercise for 15 seconds or so before resuming to it again. This type of breathing will also help lower your blood pressure, and can be a useful technique to address hypertension without drugs. You may also notice that you have less nasal congestion, allowing for easier breathing.

Breathing Exercise to Quell Panic Attacks and Anxiety

Another breathing exercise that can help if you're experiencing anxiety or panic attacks, or if you feel very stressed and your mind can't stop racing, is the following. This sequence helps retain and gently accumulate CO2, leading to calmer breathing and reduced anxiety. In other words, the urge to breathe will decline as you go into a more relaxed state.  
  • Take a small breath into your nose, a small breath out; hold your nose for five seconds in order to hold your breath, and then release to resume breathing.
  • Breathe normally for 10 seconds.
  • Repeat the sequence several more times: small breath in through your nose, small breath out; hold your breath for five seconds, then let go and breathe normally for 10 seconds.

The way you breathe also affects your heart. I interviewed McKeown on the effects of Buteyko breathing on sports performance in 2013 (see above). Typically, athletes who experience cardiac arrest or heart attacks are in prime physical condition and do not fit the model of someone with a heart problem. However, athletes do tend to breathe very heavily, for obvious reasons, and this alone can trigger a chain of events that could lead to cardiac arrest.
As mentioned, the loss of CO2 from heavy breathing constricts your blood vessels, causing reduced blood flow to your heart. As a result, oxygen delivery is reduced, and your heart requires oxygen for proper performance. Arrhythmia can occur when there's insufficient blood flow and insufficient oxygen. Arrhythmia is when your pulse increases too much, causing it to become chaotic. In severe cases, the heart may stop.
McKeown has also investigated the effects of breath-holding during exercise to simulate high altitude training. In order to simulate high altitude training, the percentage saturation of the red blood cells with oxygen must be decreased to less than 93 percent as shown in the following video.



While it may seem a bit counterintuitive to restrict breathing during physical exertion, this may actually be beneficial in a number of ways. According to McKeown:
"When you subject your body to a reduced concentration of oxygen, as is the case during high altitude training ... you're going into anaerobic metabolism, so you're working without air. Your oxygen partial pressure is dropping to below normal.
Breath holding after an exhalation causes a decrease to the concentration of oxygen to trigger increased lactic acid. At the same time, carbon dioxide also increases leading to an increased concentration of hydrogen ions to further acidify the blood. Repeated exposure to increased acidosis- forces the body to adapt to it.
To neutralize hydrogen ions, the bodies buffering capacity improves which delays the onset of fatigue to improve anaerobic capacity. This allows athletes to continue to exercise longer or at a higher intensity for a given distance.13 Your spleen, which is an organ located just under your diaphragm (it's basically your blood bank), contains about 8 percent of the total red blood cell count.
But if you're doing altitude training or involving breath holding during exercise, the arterial saturation of oxygen is dropping. The spleen will sense this drop of oxygen, so it will release more red blood cells into circulation.
Another factor is that your kidneys, during high altitude training and during breath-hold exercise, become slightly hypoxic; there's reduced oxygen in the blood. In response to that, your kidneys will synthesize a hormone called EPO, which stimulates the maturation of red blood cells in your bone marrow.
Finally, the diaphragm and other respiratory muscles may become exhausted during both short-term, high intensity exercise and more prolonged exercise such as marathon running. Holding the breath after an exhalation until a medium-to-strong need for air mobilizes the diaphragm, providing it with a workout and helping to strengthen it. A recent study involving elite athletes found that breath holding improved inspiratory muscle strength values by 14.9 percent.14
So, the benefits of incorporating breath-holding into walking, for instance, will lead to improved anaerobic capacity and respiratory muscle strength, along with improved oxygen-carrying capacity in red blood cells. We've heard of many athletes who have to do this unethically and illegally. But we should really tap into our body's natural resource, because our body has everything that we need, if we know how to guide it."

The Basic Buteyko Self-Test

Dr. Konstantin Buteyko developed a simple self-test for estimating your CO2 tolerance. He found that the level of CO2 in your lungs correlates to your ability to hold your breath after normal exhalation. Studies involving patients with cystic fibrosis and asthma have confirmed that the lower your breath-hold time, i.e. the amount of time you can hold your breath, the heavier you breathe in general.15,16,17,18 You can use a stopwatch or simply count the number of seconds to yourself. To do this test:
  1. Sit straight without crossing your legs and breathe comfortably and steadily.
  2. Take a small, silent breath in and out through your nose. After exhaling, pinch your nose to keep air from entering.
  3. Start your stopwatch and hold your breath until you feel the first definite desire to breathe.
  4. When you feel the first urge to breathe, resume breathing and note the time. The urge to breathe may come in the form of involuntary movements of your breathing muscles, or your belly may jerk or your throat may contract. Your inhalation should be calm and controlled, through your nose. If you feel like you must take a big breath, then you held your breath too long.
The time you just measured is called the "control pause" or CP, which reflects your body's CO2 tolerance. Short CP times correlate with chronically depleted CO2 levels. Here's what your CP time can tell you about your health and fitness:
  • CP 40 to 60 seconds: Indicates a normal, healthy breathing pattern and excellent physical endurance.
  • CP 20 to 40 seconds: Indicates mild breathing impairment, moderate tolerance to physical exercise and potential for health problems in the future (most folks fall into this category).
  • CP 10 to 20 seconds: Indicates significant breathing impairment and poor tolerance to physical exercise; nasal breath training and lifestyle modifications are recommended (potential areas are poor diet, overweight, excess stress, excess alcohol, etc.).
  • CP under 10 seconds: Serious breathing impairment, very poor exercise tolerance and chronic health problems; Buteyko recommends consulting a Buteyko practitioner for assistance.

How to Practice Buteyko Breathing Daily


The good news is you can improve your CP time by regularly performing the breathing method outlined below. For a demonstration, see the above video. For each five-second increase in CP, you will feel better and improve your exercise endurance.
While this exercise is perfectly safe for the vast majority of people, if you have any cardiac problems, high blood pressure, are pregnant, have type 1 diabetes, panic attacks or any serious health concern, then please do not hold your breath beyond the first urges to breatheThe following exercise is also very effective for decongesting your nose in just a few minutes:
  • Sit up straight.
  • Take a small breath in through your nose and a small breath out. If your nose is quite blocked, take a tiny breath in through the corner of your mouth.
  • Pinch your nose with your fingers and hold your breath. Keep your mouth closed.
  • Gently nod your head or sway your body until you feel that you cannot hold your breath any longer.
  • When you need to breathe in, let go of your nose and breathe gently through it, in and out, with your mouth closed.
  • Calm your breathing as soon as possible.
How to Unblock Nose Naturally
Repeat this exercise several times in succession, waiting about 30 to 60 seconds in between rounds. Be sure to do it on a regular basis, ideally daily. The fastest way to increase your CP is by learning to be mindful of your breathing on a moment-to-moment basis:
  • Always keep your mouth closed for breathing, even during exertion. If you're exercising or exerting yourself to the point you have to open your mouth to gasp for air, slow down and avoid exerting yourself beyond the point where you can no longer breathe through your nose. This will help you avoid the hazards associated with overbreathing during exercise, such as doing damage to your heart.
  • Even when you breathe through your nose, try to breathe more lightly than you normally do; you should not be able to see your breathing in your chest or abdomen.
  • Control your breathing all of the time, especially in stressful situations.

Additional Resources

According to McKeown, most dysfunctional breathing patterns are rooted in the modern lifestyle. Contributing factors include:
Processed food (which are acid-forming)
Overeating
Excessive talking
Stress
Believing it's good to take big, deep breaths
Lack of exercise
Genetic predisposition or familial habits
High indoor temperatures
Addressing these issues can also be helpful if you struggle with chronic overbreathing or mouth breathing. To learn more about the Buteyko Breathing Method, check out McKeown's books, "The Oxygen Advantage," "Close Your Mouth: Self Help Buteyko Manual," and "Anxiety Free: Stop Worrying and Quieten Your Mind," which can be found on amazon.com and ButeykoClinic.com. There's also a website dedicated to children, called ButeykoKids.com.



How To Use Castor Oil To Dissolve Cataracts And Get 20/20 Vision!

The term cataract refers to the clouding that appears of the normally clear lens of the eye. For those with cataracts, seeing through cloudy lenses seems like looking through a frosty window.  Consequently, this makes it difficult for the individual to drive a car at night or read.
The majority of cataracts develops gradually and do not disturb your vision in the very beginning. However, they might interfere with your vision as time passes by. Initially, eyeglasses and stronger light help deal with cataracts, but a cataract surgery is required in case impaired vision affects with your day-to-day activities.

Signs and Symptoms of Cataracts

  • Blurred, clouded, or dim vision
  • Sensitivity to glare and light
  • Difficulty with vision at night
  • Fading or yellowing of colors
  • Double vision in one eye
  • Need for brighter lightening for reading
  • Frequent changes in contact lens or eyeglass prescription
  • Seeing halos around lights
As for the causes, it is believed that most cataracts develop when injury or aging changes the tissue making up the eye`s lens. Some health problems and genetic disorders are also likely to increase the risk for developing cataracts.  Past eye surgery, eye-related conditions, and conditions like diabetes are also common cause of cataracts. Ultimately, this problem may also arise from long-term use of steroid drugs.
It has been scientifically shown that those with low levels of antioxidants in their bodies are at higher risk of developing cataracts.  Therefore, keeping the glutathione level relatively high helps delay the formation of cataracts and diminish the need for cataract surgery.  Not only glutathione, but other foods high in antioxidants are also solid remedy against cataracts and similar eye problems
Can You Eliminate Cataracts Without Surgery?
While we are being told that surgery is the only option for removing cataracts, and indeed is the best for advanced cases, there are natural ways to eliminate cataracts if you diagnose them in the very beginning.
This one simple ingredient can be successfully used to dissolve cataracts. It has been found that it works for other eye problems as well, including age-related macular degeneration, dry eyes, near and far-sightedness, and conjunctivitis.
Since eye problems are caused by glycation, applying antioxidants or ingesting them heals from the inside out! Natural healers have been aware of this for a very long time now though. Castor oil is packed with antioxidants and this is the reason why it has such a beneficial effect on the eyes.

When And How To Use Castor Oil As An Eyedrop

Apply a drop of pure castor oil into each eye using an eyedropper. It is recommended to do this at bedtime, as your eyesight is likely to be blurred with this application. Hence, closing the eyes overnight allows the oil to do its work as you sleep.
The next morning, there might be crusts at the edge of the eyes. Don’t worry about it as this is the calcification being dissolved for elimination. All you have to do is to rinse it off.
Many people who have tried this remedy claim that their vision has notably improved the next morning, and it keeps getting even better. However, in case you don’t notice any improvement in your vision after using it a few nights in a row, stop using it.  Although it doesn’t do any harm to your eyes, it may not be appropriate for your problem.
Sources:

Home Remedies for Eye Infection That Actually Work



Eye infections can affect any part of the eye including the inner or outer eyelid or the eyeball. Eye infections can be caused by bacterial, viral, or fungal infections, and any foreign body getting into the eye can cause severe irritation. Very often, people who wear contact lenses are more prone to eye infections. Common symptoms of an eye infection are redness around your eyelids, discharge, itchy or scratchy eyes, watery eyes, and swelling around your eyes.
The eye is a very complex and sensitive organ, therefore, if you get any signs of a serious infection in your eye, you should see an eye doctor. Not getting prompt treatment for an eye infection can lead to permanent eye damage and possible vision loss.
There are many home remedies for eye infections that can be used for mild infections or to complement conventional treatment for severe eye infections. For example, a warm compress with chamomile can help to reduce eye swelling and is effective against pink eye. Even a simple saline eye wash can help to reduce eye infections, soothe irritation, and speed up healing time.
Before we look at the best home remedies for treating an infected eye, it’s important to know a little more about the different kinds of eye infections.

Different Types of Eye Infections

Eye infections can affect one or both eyes at the same time. Depending on the cause of the eye infection, you may have one of these eye infections:
Conjunctivitis or pink eye. This is a common viral or bacterial eye infection that affects the inside of the eyelid or outer layer of the eye. According to Medlineplus, pink eye causes itching, inflammation, discharge, and redness and can be very contagious.1
Eye stye (sty). An eye stye is another common type of eye infection. An eye stye causes a red bump to appear on your eyelid. The stye appears because of bacteria blocking an oil gland in your eyelid. The bump can fill with pus and become red and swollen. The Mayo Clinic says that a stye should go away on its own within a few days.2
Keratitis. A bacterial infection in your eye which can cause pain, vision problems, and watery eyes. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, keratitis can also cause discharge and requires prompt medical treatment.3
ShinglesShingles can affect your eye as well as making your skin and nerves sensitive to touch. The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) says that the herpes zoster virus can infect the skin around the eye and even the eye itself. This will cause your eye to become very painful, inflamed, and cause redness on your eyelid. If you have shingles around your eye, you should see a doctor immediately.4
Blepharitis. Blepharitis causes your eyelids to become inflamed and it also causes the skin around the eye to become dry. Dr. Brian S. Boxer Wachler from WebMD says that your eyes will probably feel itchy and look swollen. Some home remedies are effective in treating blepharitis infections.5
Orbital cellulitis. A bacterial infection in the tissue around your eyes can cause orbital cellulitis. Ophthalmologist, Dr. Franklin W. Lusby says that the upper and lower eyelid become swollen and inflamed and are often accompanied with a fever, pain when moving the eye, and decreased vision.6 If left untreated, it can lead to blindness, therefore, prompt medical attention for this type of eye infection is essential.
Dacryocystitis. Dacryocystitis is an infection of the tear sac when it becomes blocked. According to Dr. James Garrity from the Mayo Clinic, the eye infection can inflame the area at the corner of your eye near to your nose. This will probably be painful and you may have discharge from the corner of your eye.7
Herpes virus. The same herpes virus that causes cold sores can also cause eye infections. Very often the infection is spread to the eye after touching a cold sore on your face. Dr. Daniel Porter from the American Academy of Ophthalmology says that the herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection in the eye can cause pain, redness, problems with your vision, discharge, and sensitivity to light.8

Common Symptoms of Eye Infections

A viral, bacterial, or fungal infection in or around your eye will cause a number of symptoms ranging from mild to severe. Mild eye infections can be treated effectively using home remedies to reduce inflammation and help the eye heal properly.
According to Dr. Kathleen Romito from WebMD, some symptoms of eye infections that can be treated at home are:9
  • A feeling of something in your eye.
  • Redness around your eye or eyelids.
  • A small amount of discharge.
  • Watery eyes.
However, if you have other symptoms like pain in your eyes, increased sensitivity to light, fever, impaired vision, and discharge, you should always have your eye evaluated by a doctor.

Common Causes of Eye Infections

There are a number of reasons why eyes become infected and cause redness, swelling, and discharge. For example, irritation from a minor injury (like a scratch) or a chemical getting into your eye can result in germs causing an eye infection.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology says that people who wear contact lenses are more prone to having eye infections.10
Also, touching your eyes with unclean hands can spread germs and viruses to your eyes that can cause infections on your eyelids, eyeball, and tear sacs.

Home Remedies for Eye Infections

Effective treatment for infections in and around the eye require getting rid of the infection-causing germs and soothing any inflammation. It’s also important to always wash your hands before applying any remedy to your eye. This will help to prevent spreading any more infection to your eye.

Warm compress

A warm compress can treat an eye infection like an eye stye or conjunctivitis and help clear the infection quicker. The warmth from the compress helps to increase blood flow to the infected eye which may speed up the healing process.
Doctors from the Mayo Clinic recommend using a warm compress to treat pink eye infections. This can also be useful to soothe the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis.11
How to use:
To help get rid of an eye infection using a warm compress, this is what you should do:
  • Soak a clean, lint-free cloth in warm water and wring out the excess.
  • Keep your eyes closed and apply the warm compress to the infected eye several times a day.
  • Repeat until signs of your eye infection have gone completely.
If you have conjunctivitis in both eyes, you should use different clean cloths for each eye. This is to prevent spreading infection from one eye to the other.
If your eye is inflamed, you can also try a soothing cool compress for instant relief from itchy, scratchy eyes.

Tea bags

Tea bags are a great way to help treat an eye infection at home. Old tea bags for eye infections make great compresses and tea contain soothing properties to help reduce inflammation and irritation caused by eye infections. Tea bags can also help to drain pus from eye styes and prevent the infection getting worse.
For example, the journal Archives of Dermatology published a study into the therapeutic effects of green tea. The researchers found that green tea contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties than can help treat various skin disorders.12
How to use:
It is very easy to use black or green tea bags as a home remedy to help treat mild eye infections. This is what you should do:
  • Dip a tea bag in hot water and leave for 5 minutes.
  • Press out excess moisture and make sure that the tea bag isn’t hot.
  • Place onto your infected eye and hold for a few minutes at a time.
  • Repeat the tea bag remedy every day until the irritation, discharge, and any other signs of the eye infection have gone for good.

Chamomile

Chamomile is another natural remedy for treating eye infections, especially pink eye and eye styes. The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile help to clear infections and soothe inflamed eyes.
A study from 2010 into the anti-inflammatory effect of chamomile found that it is an effective treatment for eye infections and inflammation. Chamomile is used to clear infections in tear sacs, get rid of the symptoms of conjunctivitis, and treat other eye disorders.13
The University of Maryland reports that a chamomile compress can help to fight pink eye infections.14
How to use:
You can also make a therapeutic eye compress from chamomile tea bags to help get rid of the eye infection quicker. All you have to do is follow the instructions on using regular tea bags for eye infections.
A word of warning: some people have an allergy to chamomile. Therefore, if you have allergic conjunctivitis, you should use an alternative natural remedy for your eye infection.

Eyebright

You can treat conjunctivitis naturally by using a natural remedy called eyebright (Euphrasia). Eyebright is a natural herb which has traditionally been used for treating eye infections naturally. Eyebright can also help to protect your eyesight and prevent vision problems.
The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine reported that a single drop of eyebright 3 times a day can produce “very good” results when treating conjunctivitis.15 Another study found that eyebright is effective for eye infections because of its antimicrobial properties. Eyebright killed off various bacterial strains that cause eye infections.16
How to use:
The easiest way to use eyebright as a natural remedy for eye infections is to purchase homeopathy euphrasia eye drops. You should put one drop in your infected eye 3 times a day until the infection is completely gone.

Honey

Many people don’t know that you can use raw natural honey to treat various eye disorders. Honey contains powerful antibacterial properties that have a wide range of health benefits. The best type of honey for treating eye infections is Manuka honey. However, if you can’t get Manuka honey, then you can also use organic honey as an effective natural eye salve.
A study from 2016 which was conducted in Germany found that honey is a natural eye remedy for eye diseases. Honey was found to help prevent dry eye disorders and help kill off infection-causing bacteria in the eye.17
How to use:
To help quickly reduce irritation and inflammation caused by an eye infection, use some honey to speed up the healing process. This is all you have to do:
  • Mix equal parts of honey with distilled water.
  • Using a cotton ball, apply the natural honey remedy to the infected eye.
  • Use 2-3 times a day until the eye infection clears and you no longer have any irritation.

Saline eye wash

You can relieve discomfort in your eye from an eye infection by rinsing your eye with a saline solution to get quick relief. Salt helps to balance the pH levels in your eye, thus reducing itching and irritation. Saline solutions are also naturally antibacterial and that helps to remove infections and also prevent them spreading.
The journal Annals of Emergency Medicine reported that a warm saline solution is the best kind of solution to rinse your eyes. A warm saline solution helps to soothe the eye better than a solution at room temperature.18
How to use:
To rinse your eye with a salt water solution to help get rid of an eye infection quicker and soothe irritation, this is what you should do:
  • Mix 1 teaspoon of salt in a cup of water.
  • Boil the salt solution and leave it to cool until it is warm.
  • Use an eye bath to rinse the infected eye.
  • Repeat rinsing your eye with the salt water remedy 2-3 times a day until all symptoms of the eye infection are gone.

Colloidal silver

Some people have found colloidal silver to be a natural treatment for conjunctivitis or eye styes. Colloidal silver contains tiny particles of silver which have an antibacterial effect when used on the skin. Eye drops containing colloidal silver can help to remove infections from your eye.
The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health reported that colloidal silver is used to prevent conjunctivitis.19  
How to use:
You should buy colloidal silver from a health store or online. The instructions for using colloidal silver for treating conjunctivitis are as follows:
  • Put 1-2 drops of colloidal silver in your infected eye and blink to distribute the solution.
  • Repeat 2 times a day.
  • Continue using until the pink eye infection clears up.
If you have itching and swelling around your eye due to a mild eye infection, you can also use colloidal silver cream to relieve the discomfort.

How to Prevent Eye Infections

One of the best ways to prevent eye infections is to use proper eye hygiene. One of the basic principles to stop germs spreading to your eyes is to wash your hands before touching them. This is also very important if you wear contact lenses.
Here are some practical ways to prevent infections on your eyelid, eye, or the area surrounding your eye:
  • Avoid touching your eyes and face. If you have to, wash your hands thoroughly beforehand.
  • When treating eye infections, always wash your hands before and after applying remedies.
  • Don’t share towels, face cloths, or pillows.
  • Protect your eyes with glasses or goggles from dust, chemicals, and other irritants.
  • If you wear contact lenses, always remove them before going to sleep and follow the directions on the cleaning solution carefully.

Eye Infections – When to See a Doctor

Your eye is a very delicate organ in your body and can become infected easily. Prompt attention for any symptom of an eye infection will help to stop the infection spreading and becoming worse. However, some eye infections can become very serious and can even cause permanent vision impairment or loss.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend seeing your health care provider promptly if your eye infection causes any of the following:20
  • Moderate to severe pain in one or both of your eyes.
  • The redness in or around your eye becomes very intense.
  • Symptoms of an eye infection don’t improve within 24 hours after treating it at home.
  • You develop sensitivity to light.
  • Your vision is blurred or impaired.