How to Choose Between Different Eye Drop Products
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When you’re suffering from a condition that’s affecting your eyes, the last thing you want to do is strain them looking for the perfect eye drops.
Walk down the aisle of a pharmacy, and you’ll treat yourself to an ocean of eye drop products.
It’s easy to pick one randomly and head home to rest your eyes.
But if you put just a little bit more effort, you can find the best way to relieve your condition.
Eye drop products are available for dry eyes, allergies, itching, redness, and more severe conditions.
Study your symptoms to find the best eye drops for your condition.
Lubricating Eye Drops for Dry Eyes
Dry eyes and irritation occur because of increased tear evaporation or decreased tear secretion.
Risk factors that cause dry eyes include advanced age, smoking, dry weather, excessive computer use, contact lens wear, and some medications.
Look for lubricating eye drops, or artificial tears, to relieve your dry eyes.
Lubricating eye drops you can get over-the-counter provide relief by adding tear elements to supplement your natural tears.
They add moisture to your eyes to make you more comfortable.
When you buy artificial tears, you should look out for two categories:
- Artificial Tears with Preservatives – The preservatives prevent the growth of bacteria once you open the bottle. But the preservatives can cause irritation if your dry eyes are severe.
- Preservative-Free Artificial Tears – If you find yourself applying artificial tears throughout the day, find eye drops that do not contain preservatives.
If you believe you have chronic dry eyes, you should consult an eye doctor to prescribe eye drops better suited to handle your condition.
Dry Eyes from Wearing Contact Lenses
People who wear contact lenses can minimize dryness by applying rewetting drops.
These add moisture to the eyes and can relieve discomfort or even pain caused by dry contact lenses.
But check with your eye doctor to ensure your contact lens is compatible with the rewetting drops before you use them.
Decongestant Eye Drops to Relieve Redness
“Red eyes” refers to eyes that are red, irritated, and bloodshot.
Allergens, eye fatigue, contact lenses that have been worn too long, or common eye infections can cause redness in your eyes.
Use decongestant eye drops to eliminate red eyes.
These eye drops shrink blood vessels in the white of your eyes using vasoconstrictors resulting in making the blood vessels less visible and your eyes less red.
But decongestant eye drops can cause dryness or irritation.
They can also cover up a more serious problem.
Consult your eye doctor to get to the cause of your red eyes.
Once you know what’s causing the red eyes, they can tell you the best way to treat it.
For example, if allergies or conjunctivitis is causing your red eyes, there are specific treatments or eye drops for your condition.
Itchy Red Eyes Caused by Allergies
Allergens like pollen, pet dander, dust, mold, and irritants like cigarette smoke or perfume can trigger a reaction from your eyes.
Allergies can cause your eyes to itch, burn, turn red, or even produce a watery discharge.
For situations caused by an allergic reaction, antihistamine eye drops are best.
They’re specially formulated to reduce histamine in the eye tissues and treat the symptoms arising from the allergens.
Eye Drop Products to Treat Infections
At some point in your life chances are high that you’ll contract conjunctivitis, or “pink eye.” It’s one of the most common forms of eye infection.
In some cases, you can relieve the inflammation and dryness from conjunctivitis by using a cold compress and over-the-counter artificial tears.
But in severe cases, it’s best to consult an eye doctor to determine the best treatment.
For example, bacterial conjunctivitis will make your eyes red, sore, and discharge a thick yellow fluid.
A mild case can improve without treatment within 2 to 5 days.
Antibiotics delivered as eye drops (or as an ointment) can shorten the duration and reduce the spread of infection.
Other forms of conjunctivitis include those caused by viruses and allergens.
Viral conjunctivitis is mostly mild and will go away within 7 to 14 days.
During this period, you can use lubricating eye drops to relieve some of your discomfort.
You can alleviate some of the symptoms associated with allergic conjunctivitis by applying the antihistamine eye drops that we mentioned earlier.
You’re likely to find what you’re looking for on the shelf of your pharmacy.
But it’s always a good idea to pay a visit to your eye doctor to have your eyes examined.
You’ll get a professional’s opinion, and possibly get a better solution than what’s available to you in a pharmacy.