The Right Eye Drops for Your Condition
Our eyes give us the ability to see and observe all that is happening around us. They play a vital role in helping us analyze and interact with our environment. So, when any pathology befalls our eye it is important to treat it so that we can get rid of discomfort and go back to having clear vision.
Eye Conditions: Signs and Symptoms
Our eye conditions can be caused by any pathological changes within the structure of the eye itself. It can also be as a result of physical trauma to the eye. The environment around us can also harm our eye and cause it to develop disease. The most common signs and symptoms associated with eye problems are:
- Excessive tearing
- Blurry Vision
- Night Blindness
What to do next?
After you develop a number of signs and symptoms above the best course of action would be to consult a specialist doctor who can prescribe to you the right medicines as your treatment plan.
Besides oral medicines like tablets and, ointments and gels, a very important part of treating eye conditions are eye drops. There are two main types of drops for eyes, prescription drops and non-prescription drops. Prescription drops for eyes are those that are recommended by the doctor and can also be purchased with a prescription from the doctor. Non-prescription drops are also known as over the counter drops for eyes as they can be bought from a pharmacy without the doctor’s approval.
However, it must be stressed again that the first step to treating any eye condition would be to consult a doctor and let the doctor advice you on what to do. It is highly dangerous and irresponsible to experiment with medicines without a doctor’s approval. It can do more harm than good and you could cause serious damage to your eye.
What is the right treatment for you?
Our eyes are naturally kept moist and clean by a layer of tear film. These tears are secreted by glands that reside in our orbital region. The tears are then drained by a system that is located near the inner corner of the eye.
The first line of treatment for dry eyes is the administration of lubricating drops that can help enhance and add to the tear film of the eye. Lubricating drops are only used for short term relief that is when the dryness of the eye is caused by a momentary activity that puts extra strain on the eye
The second line of treatment is ointments and gels that need to be applied to the eye because eye drop do not provide enough relief. If the problem still does not resolve then more serious measures such as punctual plugs, that reduce drainage, are used.
It is of dire importance that decongestant drops are NOT used to treat dry eyes. Decongestant drops, marketed as treatment for red eyes, can worsen the symptoms.
The sclera of our eyes has blood vessels that provide nutrients to the eye. The vessels can dilate more than usual, hence making the eye appear red. This can occur because of over exertion of the eye, allergies or more serious conditions.
To treat red eyes, decongestant drops are used that help constrict the dilated blood vessels. There are, however, many reservations about using decongestant drops:
- Dryness, irritation and dilated pupils are adverse effects associated with overuse
- Tolerance develops, and a greater amount needs to be used every time to get relief
- Rebound hyperemia can occur, where usage can lead to the redness returning even greater than before.
The best thing to do to treat redness of the eye is to address the underlying condition causing the redness. Remember the redness is usually not a disease itself; it is the sign of one.
Itchy eyes are often caused by allergies. Allergies lead to the release of a mediator called histamine that causes the itchiness and irritation associated with it. This is why the best treatment for itchy eyes is anti-histamine drops, which can help neutralize the histamine causing the symptoms.
Anti-histamine containing decongestant drops can also be used, though they are far less effective and have adverse effects associated with prolonged usage.
Lubricating drops are used to treat sore eyes that are a result of over straining. For a more serious cause, it is best to seek out expert help. The lubricating drops may also help with discharge and inflammation due allergies and inflammation; however, they usually require more specific treatment.
The outermost covering of the eye is a thin membrane layer called conjunctiva. This can often become infected, which leads to a condition called conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye. Pink eye is caused by many different organisms this is why its treatment is specific to what it causing it. It is best to visit a doctor so that they can determine the proper treatment plan
- Bacterial Conjunctivitis: The eyes are red with a yellow discharge. Prescription drops are used to treat it.
- Viral Conjunctivitis: The eyes are red and watery with a clear discharge. Blurry vision can also be reported. Most of it goes away on its own. Lubricating eye drops are used to treat the symptoms. Cold compresses can also help provide relief.
- Allergic Conjunctivitis: The eyes are red, watery and itchy. Swollen eyelids may also be present. Lubricating and anti-histamine drops are used to provide relief.
The relation between Eye drops and Contact lenses:
Prolonged wearing of contact lenses can cause discomfort and dryness of the eye. To address this problem, rewetting drops are used. Rewetting drops are special because they can be applied over the contact lens and does not require the user to remove their contact lenses first.
Many prescription and non-prescription eye drops cannot be used when wearing contacts as they are incompatible leading to adverse effects when mixed.