Whether eye drops are treating “lazy eye,” working to delay or prevent glaucoma, or helping dry or irritated eyes stay moist, they’re getting more use than ever before. Here’s what’s new about today’s eye drops.
What Are Eye Drops?
Eye drops usually contain saline as a base ingredient. Depending on their intended use, they may also contain lubricating, tear-replacing (artificial tears), antiredness, and other substances, as well as medications.
Common Uses for Eye Drops
Eye drops are commonly used for:
Conjunctivitis (pinkeye) is an infection or irritation of the conjunctiva.
Symptoms include itching, burning, redness, and swelling. Treatment may include using antibiotic or anti-inflammatory eye drops or removing the eye irritant.
Corneal infection (keratitis).
Dry eye (low tear production, common with aging). Tear “quality” is determined by the health of each of the three tear-film layers:
- The outer, oily layer, which helps prevent moisture evaporation.
- A middle, watery layer, which nourishes the eye.
- An inner, mucous layer which helps the middle-layer nutrients to moisten the cornea.
With poor-quality outer and inner layers, tears don’t stay on the eye long enough to lubricate it. This may cause a “sandy” or scratchy feeling. Other symptoms may include:
- Burning or stinging
- Pain and redness
- Stringy eye discharge
- Eyelid heaviness
- Fluctuating vision
- Excessive tearing (“Reflex” tears do not help relieve dry eye, because they don’t stay in the eye long enough.)
Read the original article on webmd.com
The most important thing you can do to keep your eyes healthy is to get an annual eye examination.
For more information on how to keep your eyes healthy this Spring, visit your local 20/20 Eyeglass Superstore or make an appointment with our in-house independent optometrist. We look forward to seeing you soon.