I receive a lot of requests for guidance about the use of DMSO. I want to make it clear to my readers that I can’t legally give medical advice to anyone who is not my patient. What I do is research and report on that research. As for treating the eyes, in particular, I found the following:
Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume 243, Biological Actions of Dimethyl Sulfoxide pages 485–490, January 1975
DIMETHYL SULFOXIDE IN THE TREATMENT OF RETINAL DISEASE
Robert V. Hill
Department of Surgery
University of Oregon Medical School
Portland, Oregon 97201
This is a second report on preliminary work with dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) in
the treatment of certain ocular diseases. The first report was made in February,
1973, at the Science Writers Seminar in Ophthalmology, in Los Angeles.(1) The
retinal diseases reported on there were diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration,
and retinitis pigmentosa. At that time, DMSO did not appear to be very beneficial in
diabetic retinopathy and macular degeneration, but did appear to have some
beneficial effects in retinitis pigmentosa.
Since that report was presented, further preliminary findings have given cause
for more optimism about the possible beneficial effects of DMSO in macular
degeneration, as well as in retinitis pigmentosa. Because of this evidence, the author
is of the opinion that more extensive, in-depth studies should be done on these two
retinal deterioration gr0ups.(2) Although the possible effectiveness of DMSO on both
of these groups deserves further study, the author has found it possible to undertake
an extensive, in-depth study on only one group at this time, the retinitis pigmentosa
The first clue to the possible efficacy of DMSO in retinal diseases was discovered
inadvertently. Some retinitis pigmentosa patients under DMSO treatment for
certain musculoskeletal disorders felt that their vision had improved while they were
taking the drug. Because of their experience, it was suggested that the author do a
preliminary investigation on the effectiveness of DMSO in the treatment of retinal
Such an investigation was begun in 1972, after one patient who was suffering
from retinitis pigmentosa had a rather spectacular recovery of vision after
treatment with DMSO. This treatment consisted of topical application of 50%
DMSO in aqueous solution to the cornea by eyecup immersion, for 30 sec, twice
daily. When his DMSO treatment was started (February 10, 1972), this patient
could see hand motion only with his right eye, and had a visual acuity of 20/200
(Snellen) in his left eye. Five days later (February 15, 1972), his vision was measured
as 20/70 + 1 in the left eye, and he could count fingers at 5 ft with his right eye.
Three months later, hisvisual acuity was 20/50 in the left eye.
This patient has continued his treatments daily, except for a 1-week trial interval
without DMSO. He noted that his vision began to get worse during this interval, and
when he restarted treatment, his vision returned to the level he had just before dis-
continuance. His most recent visual acuity measurement (January 2, 1974) is still
20/50 in the left eye, and he is able to count fingers at 6 ft with his right eye.
An additional 50 patients with retinal deteriorations (macular degenerations as
well as retinitis pigmentosa) were then similarly treated with DMSO, and the sub-
jective evidence gathered was also encouraging.(5) This subjective evidence consisted
of improved or stabilized visual acuity, improved or stabilized visual fields, and
improved night vision. (The evidence is considered subjective because it requires sub-
jective responses from the patient.) Of the 50 patients treated with DMSO, 22
improved in visual acuity; 9 improved in visual fields; and 5 improved in dark
adaptation. Two patients have continued to regress, and the rest have had no
measurable or personally noted changes in vision.
The evidence of low toxicity gathered in the preliminary investigation was both
subjective and objective. The objective evidence of low toxicity was obtained by
serial fundus photography and by slitlamp photomicrography. No adverse tissue
reactions were noted. Subjective reports by patients on toxic side effects included
reports of temporary stinging (usually 20 to 30 sec) and occasional burning and
dryness of the skin of the lid.
Some patients also reported what might be called a glare effect. It was accom-
panied by increased sensitivity to light, or photophobia, in some, and was reported
as simply a blur by others. This phenomenon occurred within the first month of the
initial DMSO treatment, after some early improvement had been noted by these
patients. The glare or blur lasted for a few days or a few weeks, and after its disap-
pearance, the subjects again experienced subjective improvement of vision. This
improvement was expressed as improved ability to get around at night, and
improved visual acuity experienced as better perception of contrast.
The findings of the preliminary investigation raise several questions:
1. Can the subjective findings of the preliminary investigation be substantiated by
more objective methods of testing?
2. Are the subjective improvements noted in the preliminary investigation
anything more than the fluctuations of vision usually experienced by persons with
macular degeneration or retinitis pigmentosa?
3. If they are more than this, are they caused by the DMSO treatment or by the
hopefulness of persons who had previously thought there was no help for their afflic-
4. If the subjective improvements are “real” improvements, caused by the
DMSO, how might the DMSO be working to bring them about?
5. What kind of explanation can be offered for the glare phenomenon?
The continuing investigation of DMSO in certain retinal diseases is reported. Ob-
jective evidence of efficacy has not yet been obtained, because the FDA phase III
study is only now starting. Subjective evidence continues to give reason for cautious
optimism, and toxicity appears to be minimal.
Inspiration and assistance in this study was provided by Dr. Stanley Jacob, of
the University of Oregon Medical School, Portland, Oregon.
For more information, please check this article at the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.
As to how to apply this treatment – which should not be attempted without consulting your attending physician – I only have reports that it is done by diluting DMSO with physiological solution or sterile saline solution at 25-30% and applied with a dropper twice per day.
Get a small glass bottle with a glass dropper. Make sure you clean it thoroughly and/or boil it for a few minutes.
Get some saline solution from the pharmacy (physiologic solution or sterile saline solution).
Get a 10cc syringe from the pharmacy so you can measure the exact quantities.
With the syringe, put 30cc of saline solution into your small bottle. Then put 9 cc of your pure 99.9% DMSO solution in the small bottle. Beware that you’ll have to extract and pour the DMSO liquid with the syringe quickly and as you pour the DMSO solution, you’ll feel a resistance in the syringe, so you’ll have to apply more pressure. It might be easier to do it in two steps: first pour 5 cc of DMSO and then pour 4 cc of DMSO.
Make sure your bottle is appropriately sealed and that nothing else enters the solution.
Again, I urge my readers to consult their physician. Yes, there have been reports of miracle cures, but there have also been reports of this treatment apparently worsening the condition, so a person’s overall state of health and diet may have much to do with the outcome. Indeed, that is true of any medical treatment and allopathic treatments have a very poor record of curing anything. But before you take your health into your own hands, please do your own research, consult your doctor, so that you can make a truly intelligent and informed decision.Share
About the Author:A countryside family medicine doctor and former heart surgeon in service of the Hippocratic Oath.