Can Structured Silver Relieve An Eye Infection?

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At first, it was colloidal silver that was the big player in treating bacterial and even viral infections. Now, it's the superior structured silver that's taking over. "Why is it superior?" you ask? 

Well, it's quite simple. Structured silver has much smaller size particles compared to colloidal silver. Because of this, its surface area is increased significantly. When you increase the surface area of something put into the body, you increase its bioavailability.

This means that the amount of it that is absorbed is increased instead of being excreted by the body as a waste product.

For Something You May Have Not Thought About Before

When you think of a bacterial or viral infection, you're probably thinking of the most common ailments such as the flu or the cold. While structured silver has shown great promise treating these viral strains, there's quite more to it than that. It's also shown to be proven effective in the treatment of eye infections!

One specific instance of this has been demonstrated in conjunctivitis treatment, commonly known as pink eye. Conjunctivitis is a type of eye infection that causes inflammation among both the inner eyelid surface and the eye's outermost white layer [1]. Symptoms such as burning and itchiness are commonly associated with pink eye.

The tricky thing about this type of eye infection is that it can be caused by either a viral or bacterial infection. Knowing what exactly is responsible for your infection plays a crucial role in what treatment you receive for it.

For example, antibiotics are commonly prescribed for pink eye. Antibiotics only work for ailments that are caused by strains of bacteria. Unfortunately, they'll do absolutely nothing for viruses. So if a viral strain causes the type of pink eye that you have, a course of antibiotics won't do you any good.

Bring in the Structured Silver!

This is where structured silver works its magic! Remember earlier, when we talked about how structured silver can be useful for bacterial and viral ailments? Well, that's undoubtedly going to come into play here.

Although research on structured silver’s effects on eye infections is still in its relative infancy, a review of Canadian medical publications illustrated instances in which silver was used to treat a type of conjunctivitis known as Neonatal Conjunctivitis (Ophthalmia neonatorum).

This type of pink eye occurs exclusively in newborn infants, usually caused by an infection contracted via bacterial exposure from the vaginal birth canal [2]. If the condition is not treated fast enough, it can lead to vision loss! So this must be taken seriously, and structured silver appears to be helpful in this debilitating newborn infection.

  • This was first noted as early as 1872 in a Canadian medical publication.

  • This was then further supported by reviewing the literature from 1872-1985 in Canadian medical publications [3].

  • A French surgeon from early studies in this review has records of silver being able to reduce neonatal eye infections present in his clinic from 10.8% down to 2% [4].

It also holds great promise in treating injuries and infections to the cornea of the eye. A condition known as microbial keratitis, a severe bacterial infection of the cornea commonly experienced by those who wear contact lenses, is one of the cornea ailments that silver can help heal.

In one study, the two bacterial strains associated with microbial keratitis (Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus epidermidis) were exposed to structured silver to see what would happen.

  • The structured silver was able to inhibit the growth of the bacteria.

  • Not only that, but it also destroyed the “film” that is left behind by the bacteria [5]

This also causes damage to the cornea even after the microbes have left. Therefore, this study demonstrates truly how powerful this stuff is.

But is it Truly Safe for My Eyes?

A concern among some people who have never tried structured silver but want to give it a shot is that they have heard it is very toxic. While there has been speculation that structured silver can produce reactive oxygen species (ROS), which are damaging oxygen-containing compounds that increase the toxicity level of particular cells, doubt has been cast pertaining to whether or not this is true for humans.

But the great thing about structured silver is that its mechanism of action (how the drug works in the body and the processes it undergoes) is readily and easily controlled. At the same time, its level of toxicity for the person taking it is minuscule. This makes it ideal for treating conditions inside or close to sensitive organs such as the eyes.

A study conducted on E.Coli bacteria on mammals' cell lines suggests that silver nanoparticles have an optimal safety ratio. 

  • In the study, the amount of toxicity presented to the microorganism (Coli in this case) was higher, and the amount of toxicity to the mammal was much lower (not even close to something to worry about) compared to other nanoparticles such as gold [6].

So a study was conducted to address this exact issue. So a group of researchers decided to run several tests, including how the nanoparticles of structural silver affect the body's eyes, skin, and cells. They used several different experimental models, including rats and rabbits.

  • In these animal models, structured silver was not shown to induce genotoxicity, which is the ability of a chemical compound to damage the genetic information that lies within an organism.

  • In the rats, toxicity was not seen in either the skin or the mouth.

  • In the rabbits, the eyes, skin, and mouth also saw no signs of toxicity [7].

When something possesses a remarkable ability to cause genotoxic effects, it leads to the cell's mutation, which can often lead to drastic consequences, such as cancer development.

Another study also took a look at oral toxicity or toxicity of the mouth.

  • No adverse effects were observed at doses of either 2,000 milligrams per kilogram of body weight or 5,000 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, which is quite a high dose. They observed absolutely no signs of abnormalities or cellular damage [8].

Final Words

There's genuinely nothing to be scared about when it comes to structured silver. In fact, there's plenty of excitement that's associated with it!

The fact that it shows promise in both viral and bacterial infections in sensitive areas such as the human eye gives researchers plenty of hope in the future of therapeutics for eye infections.

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References

  1. Richards, A., & Guzman-Cottrill, J. A. (2010). Conjunctivitis. Pediatrics in review, 31(5), 196–208. https://doi.org/10.1542/pir.31-5-196
  2. Tan, A. (2019). Ophthalmia Neonatorum. New England Journal of Medicine, 380(2). doi:10.1056/nejmicm1808613
  3. Milot J. (2008). L'ophtalmie du nouveau-né et ses traitements á la lecture des publications médicales canadiennes: 1872-1985 [Ophthalmia neonatorum of the newborn and its treatments in Canadian medical publications: 1872-1985]. Canadian bulletin of medical history = Bulletin canadien d'histoire de la medecine, 25(2), 499–514. https://doi.org/10.3138/cbmh.25.2.499
  4. Lansdown A. B. (2006). Silver in health care: antimicrobial effects and safety in use. Current problems in dermatology, 33, 17–34. https://doi.org/10.1159/000093928
  5. Kalishwaralal, K., BarathManiKanth, S., Pandian, S. R., Deepak, V., & Gurunathan, S. (2010). Silver nanoparticles impede the biofilm formation by Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Colloids and surfaces. B, Biointerfaces, 79(2), 340–344. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.colsurfb.2010.04.014
  6. Chen, M., Yang, Z., Wu, H., Pan, X., Xie, X., & Wu, C. (2011). Antimicrobial activity and the mechanism of silver nanoparticle thermosensitive gel. International journal of nanomedicine, 6, 2873–2877. https://doi.org/10.2147/IJN.S23945
  7. Kim, J. S., Song, K. S., Sung, J. H., Ryu, H. R., Choi, B. G., Cho, H. S., Lee, J. K., & Yu, I. J. (2013). Genotoxicity, acute oral and dermal toxicity, eye and dermal irritation and corrosion and skin sensitisation evaluation of silver nanoparticles. Nanotoxicology, 7(5), 953–960. https://doi.org/10.3109/17435390.2012.676099
  8. Maneewattanapinyo, P., Banlunara, W., Thammacharoen, C., Ekgasit, S., & Kaewamatawong, T. (2011). An evaluation of acute toxicity of colloidal silver nanoparticles. The Journal of veterinary medical science, 73(11), 1417–1423. https://doi.org/10.1292/jvms.11-0038

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