For the millions who suffer chronically from dry eyes, a new type of eye drop may provide the best relief yet. In Asia there is an evergreen tree called the “Tamarindus indica.” From this tree come tamarind seeds, and a new eye drop made from these seeds (if you can believe it) is proving to be the most effective.
Score another one for natural medicine.
Ten million Americans suffer the effects of dry eye syndrome: itching, irritation, redness, burning, blurry vision, too much tearing, and discomfort. When you can’t read a book or watch your favorite TV drama for too long without your eyes starting to hurt, that is a significant issue. What’s more is the syndrome can damage to your cornea and even harm your ability to see.
The artificial tears you find in pharmacies usually contain hyaluronic acid (HA). This typical treatment isn’t without a glaring problem: when you drop them onto your eye, they don’t stay there for very long. But the new eye drops, which contain tamarind seed polysaccharide (TSP), have more glue-like qualities. When you drop these, they remain on the surface of the eye for longer periods of time. In other words, they work for much longer.
A study in Italy compared TSP to HA in 30 people who suffered dry eye syndrome. For three months, they dropped either TSP or HA three or more times a day. For many symptoms of dry eyes, the tamarind seed drops did just as well as the HA drops. But TSP was far better in providing relief for difficulty blinking, burning sensations, and that troubling feeling that something is in your eye.
That TSP drops did so much better is “very interesting” according to the researchers. And because the natural drops had no side effects, it confirms that they appear to be the ideal choice for dry eyes.
Dry eye syndrome is the most common complaint heard by eye doctors. Usually it is due to a poor-quality tear film that is supposed to moisten the eye. This can be caused by simply growing older, living in dry, hot or windy climates, having smoke get in your eyes constantly, certain drugs, hormonal changes in women, and wearing contact lenses.