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Ask Dr. Gott 5/17
Tea tree oil cures eye infection
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    DEAR DR. GOTT: I would like to share my experience with tea tree oil. Maybe it will help someone else.
    For over a year, I suffered with sties and eye infections. My ophthalmologist could only tell me to wash my eye lashes with baby shampoo. He gave me antibiotic cream to apply at night, but as soon as the infection was healed, it would break out on the other eyelid or in another spot on the same eye. There was never more than one week between outbreaks.
    My sister then found a clipping from a Texas newspaper by an ophthalmologist who said he advised tea tree oil shampoo for his patients. When I took the article to my doctor, he said he had never heard of this therapy. Because I live in a small town, there are no other eye doctors to consult, so I went to a larger, neighboring town. The physician I saw there said that the fluid in my eyes was too thick because of my age and advised me to wash with hot water and baby shampoo.
    I looked for the tea tree oil shampoo but couldn't find any and then lost the article. I searched the Internet but couldn't find anything. I decided to purchase a small bottle of tea tree oil and added a few drops to my baby shampoo. After just a few days, my eyes healed, and I haven't had a problem since. I continue to wash with the shampoo about once or twice a week as a preventive. That was three months ago! Since then, I have found a shampoo that already contains tea tree oil. It is made by Paul Mitchell and is available only in beauty shops/hair salons. It is a little expensive, but it is more convenient than making my own and is worth its weight in gold.
    DEAR READER: I was not aware of this treatment for eye infections, but if it works, stick with it.
    Tea-tree oil may have antibacterial and antifungal properties, which can explain its effectiveness in treating nail fungus and now eye infections. I have also heard of its use as a cleaner for freshly pierced ears. There have been few studies on tea tree oil. One of the major problems is that there are several varieties. There is no guarantee that the type you purchase is the true variety. To the best of my knowledge, the different varieties all have similar effects but varying degrees of strength and effectiveness.
    Readers, please tell me about your experiences with this product. Perhaps there is something to it that warrants more studies and a future column.
    To give you related information, I am sending you a copy of my Health Report "Dr. Gott's Compelling Home Remedies." Other readers who would like a copy should send a self-addressed, stamped No. 10 envelope and $2 to Newsletter, PO Box 167, Wickliffe, OH 44092. Be sure to mention the title.
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