What Are the Benefits of Using Saliva in the Eyes?

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  • Written By: Laura M. Sands
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 11 June 2017
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    Conjecture Corporation
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One of the primary benefits of using saliva in the eyes is that doing so may help people with dry eyes experience increased moisture. Saliva used in this way may even save a person’s sight and prevent further dry eye damage. In some instances, people may also use saliva when a contact lens solution is not available. While there are some benefits to using saliva on the eyes, there are also risks involved with doing so.

Although it isn’t a widespread practice, doctors have successfully used saliva in the eyes to heal people suffering from extreme dry eye conditions. It is even possible to regularly use saliva in this way by transplanting a saliva gland to the eye area so that it automatically lubricates the eye. While successful, this type of surgery is not routinely promoted and most doctors attempt to use other eye treatments before recommending this type of surgery.

Chronic dry eyes can cause serious corneal damage and may even result in blindness if allowed to continue or worsen without effective treatment. The constant scraping of the eyelid over a dry eye surface can also cause repeated infections. Saliva in the eyes is a practical solution for some people with extreme dry eye conditions when other eye treatments do not suffice. Considered to be a very delicate operation, previous surgical transplants of a saliva gland to the eye area have been largely successful and can add enough moisture to the eye on a regular basis in order to preserve sight.

Eye care specialists do not generally recommend using saliva in the eyes, but when access to a contact lens cleansing solution is not available, normal saliva can be used to lubricate eyes, as well as to clean a lens. The danger in doing so, however, is that bacteria and germs present in saliva can cause conjunctivitis and other eye infections. Only in emergency circumstances when no other options are available do doctors recommend using saliva in this way.

Despite certain warnings against using saliva in the eyes, studies do reveal that saliva actually has healthy components, such as antibacterial and antiviral properties. Saliva is also comprised mostly of water and, in some cultures, is believed to be a natural disinfectant. These benefits, however, are not present in all types of saliva, as abnormal saliva cultures may reveal the presence of disease or infectious properties. So, while there may be benefits in using saliva in the eyes for some, this may not be true for everyone.

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bear78
Post 3

@burcidi-- I've used it to clean my contacts before.

I was hiking, didn't have contact lens solution, ran out of water and dropped my contact on the ground. I cleaned the contact with my saliva and put it in my eye. It was actually fine, it didn't hurt and I didn't get an infection afterward. It's not as bad as it sounds.

burcidi
Post 2

I have chronic dry eye. Thankfully, it's not so bad that I need surgery but I use eye drops and ointments regularly.

I can't really imagine what kind of an emergency situation there could be where I would have to use saliva in my eyes to keep it from drying. It sounds terribly unhygienic and I'm not sure how it would be feasible anyway without a dropper.

When it comes to cleaning contact lenses, people with dry eyes are not supposed to wear contact lenses anyway. I guess if I didn't have dry eyes, wore contacts and was in a situation where I couldn't clean my contacts any other way, I might resort to using saliva. But otherwise, I would never use it.

Has anyone here actually used saliva for their eyes or contacts?

serenesurface
Post 1

I have heard of people using special eye drops made from the serum of their own blood for dry eye problems. In that case, the blood sample goes through a process where it is separated and processed for it to be safe to use in the eyes.

Is there a similar treatment where a person's saliva can be processed and disinfected to use in the eyes?

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