Eye drops are used to treat various eye conditions. They may be used for itchy or tired eyes as in allergies. They may also be prescribed for bacterial or viral infections.
We all use eye drops at some time, to treat an eye infection, to wet contact lenses, and to relieve dry or irritated eyes. Just like any other medicine, there is a right way to use eye drops. Here are the steps to get the maximum benefit from your eye drops.
1. Make sure to wash your hands before administering eye drops.
2. Read the label of your eye drop. If it’s stated that you need to shake the bottle, shake it before using it. If the bottle has been refrigerated, warm it between your hands to room temperature.
3. Be sure that your eyelids are clean, gently wipe away the crust from the inner corner to the outer using a damped wool pad.
4. Tilt your head back, or lie down if possible. Look up and use your thumb and index finger to gently pinch and pull the lower eyelid down to form a pocket.
5. Make sure to place your drop that will come inside the pocket you created, not directly into the eye. If an eye ointment is used, place a 1/4 inch line of ointment into the lower lid pocket. Make sure that the dropper or ointment tube does not touch the eye.
6. Close your eye gently for a few minutes, letting the drop be absorbed. Some doctors suggest pressing the finger against the inner corner of the eye to prevent the drop from going into the tear duct.
7. If you are going to use multiple drops. Wait at least 5 to 10 minutes for each to be absorbed before applying the next one. The small pocket you created will allow only 1-2 drops, the extra will flow into the tear duct or down your face.
Despite their benefits and practicality, eye drops aren’t meant for long-term use. When applied too often, they can cause various amount of issues, like worsening the condition of your already dry eye.
Eye drops are recommended for treating the symptoms of dry eye, eye allergies, and redness. Most of the drops contain a preservative substance called benzalkonium chloride (BAK). When used often and consistently, it can be counterproductive when treating your eyes.
The eye drops you can get without a prescription is safe to use as long as it requires, providing that they don’t have added preservatives. There aren’t any ingredients in the drops that are unsafe to use but preservatives may cause irritation sometimes.
Eyewash solutions can help clean the eyes. However, people should use over-the-counter eye drops very cautiously as they may worsen the eye condition and cause irritation. It’s strongly advised to speak with an ophthalmologist and get their opinion or prescription for your condition.
There are plenty of eyes drops out in the market claiming to make the whites of the eyes look brighter. Make sure to use them carefully and as directed to avoid rebound redness. Your eyes may look bright for a few minutes after using the drops, and hours later the redness may be back with continued use.
There are three types of eye drops in the market: lubricating eye drops, allergy eye drops, and prescription strength eye drops.
Lubricating eye drops helps the dry eye caused by climate or any other prescribed medication. Lubricating eye drops can help to restore the moisture in your eyes to relieve them. Make sure to drop them off only a few times a day. If you feel like you need more please consult with your ophthalmologist.
Allergy eye drops help the itchy and watery eyes occur due to seasonal allergies. Eye drops that contain antihistamines in them can help with your condition and soothe allergies. You may also consider taking an oral antihistamine to help you soothe your itchy throat.
Prescription-strength eye drops are the ones that help with conditions like chronic dry eye, glaucoma, and cataracts. These are the type of drops prescribed after going through an eye exam and diagnosis to help correct your vision problems and help you feel better.
Just recently U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved an eye drop medicine that can replace reading glasses for millions of people with age-related blurry vision.