Beyond Dry Eye: Exploring Broader Applications of HOCl in Eye Health

While many people are familiar with using hypochlorous acid (HOCl) for eye care to alleviate dry eyes, it's essential to recognize that HOCl offers a spectrum of applications beyond dry eye care. In this article, we will explore the diverse ways in which HOCl can contribute to eye health and address various eye-related concerns.


Ensuring the health of our eyes is not just about visual acuity; it's a fundamental element of overall well-being.

Among the various solutions available for alleviating dry eye, hypochlorous acid (HOCl) in spray form has gained widespread recognition for its effectiveness¹. But in looking at one’s overall eye health, it’s important to understand that the benefits of HOCl extend far beyond this common concern²⁻⁵.

Let’s dive into the diverse applications of HOCl when it comes to the eye—one of our most precious faculties. We highlight its versatility in promoting eye health and addressing a wide array of eye-related issues.

As we explore these applications, it becomes evident that HOCl is not just a remedy; it's a proactive and holistic approach to preserving the well-being of our eyes.

The Advantages of HOCl-Based Eye Care

HOCl is a natural and safe disinfectant that is produced by our body's white blood cells to fight off infections. It functions by disrupting the cell membrane of bacteria, making it a highly efficient antibacterial agent. When produced externally in its pure form, HOCl serves as a gentle-yet-powerful antimicrobial solution for the skin surrounding the eyes.

One of the significant advantages of HOCl is its gentle and safe nature when used around the eyes, making it a valuable tool for eye care professionals. High quality HOCl solutions don’t sting, burn, or irritate the eye in any way, and can even have a soothing effect. It’s a product that is absolutely ideal for individuals with sensitive skin. Plus, HOCl is innately non-toxic, safe for mucosal contact, and free of harmful chemicals ensuring its safety for daily or frequent use.

Upon contact, hypochlorous acid instantaneously begins its action. Applying it directly to the skin around the eyes can swiftly reduce the risk of infections and promote accelerated healing. This quick response allows patients to manage bacteria and discomfort with just a single spray, emphasizing the efficiency and convenience of HOCl-based eye care.

Man rubbing his eyes with glasses in his hand

A Foundation for Advanced Eye Care

Dry eye is a complex eye surface condition marked by disruptions in tear film equilibrium, leading to ocular symptoms¹. Etiologically, factors such as instability and hyperosmolarity of the tear film, inflammation, ocular surface lesions, and neurosensory abnormalities contribute to the manifestation of this condition¹.

As we’ve discussed, hypochlorous acid—known for its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties—offers valuable benefits as a complementary therapy in the effort to relieve dry eyes. Through targeting bacterial pathogens that cause eye irritation, HOCl promotes a healthy tear film, maintains eye moisture, and reduces irritation: providing comfort and relief for dry eye symptoms while addressing root bacterial causes¹.

However, the ocular benefits of HOCl extend far beyond the world of dry eye care, in fact, several studies²⁻⁵ have shown that HOCl offers therapeutic benefits for a variety of eye care related concerns:

1. Conjunctivitis Management

Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva, the thin and transparent tissue covering the white part of the eye². It can be caused by viral or bacterial agents, resulting in various degrees of severity, typically characterized by localized discomfort, swelling, redness, and irritation in the eye area².

Existing literature has explored the potential uses of HOCl for bacterial and viral eye infections due to its inherent antibacterial and antiviral properties². This research highlights HOCl's natural effectiveness in targeting the pathogens causing eye infections². HOCl offers the dual benefit of fighting bacteria while providing soothing relief to the irritated and inflamed eye area upon application². For those with active eye infections, HOCl is a beneficial supplement to existing treatments as it can be used frequently throughout the day to help manage symptoms of irritation, dryness, and localized swelling and itching². In individuals with recurring eye infections, the daily use of an HOCl-based eye hygiene product can help maintain good eye health by targeting bacteria⁴ that may be related to reoccurring infections.

2. Blepharitis Management

Blepharitis is a prevalent inflammatory condition affecting the margin of the eyelids³. This condition is often linked to ocular surface disease, contributing to the impairment of the individual's quality of life³. The inflammation of the eyelid margin in blepharitis not only poses ocular challenges but also has broader implications for overall well-being and daily functioning³. HOCl's antimicrobial properties make it a promising solution for the management of blepharitis³⁻⁴.

Using HOCl-based eyelid cleansers can help eliminate harmful bacteria⁴ and debris from the eyelid area, addressing one of the root causes of blepharitis³.

A great example of such cleansers is BIHOCL O.D. which is a pure HOCl spray for optimal daily ‘eyegiene’ as well as an adjunct targeted therapy to add to dry eye treatment protocols.

Regular cleansing with HOCl can contribute to the reduction of inflammation and irritation associated with this condition³. The gentle yet effective nature of HOCl makes it suitable for sensitive skin around the eyes, offering a comfortable solution for individuals dealing with blepharitis³⁻⁴.

Further, incorporating HOCl into the daily hygiene routine can help prevent the recurrence of blepharitis symptoms³. By maintaining a clean and bacteria-free environment around the eyelids, individuals with blepharitis can experience relief from symptoms such as redness, itching, and a gritty sensation³⁻⁴.

3. Resolving Fungal Corneal Ulcers

Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) emerges as a promising and effective therapeutic intervention for individuals grappling with fungal corneal ulcers, as highlighted by recent research⁶.

A recent study⁵, involving 96 patients with fungal keratitis, revealed that the application of HOCl eye drops, in conjunction with conventional treatment, significantly accelerated the healing process. Notably, patients treated with HOCl demonstrated faster recovery times, particularly in Grade I cases, where all individuals in the combination group achieved cure with notable swiftness compared to those in the conventional treatment group⁵. Additionally, in Grade II patients, the combination treatment exhibited expedited recovery times and a faster resolution of hypopyon, emphasizing the potential of HOCl in enhancing the treatment outcomes for fungal corneal ulcers⁵.

The mechanism behind the efficacy of HOCl in treating fungal corneal ulcers lies in its inherent antibacterial and antiviral properties⁵. As a natural disinfectant produced by the body's white blood cells, HOCl has the ability to disrupt the cell membrane of fungi, leading to their destruction⁵. This dual action of targeting fungal pathogens while promoting a healing environment in the ocular region makes HOCl a valuable addition to conventional treatments for corneal ulcers⁵. Moreover, the study noted that the use of HOCl did not result in obvious complications, further underlining its safety profile and suggesting a promising future for HOCl in the realm of keratitis treatment⁵.

Optometrist showing a patient BIHOCL O.D. hypochlorous eye spray

HOCl's Broad Applications in Eye Care

It’s fair to say that hypochlorous acid (HOCl), initially known for its role in wound care and surface disinfection, has found an irreplaceable and highly beneficial place in the realm of eye care.

Besides addressing dry eye issues, this impressive molecule provides an effective solution for various eye-related concerns.

If you’re a patient, please always consult your eye care professional to determine the most appropriate use of HOCl for your specific needs. As with any eye condition, obtaining professional advice is essential for correct diagnosis and personalized treatment. When used in combination with your care professional’s expertise and guidance, HOCl can be truly impactful part of condition management and resolution, promoting eyelid health and your overall eye comfort.


  1. Li, Z., Wang, H., Liang, M., Li, Z., Li, Y., Zhou, X., & Kuang, G. (2022). Hypochlorous acid can be the novel option for the meibomian gland dysfunction dry eye through ultrasonic atomization. Disease Markers, 2022.
  2. Bertone, C., Mollicone, A., Russo, S., Sasso, P., Fasciani, R., Riccardi, C., ... & ALI working group. (2022). The role of hypochlorous acid in the management of eye infections: a case series. Drugs in Context, 11.
  3. Mencucci, R., Morelli, A., Favuzza, E., Galano, A., Roszkowska, A. M., & Cennamo, M. (2023). Hypochlorous acid hygiene solution in patients affected by blepharitis: a prospective randomised study. BMJ Open Ophthalmology, 8(1).
  4. Stroman, D. W., Mintun, K., Epstein, A. B., Brimer, C. M., Patel, C. R., Branch, J. D., & Najafi-Tagol, K. (2017). Reduction in bacterial load using hypochlorous acid hygiene solution on ocular skin. Clinical Ophthalmology, 707-714.
  5. Wang, H., Yin, X., Zhang, Z., Wang, Y., Zhang, L., Guo, J., & Li, M. (2023). Evaluation of 0.01% Hypochlorous Acid Eye Drops Combined with Conventional Treatment in the Management of Fungal Corneal Ulcers: Randomized Controlled Trial. Current Eye Research, 48(10), 887-893.

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