When it comes to dealing with dry eyes, whether chronically or occasionally, there are hundreds of solutions out there. Most solutions have castor oil as an ingredient, and for a very good reason. So, where to buy castor oil eye drops? Let’s discuss that.
What is castor oil and where does it come from?
Castor oil comes from the castor bean, which is naturally native to the Ethiopian region of tropical East Africa, and is commercially grown in Western India, South America, and grows in Southwestern regions of the USA as an increasingly common weed.
What is Castor Oil used in
Castor oil has many uses medically, but most commonly castor oil is for eyes in the form of eye drops for cataracts, chronic dryness, and many other disorders or infections involving your eyes. Castor oil is also used as a laxative, a remedy for dry skin, massage oils, hair growth-treatments, and it is also added to cancer treatments.
This versatile oil is also used in food preservatives and additives, soaps, waxes and polishes, automotive applications, paints and inks, perfumes, and much more. Organic castor oil can be found in many local grocery stores for use to cook or bake with.
How does Castor oil Work for Dry eyes
Castor oil is high in ricinoleic acid, a fatty acid that makes up about 90% of the oil. It also contains powerful antioxidants that are beneficial to your health overall. It helps to create a barrier to keep moisture in your eyes, preventing them from drying out.
Castor oil eye drops are safe for your eyes as long as it is Hexane-free and sterilized properly. Coldpressed, expeller-pressed options are great to use for keeping your eyes moist. Making sure to use sterile castor oil eye drops will assist in preventing secondary infections or causing any irritations. Castor oil for dry eyes is typically mixed with water, so you will always need to give it a shake before applying the solution to your eyes.
It is also commonly added to artificial tear solutions that you can find commercially in local retail stores.
What are the side effects of Castor Oil for eyes?
The most common, and least concerning the effect of using sterile castor oil eye drops is blurred vision. This effect is common with many eye solutions until your eyes adjust to the added moisture to them as the solution is creating a protective layer. This effect will usually dissipate after a few moments and is nothing to be alarmed about.
Itchy and swelling eyes can occur when there are preservatives, like benzalkonium chloride or sodium chlorite, added into the eye drop solutions. While very annoying, it will not cause any lasting damage to your eyes and is nothing to be concerned with as long as the effects go away within a reasonable amount of time.
Allergic reactions can occur when using eye drops with castor oil or preservatives. Symptoms include nausea, difficulty breathing, and dizziness. Should you display these symptoms after using a castor oil-based eye drop, immediately stop using and rinse your eyes with sterile water and contact your doctor if prescribed eye drops or artificial tears that use castor oil.
Are there Benefits to using Castor Oil eye drops
Absolutely! Due to the composition of castor oil, the health benefits are immense. Castor oil is a natural anti-inflammatory agent (due to ricinoleic acid), making it perfect for allergy-ridden eyes, red or bloodshot eyes, and eyes that are just plain irritated and itchy.
There are even castor oil eye drops for cataracts as a supplemental treatment. It is applied before and after surgery to minimize the damage and accelerate healing afterwards.
Castor oil is even safe to use for puffy eyes, sunken eyes, and blepharitis (also known as swollen eyes), reducing the inflammation within those areas and soothing pain caused by swelling nerves.
Castor oil can also help treat dark under-eye circles, and wrinkles around the eyes along with other natural agents like coconut oil and honey.
Can you make your own eye drops with Castor oil?
While technically yes you can, it is not recommended to do so. Chances of bacteria being introduced into the solution increase incredibly and can cause serious problems down the road if used. It is best to get manufactured eye drops where everything is sterilized and handled with absolute care.
Which type of Castor Oil is best for eyes
Organic Castor oil eye drops are by far the best choice to add to your eye-care treatment and routines. Organic solutions will never have preservatives or other additives that can irritate your eyes and skin while using them.
How to choose Castor Oil Eye to drop solutions
With all the different formula variations, bottle sizes, ingredients, and every other possibility- it can be quite dizzying. The best solution is to make a list of what you need it to contain (this you can get from your ophthalmologist) and determine the size you need by how frequently you’ll be using it, the shelf-life after opening, and storage methods after opening.
Always be sure to check with your ophthalmologist first before purchasing over the counter castor oil eye drops, as it may not work well with your current regiments or medications for any orbital conditions you are being treated for.
How to store Castor Oil and Eye drops in general
Most companies follow similar storage and use instructions for their products, with some having minor specific instructions or storage needs. Most eye drops are good to store at temperatures between 40 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit once they are opened, but you can keep them in the refrigerator if desired.
Gel-based eye drops
It will not do well refrigerated, as keeping them too cool will cause the gel to be more difficult to apply. These drops are best kept at room temperature for easier application.
Cold-pressed castor oil
Cold-pressed castor oil has a standard shelf life of 5-years when stored properly after opening, and should be stored in an area that stays between 55-75 degrees Fahrenheit, with no direct sunlight. Sunlight will cause the oil to expire faster, and thus making it unusable for eyes, hair, sensitive areas, and ingestion.
Eye drops with preservatives
Having a standard shelf life of 2-years after the manufacturing date when unopened. It is recommended to throw the bottle away after 3-months when opened though. Never use eye drops after the expiration date, as it can cause unpleasant reactions and effects. Always follow the instructions for use and storing eye drops to help keep the solution from expiring too quickly for optimal use.
Organic eye drops
Free of additives and preservatives- are good for 7 days after opening. After 7 days the chances of bacterial growth within the solution increase greatly and introducing that bacteria into your eyes can cause some serious complications.
If you refrigerate your eye drops, remove them at least 2-hours before use to let them get to room temp before applying, or else it might sting a bit more than causal and cause additional discomfort during application.
Never use expired eye drops
As bacteria has had a chance to grow once the preservatives have worn off. Using expired eye drops of any kind will increase your chances of developing an infection in your eyes, causing more problems and potentially serious medical conditions.
Where to Buy Castor Oil Eye Drops
With the innovative creation of the internet and online shopping, buying products is easier but can be hard at the same time. Between the numerous retailers, brands, and varieties, it’ll make your head spin.
Typically you can find organic castor oil for eyes and other uses at holistic stores (online and in-store) like The Vitamin-Shoppe and GNC. These stores are all about natural, organic health solutions that limit the intake and exposure of additives and preservatives.
Direct from the Company
Some companies you can buy directly from through their website or online store, but some companies do not sell directly to consumers. If they do not sell directly, they will provide a list of vendors and retailers you can find their products for sale.
Online Retail Stores
Online vendors like Amazon will have numerous pages of options to choose from that will be shipped right to your door free of charge if you have a Prime account.
Cosmetic Specialty Stores
Most cosmetic salons and stores like Ulta Beauty and Sally Beauty will have a stock of castor oil for beauty uses and other items that has castor oil as an ingredient.
Stores like CVS and Walgreens carry all kinds of health-wellness items, including castor oil eye drops and other similar products for overall health and beauty.
Big Retail Stores
Everyone loves Walmart, and they have countless options for just about everything you can think of, including eye drop solutions that have castor oil.
Other Retail Stores
You can also find castor oil products at small chain stores like Dollar General, but not all locations will carry the same products, so be sure to check their online store to make sure it’s available in your area.
Local Drug Stores
You may be able to find Castor oil eye drops at a small mom & pop drug store in your town or city at a good price.
Do your Research & Look at the options
Before purchasing any brand of castor oil eye drops make sure you look into the company and reviews. While not all reviews are equal, nor will the effects it has on different people, it can help you be aware of what effects could occur during use.
Talk with your eye doctor before beginning to use castor oil as part of your eye health regiment or replacement for standard eye drops.