AS SEEN ON CHANNEL 7 News - Click on above video to see Channel Seven news story about Optimel. Text version of the story is also available below:
Red, dry, sore eyes affect one in three people, and long term steroid and antibiotic use is often the only answer.
But Queensland researchers are now bringing sweet relief to sufferers in a trial using a honey.
IT specialist Shane Hoey is one person who sufferers from chronic eye disease.
He said it's painful, he gets eye ulcers and it affects his ability to see.
"Like a stabbing in the eye, just a constant pulsating eye," said Shane.
70-year-old Glenda Costello also has the debilitating condition, and described it as like having grains of sand in the eye the whole time.
Desperate for relief they have both signed up for the clinical trial into a breakthrough treatment using honey.
QUT's Dr Julie Albeitz is the lead researcher, and said some of the participants thought the treatment was a little strange.
But when they were told medical-grade honey is known for its anti-bacterial properties they decided it was worth a try.
"It just feels good gives a bit of a sting but relief straight away," said Shane Hoey.
Glenda Costello said, "I think there is a clarity in my eye sight, it seems to make it clear."
It is also providing relief for people who have dry eyes from wearing contact lenses.
"So patients overall tell me they get through their day much easier, their eyes are comfortable eyes less inflamed," said Dr Julie Albeitz.
Scientific tests on bacteria levels in the eye have shown a dramatic reduction just weeks after patients start using the drops.
"We have taken what is a simple staple food and we have identified some components of it that are wonderful for medical use," said Anthony Maloney from Melcare.
The results of the trial are due within months.
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