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EYE DROPS: Be Careful How You Use Them

Updated on January 16, 2016

What Are Eye Drops?

Eye drops are a medicated solution, containing chemicals to relieve certain eye irritations and/or disorders. They are applied directly into the eye(s) with an applicator (do not let applicator touch eye). The eye drop solution may be applied for various reasons which make their chemical components different, depending on what the solution is prescribed and/or needed for.

REASONS EYE DROPS ARE PRESCRIBED OR NEEDED:

Pink Eye: Inflammation of the membrane of the inner surface of the eye (aka conjunctivitis). It is highly contagious.

Dry Eye(s): Insufficient production of tears. Causes the eyes to burn, itch, turn red and most sufferers say they have a 'feeling of something being in the eye,' (even when not).

Allergies: Pollutants and other causes of eye irritations may be due to allergic reactions. Can cause redness, itching, inflammation, etc.

Tired Eyes: Usually from insufficient sleep or over-exertion of the eyes. Too much tv time and spending lots of time on the computer,

Glaucoma: Progressive eye disease which causes blindness (drops usually relieve pressure on the eyes).

Drainage: Due to colds/flu, the eyes may discharge mucus.

Keratitis: Inflammation of the cornea.

Blepharitis: Inflammation, burning, crustiness around the eyes (looks similar to dandruff). Usually more noticeable at eyelash roots and usually caused by lack of oil in the glands.

FOLLOW DOCTOR'S ORDERS:

For whatever reason you are prescribed eye drops; or you feel the need to use them on your own (over the counter eye drops); it is important to follow the directions:

DO NOT use more than the doctor ordered or more than the package directions call for. This also applies for the 'Blue Eyes' drops, which lots of celebrities wear to give sparkle to their eyes and the 'eye color changing drops,' There are no exceptions to the rule, in fact, the rules may be even more strict.

DO NOT try to make up for missed applications. If you skip an application, follow-up with the next scheduled time. If you decide to put drops in your eyes prior to the next scheduled time because you missed an application, know that the following application should be followed through within a new designated time range (not the previous one, as applications will be too close together).

DO NOT OVER-USE: Thinking they are 'just eye drops' can sometimes cause their over-usage. When applied into the eyes, the solution gets into the bloodstream. Improper use can cause slowing of the heart rate, palpitations, breathing problems, headaches and dizziness. For the reasons mentioned, even eye drops should not be taken for granted.

FOLLOW DIRECTIONS: For best results. This will allow eyes to get the proper treatment.

SIDE EFFECTS: Like all other medications, there are side effects to eye drops too. You may even find that you are allergic to the eye drops prescribed or you buy over the counter (eyes become more irritated, itchy, burning sensation, red and/or ifnflammed. IF YOU EXPERIENCE ANY SIDE EFFECTS FROM YOUR EYE DROPS CONTACT YOUR PHYSICIAN IMMEDIATELY!

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    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      4 years ago from Michigan

      What type of eye infection is your concern?

      What are your symptoms?

      Do your eyes hurt when you watch TV?

      What does your GP prescribe?

      Glad you are seeing a doctor about the infection. Is it possible you may have injured your eye in some way without realizing it? This can happen by rubbing your eyes if and when they itch a lot. If pain is a factor, you may have bruised your cornea without realizing it. Seeing an optometrist may be a good idea in addition to your GP - following their instruction without fail. If dry eye is the problem, keeping eyes moist is best and your optometrist may prescribe 'Systane,' or another eye drop like unto it. I have also found 'Refresh' to be comforting to my eyes as well. In severe cases of dry eye, medication other than eye drops or in addition to them, may be prescribed. An infection, of course, will need medical treatment as well as a scratched or injured cornea. Hope you will think about seeing an optometrist for the recurring problem. Best wishes, and thanks for reading.

    • profile image

      Tori 

      4 years ago

      Great article! I have had a reoccurring eye infection for the past few weeks now which my GP is trying to fix but just when I think it may have cleared up it comes back again :( is there anything you know of that I could do to help? Thanks! Tori

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      5 years ago from Michigan

      Glad you found the hub informative and your eyes are well.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      5 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Years ago I had a problem with dry eyes. The pain was almost unbearable. Had to be given special eye drops and wear these awful-looking goggles to protect my eyes from wind and air.

      Thanks for all the information. Very good!

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      Armin Iravani _ It's wise for you to see an opthalmologist, as well as an optometrist. I am not an eye doctor. It is my understanding that myopia (near sightedness-short sightedness) should be prevented, so I'm not understanding your need to increase it (unless you mean your test values are too low). The following is from an article I read : "... it is highly likely that there is a direct connection between time spent outside and preventing myopia." Meaning you need outside lighting as well as protection from UV rays to aid in the process of better eyesight. An opthalmologist will be able to assist you with more information (such as how much sunlight is needed, etc.) - You may need prescription eye glasses or contact lenses, sunglasses are needed when outside - other options are laser treatments and/or surgery. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure see doctor for proper medications as both can affect eyesight - as well as smoking. Eating nutritionally helps as well as using good lighting when at home (protect your eyes from computer lighting and from the television) - Eye drops for correcting myopia may be on the horizon from what I have read, but you will have to see an eye doctor for that) - Doing eye exercises may help as well. There are some articles here on Hubpages about eye exercises (type in eye exercises in the search bar)- Hope this helps a little and you find the answers you seek. Thanks for taking the time to vist, read and comment on this hub. If you have any other questions or concerns, hope you post them in the comment section of this hub. Have a good day.

    • profile image

      Armin Iravani 

      6 years ago

      I have to increase my myopia!!!! I knoe it is strange, but I have to :(

      I have to increase the myopia at least 1 grade... do you know any eye drops that increase myopia?

      if there is not any eye drops, what should I do?

      can you please inform me about that?

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      sally: It seems strange that there are no instructions other than to use them within 90 days. Whether you bought them on your own or they were prescription, it would be wise to ask your physician for instructions (if prescribed) or ask the pharmacist (if you bought them on your own). Hope your eye gets better - and thanks for taking the time to read and comment on this hub. Hope it was somewhat helpful to you.

    • profile image

      sally 

      6 years ago

      my eye drops i bought today for a swollen and blurry eye don't have a recommended time on it, they just say to use within 90 days of opening, nothing about how often to use them?

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      7 years ago from Michigan

      Glad you found this hub informative/useful. Have a great day!

    • Coolmon2009 profile image

      Coolmon2009 

      7 years ago from Texas, USA

      Thank you for this useful information. I will book mark this article :)

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      7 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks for visiting Eileen. Hope you have been doing well. Glad you found this hub helpful.

    • Eileen Hughes profile image

      Eileen Hughes 

      7 years ago from Northam Western Australia

      Thanks so much for this very helpful article. Another great hub.

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      7 years ago from Michigan

      Thanks James for your visit and comments; glad it was helpful.

    • profile image

      James 

      7 years ago

      Great info, it is helpful, thanks for sharing. thumbs up :)

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      7 years ago from Michigan

      Great you discard them in a timely manner. Must keep our eyes healthy. Thanks for visiting and commenting. Have a great day!!

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 

      7 years ago from London, UK

      Thanks - very useful. I use eyedrops about late afternoon, when my eyes start to get tired. (Eye brighteners) but I always discard them after 1 month of using.

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      7 years ago from Michigan

      Good to hear from you prasetio30: Thanks for reading and commenting. Yes, eye drops have more power than what we thought. Hope you have a great day!!

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 

      7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      I often use eye drop if there's a problem with my eyes to cure my eyes irritations. But from now, I'll use this wisely. Thanks for share your valuable tips about eye drops. We must care about this. I agree with you that we must consult with the doctor for further treatment. Good work, friend. Vote up. God bless you.

      Love and peace,

    • Support Med. profile imageAUTHOR

      Support Med. 

      7 years ago from Michigan

      Pamela99: Thanks for visiting and commenting. I have dry eyes too, so I know what you mean about eye drops being a great relief. Have a great day!

      Katiem2: Thanks for visiting and commenting. Having dry eyes, I learned so much about eye drop usage. However, there were some dangers that I recently became aware of and thought this was a good place to share knowledge for those who did not know. Sometimes, we don't think of eye drops of even having any power to do us any harm. But not so. Hope you have a great day!

      Patty Inglish, MS: Thanks for visiting and commenting. Those drops that are for eye exams, ugh!, I don't think anyone likes them; and the glasses are not pretty either. Good you stay away from them. Have a great day!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      7 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Thanks very much for this advice. I use eye drops occasionally for tired eyes, but the eye drops for dilating retinas for exams - can't use them, because my pupils stay dilated for 3 days.

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 

      7 years ago from I'm outta here

      WOW this is great, you've included so much about eye drops that I didn't know. Thanks for the helpful tips on using eye drops and the cautions to take when using them. :) Katie

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      7 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Support Med, I think this is a good article. I have Sjogren's diaease, so dry eyes. I use eye drops daily and they make all the difference. You have a lot of good information in this hub.

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