Eye drops are ophthalmic solutions or suspension of drugs. The active ingredient depends on the eye condition that is being treated. Though some of these can be purchased over the counter, it is advisable to use the ones that are prescribed by an ophthalmologist.
Eye drops are categorized on the basis of the active ingredient used in them. For instance, antibiotic drops which are basically suspension of antibiotics, are used for treating bacterial infections such as conjunctivitis. When one is diagnosed with allergic conjunctivitis, an ophthalmologist will prescribe an eye drop which uses antihistamines or mast cell stabilizers as an active ingredient. The treatment of other inflammatory conditions of the eye generally involves the use of ophthalmic solutions or ointments that contain corticosteroids.
The treatment for glaucoma involves the use of ophthalmic solution or suspension of drugs that help in normalizing the intraocular pressure. In case of severe eye infections, the drops might contain more than one of these active ingredients. These are referred to as combination eye drops. Since eyes are extremely delicate, one must always use drops that are known for providing quick relief and don’t cause any side effects. Though the drops can be bought over the counter, only an ophthalmologist can prescribe the best eye drops, as he/she is aware of the condition of the patient’s eyes.
Treatment of Eye Infections
Dry eyes, allergic/bacterial conjunctivitis, or general discomfort in the eyes are some of the common eye problems. Dry eyes syndrome is an eye condition associated with the decreased production of tears. Since the tear film protects the eyes from irritants, one becomes prone to eye infections due to dry eyes. Redness, gritty sensation in the eyes, pain, increased sensitivity to light, and discomfort are some of the common symptoms of dry eyes.
Many pharmaceutical companies have come up with lubricants for dry eyes. Companies such as Allergan and Alcon have come up with ophthalmic solutions for dry eyes. These include Restasis, Refresh Endura and Refresh Celluvisc by Allergan, and Systane by Alcon. Brands such as Bausch & Lomb and Visine have also introduced many effective lubricants. These come in liquid as well as gel form.
Since contact lens wearers are at an increased risk of developing dry eyes, they must consult an ophthalmologist for the best ophthalmic solutions for contacts. They can use Opti-Free Replenish Rewetting eye drops. Alaway and Zaditor also provide eye gels or drops for allergies of the eyes.
In case of bacterial conjunctivitis, you will need to instill drops that contain antibiotics. Generally, Tobramycin, Erythromycin, or Neosporin are used for treating this eye infection.
Exposure to environmental irritants, allergens, and pathogens is often the most common contributing factor for eye problems. Dryness, redness, swelling, strain, pain, and discharge are some of the common symptoms of eye problems. Thankfully, these symptoms can be alleviated with the help of artificial tears and medicated drops. Though you can buy the eye gels or drops over-the-counter, it would be in your best interest to consult an ophthalmologist and administer the drops recommended by him/her.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.