There are multiple choices of eye drops for anyone who needs them, but how do you know which one to buy to meet your eye requirements at the time? Getting to know a bit about each kind will help you make your choice more easily. Eye drops come in four major categories namely:
b) Eye Washes
Usually, all the eye drops in each category will have the same ingredients even though some of them will be labeled as being free from preservatives. Most eye drops usually have a preservative called benzalkonium chloride, which some people will find irritating to the eyes while others may experience an allergic reaction to it. For this reason, making preservative-free eye drops is a big deal and it can translate into big business. Such eye drops tend to be more costly and have a shorter shelf life in comparison to the eye drops containing this preservative.
Things like prescription medications and climate can cause dry eyes and it can be quite uncomfortable. However, lubricating eye drops can help to offer relief and restore moisture to the eyes. These eye drops are frequently referred to as artificial tears and as is suggested by the name, they are used for lubrication of the eye. Lubricant eye drops come in a wide variety on the market. The type of lubricant eye drops selected will depend on the severity of one’s eye dryness. The drier your eyes are, the more viscous the eye drops should be. It is important to remember that eye drops should only have to be applied a few times a day. Any more than that and you should consider scheduling an appointment with your optometrist.
Eyewashes are commonly used to flush any debris from the eye but most of them usually have methanol and boric acid, which can both result in eye irritation. Ophthalmologists usually advise against using eyewashes and often recommend using artificial tears instead for the same purpose. In fact, artificial tears are more effective for soothing the eye and removing debris in the eye compared to over-the-counter eyewashes.
Antihistamine eye drops work just as oral antihistamines do, as they are used to prevent allergic symptoms. Most times oral antihistamines like Benadryl will not work on some allergic symptoms within the eye, which makes the use of an antihistamine eye drop necessary. Antihistamine eye drops are ideal for anyone suffering from itchy and watery eyes during the fall and spring seasons. You can supplement antihistamine eye drops with oral antihistamines to help you feel much better.
These eye drops are basically vasoconstrictors, meaning they cause constriction of the blood vessels within the eye, thus, making them visible. Such drops are harmless when used moderately but when they are used frequently, they can weaken the blood vessels on the eye leading them to hemorrhage. Even though this will not damage the eye, it can still be disturbing to the individual and it often takes roughly two weeks for the blood to be absorbed by the body.
So before you start considering Lasik surgery or glasses for eye irritation, it is best to visit your optometrist first to get a professional opinion.