The ancient traditional eye remedy of instilling urine into the eye as a way to treat infections have devastating consequences, an expert warns.
Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ilorin on Thursday, a public health physician of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital (UITH), Dr. Mohammed Abullahi, warned that treating eye infection with human urine can lead to blindness.
He said that treatment for conjunctivitis, commonly called “Apollo”, and other eye diseases, were available at clinics and hospitals and advised people not to resort to home remedies, such as urine drops.
Abdullahi added that some people go to the length of using battery acid and other dangerous substances to treat eye infections, he thus, warn that people who engage in such practices are at risk of losing their eyes completely.
The others, he said, use sugar or lemon juice which is unlikely to treat any ailment of the eye, but might also cause some serious eye irritation.
According to Carina Slazus, MD of Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine, Durban, South Africa, traditional eye remedy of instilling urine into the eye can have devastating consequences, especially when used by patients with gonorrhoea.
Explaining further, she said that gonococcal conjunctivitis cases had various degrees of corneal melt, which ranges from peripheral guttering with or without iris prolapse to total corneal melt.
Dr. Abdullahi also disclosed that people whose condition deteriorated to this state would have to go through surgery.
The use of urine to treat the eye is at least as old as the history of medicine. Urine was included in a formula for eye disease in 1550 BC in the Eber papyrus, one of the most ancient medical texts.
By the Middle Ages, authors of pharmacopoeia were recommending that only the urine from choirboys who had not reached puberty should be used as an eye medicine.