Boric acid is basically a weak acid which has antiseptic properties. Boric acid eye wash is widely used to treat certain eye conditions.
Boric acid, also known as acidum boricum, boracic acid or orthoboric acid, is used in products that are antiseptic and insecticidal in nature. It is available in the form of colorless crystals or white powder, and is soluble in water. It can be easily procured from pharmacies or drugstores. Eye problems like dryness, redness, watering eyes, and burning or itching sensation can be treated with the use of boric acid eye wash. Remember, homemade eye wash should contain a very dilute solution of boric acid.
Caution: As eyes are very delicate, use of any medicine or solution upon or in them, should be done only after consulting an ophthalmologist. DO NOT use it without prior consultation. This article is only meant to give you information about boric acid and its uses in eye care.
Using Boric Acid as an Eye Wash
Boric acid has mild antifungal and antibacterial properties. It is a component of eye solutions meant to cleanse or irrigate the eyes. It helps clear the eyes of pollutants such as dust and other chemicals, and provides soothing relief from eye irritation. One of the common eye infections, conjunctivitis, also known as ‘pink eye’, which is the inflammation of the mucous membrane of the eye, is treated with it to provide relief.
Making Boric Acid Eye Solution
Boric acid eye solution is easy to make. Make sure you are using pharmaceutical grade boric acid powder. The amount of powder used to make an eye wash depends upon the type and severity of the eye infection.
- For Mild Eye Infections: Take ¼ teaspoon of powdered golden seal and ¼ teaspoon of boric acid powder, and mix in 1 pint of very hot water. When the water cools down completely, strain and store in sterilized bottle. Use as per requirement.
- For Moderate Eye Infections: Mix one teaspoon of boric acid powder into one quart of sterile water. Mix well and store in a clean bottle.
- For Severe Eye Infections: A pink eye can be cleaned using a solution comprising 1 teaspoon of boric acid powder and four ounces of saline water.
Boric acid eye wash is mostly given in an eye cup.
- Hold the eye cup close to the eyes, bend the head forward, and immerse the infected eye in the eye wash.
- Make sure the eyes are open wide.
- Move the eyeballs in all directions and then, keeping the eye immersed in the eye cup, tip it gently to irrigate it.
- Stand close to the sink and let the eye wash flow over.
- Dry the eye / eyes with a dry soft towel (never rub it), and lie on your back for five to ten minutes.
- Repeat the procedure as per prescription.
- Like all medications, store the solution away from heat and moisture.
Using boric acid ophthalmic solution may result in one or more side effects. It is advisable to contact the doctor immediately if any of the mentioned side effects show up after using the eye wash.
- Eye irritation and redness
- Burning sensation in the eyes
- Pain in the eyes
- Changes in vision
- Watery eyes
Some points must be kept in mind when using boric acid solution for treating an eye infection.
- It should not be used by people who are allergic to the acid.
- While using it, bear in mind that it is only meant for eye use and not for any other part of the body. One must be careful not to get the solution into the mouth, ears or nose.
- If one has a wound or an abrasion close to the eye, avoid using the solution.
- Those who use contact lenses should remove them before using boric acid ophthalmic solution.
- If you are using another eye solution (for some eye infection), then use boric acid only after consulting your ophthalmologist, as the two medications may interact with each other leading to complications.
As mentioned earlier, any use of boric acid as an eye wash should be done after consultation with a doctor. For those who want to make their own solution, make sure you store it in a sterilized bottle. Any contamination in the bottle will contaminate the solution and may further aggravate the problem.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.