Is It Bad To Use Eye Drops Everyday
Like any medication, eyedrops must be taken as directed. And unless your doctor has instructed you to do so, eyedrops should not be taken on a daily basis for weeks at a time. Eyedrops are meant only as a temporary fix not a long-term solution. In fact, overusing eyedrops can actually put your eye health at risk.
Have An Allergy Plan And Stick To It
The best way to avoid suffering from itchy, swollen eyes, watery eyes, and other allergy symptoms is to prevent symptoms before they start. Know your allergy triggers and do your best to avoid them. Do you feel better or worse during certain times of the year? Your doctor can perform allergy testing to identify which substances are irritants for you. You may need a combination of oral medications, nasal sprays, eye drops, and shots to control your eye allergy and allergic symptoms. Ask your doctor how best to control your chronic allergy symptoms and what to do if you have an allergic reaction.
Ask whether home remedies, like applying a cool compress over itchy eyes, will help. Discuss plans for how to treat mild and more severe symptoms with the doctor. Ditch the contact lenses when itchy eyes flare up. Stick to glasses. Follow your doctor’s eye care instructions. Stash moisturizing eyedrops on hand at home and work to treat dry eyes when they occur. Protect your eye health by wearing sunglasses outside. You can manage diseases like eye allergies, asthma, eczema, and other conditions with the right plan.
Symptoms To Watch For
You may start to have symptoms as soon as the eyes come in contact with the allergen, or you may not have symptoms for two to four days.
Symptoms of eye allergies include:
- Red, irritated eyes
- Soreness, burning, or pain
- Sensitivity to light
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Choosing The Right Drops
All eye drops are not the same. When choosing an eye drop, think about what is bothering you most and select one that is best for your symptoms:
- For dry or itchy eyes: Look for lubricant eye drops or artificial tears on the label, from brands that include Refresh, Systane Ultra, or TheraTears.
- For itchy eyes: Look for Ketotifen, from brands that include Alaway or Zaditor or Naphazoline and Pheniramine, by the brands Naphcon A, Opcon-A, or Visine-A.
- For red eyes: Look for Brimonidine, from brands that include Mirvaso or Alphagan P or Naphazoline, by AK-Con, All Clear, or Naphcon or Tetrahydrozoline by brands that include Visine or Opti-Clear.
When Should I Not Use Eye Drops
The first thing you should do is make sure they arent prescription eye drops. Those are geared towards curing specific conditions, not just moistening the eyes.
Second, its not a good idea to use eye drops that are more than a month old. The preservatives that keep them sterile only last for about 28 days, and should definitely be disposed of after three months. After that, you run the risk of inflammation, irritation, or even infection because bacteria may get into the drops. If you need the drops for medical purposes, they may not be as effective in treating any eye condition you may have.
Also, dont use someone elses eye drops, especially if they are prescription drops. As mentioned above, prescription drops are designed to treat specific ailments. On top of that, you also run the risk of spreading infections between the two of you.
Even if they arent old or medicated eye drops, the drops you have may not be good for your needs. For example, your itchiness may be caused by allergies. If so, try to avoid over-the-counter allergy drops, as their antihistamine effects can dry your eyes out more, CEENTA OphthalmologistErnest Bhend, MD, said. Instead, use artificial tears, or even prescription allergy eye drops. Since a lot of allergy symptoms can actually be caused by dry eye, artificial tears will not only moisten your eyes but can also help flush out the allergens.
You also want to avoid eye drops that are designed to get the red out, Dr. Bhend said.
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Are You Overusing Eye Drops
If you find yourself constantly reaching for your eye drops, it may be time to start looking into the bigger problem: Why do you need them so often? Theyre a quick and gratifying fix to itchy or irritated eyes, but they dont address what might be causing the irritation to begin with.
Signs Youre Overusing Eye Drops
The American College of Allergies, Asthma and Immunology says not to use eye drops regularly beyond a couple of weeks, unless instructed to do so by your eye doctor.
Dr. David McGarey of Barnet Dulaney Perkins Flagstaff says that usage depends on the type of eye drop, but regular use of eye drops is a concern. Unless youve been directed to use over-the-counter eye drops by your doctor, you shouldnt be using them on a daily basis. They arent meant for long-term eye care, but they can certainly provide relief while youre searching for the reason for your condition, he explains.
Three signs youre overusing eye drops:
Other Kinds Of Eye Drops
Some eye drops work only when you take them before your symptoms hit. They take longer to work than antihistamine eye drops, but the effects last longer. Sometimes they are combined with antihistamines. These eye drops need a prescription:
- pemirolast potassium
Ketorolac (Acular or Acuvail0 is another kind of eye drop. It relieves itchy eyes, usually in about an hour. It can sting or burn at first.
Steroid eye drops like loteprednol treat severe, long-lasting eye allergies. They are usually used only for a short time because they can cause serious side effects.
If youâre still having symptoms, your doctor may suggest allergy shots. With allergy shots, your body is exposed to increasing amounts of an allergen over time and gradually gets used to it. Depending on the cause of your allergies, oral tablets or drops that work much like allergy shots could be used instead.
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Best Budget: Visine Allergy Eye Relief Multi
May cause redness rebound
Doesnt last as long as other drops
The mere mention of OTC eye drops probably makes you think of Visine. The company has been doing eye care for decades, and they offer several different formulations of drops designed to help with literally any eye problem you could possibly have .
Because Visine products are pretty affordable, their multi-action eye drop is a winning budget pick for anyone who needs allergy relief stat without shelling out lots of cash. With both an antihistamine for itching and a decongestant for redness, they’re the eye drops you should grab when allergies catch you by surprise and leave you roaming the pharmacy aisles in desperation.
You can use these drops up to four times per day as needed, but not for more than 72 hours in a row. These drops contain a decongestant which you could become dependent on if you use them consistently. Eye allergies that are seasonal or require longer symptom relief should be treated with a product that doesnt contain any decongestant.
Active Ingredients: Naphazoline HCl 0.025%, Pheniramine maleate 0.3% | Dosage: 1 or 2 drops in the affected eye up to four times a day
Keep Track Of Dosages
As with any medication, its important that eyedrops be taken as directed. Missing doses or overusing drops can affect treatment. Marioneaux suggests timing doses to an existing routine, such as when you take other medications, or setting an alarm on a smartphone or other device as a reminder.
You may want to move an eyedrop bottle from one location to another once it’s been used. If you prefer, keep a log or draw up a chart and check off the dose whenever a drop is applied.
If a patient with a potentially serious condition like glaucoma cant remember whether they used their eye medicine, Marioneaux advises putting in a drop to be safe. If theyre not sure and their pressure is really poorly controlled, Id rather have them do an extra one if they havent done it than to not do it, she says. But Marioneaux emphasizes, “I do not routinely want them putting an extra drop in.
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Allergy Medication Can Help
Some medications that you take to treat hay fever, nasal allergies, runny nose, and throat and sinus problems may also help control eye allergies. Antihistamines and decongestants are available in capsule, pill, and liquid forms. Potential side effects of these medications may include dry eyes and drowsiness. Some kinds of decongestants may make you jittery or dizzy. If you have high blood pressure, certain ingredients in allergy medication may not be safe for you. Ask your doctor or pharmacist which medications are safe for you.
Before Using Sodium Cromoglicate Eye Drops
To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you start using sodium cromoglicate eye drops it is important that you speak with a doctor or pharmacist:
- If you wear soft contact lenses.
- If you have dry eye disease or are using eye drops for dry eyes.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is because, while you are expecting or feeding a baby, you should only use medicines on the recommendation of a doctor.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any eye drops.
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Care Advice For Eye Allergy
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What To Look For In An Allergy Eye Drop
Speaking of medication, Dr. Haizen recommends looking for anti-histamine products to best treat your ocular symptoms. “An effective allergy eye drop should target allergy relief, instead of just being an artificial tear or lubricating eye drop or drop that that only targets redness,” she says.
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How Can You Avoid Eye Problems
You can minimize your risks for both eye allergies and infections. Keeping windows shut and other easily implemented strategies can help you survive seasonal allergies, while an air purifier can help you cope with indoor allergies. Conjunctivitis is the most common eye infection, caused by a virus or bacteria. Either way, its easily spread.
You can minimize your risks for both eye allergies and infections. Keeping windows shut and other easily implemented strategies can help you survive seasonal allergies, while an air purifier can help you cope with indoor allergies.
Conjunctivitis is the most common eye infection, caused by a virus or bacteria. Either way, its easily spread.
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Eye Drops For Allergy Relief: Prices
Inexpensive: Inexpensive eye drops can be found for as little as $3 to $6 for a single pack. Budget eye drops can be effective for mild to moderate allergies but usually require frequent application and offer less intensive relief.
Mid-range: Mid-range options run between $7 and $12. At this price, youll find fast-acting prescription-strength formulas with strong multi-symptom relief and longer-lasting relief . These formulas often include desirable moisturising ingredients that are gentle on the eyes.
Expensive: While allergy eye drops priced from $13 to $25 might cause a bit of sticker shock, youll find some twin packs of mid-range brands in this price tier. Customers with severe allergies often swear by the priciest of eye drops for allergies, which weigh in at around $19 for a single pack. These expensive options usually tout once per day applications and powerful results. That said, many people find that the mid-range options work just as well for their symptoms.
When To Call A Doctor
If your burning eyes are accompanied by pain or excessive light sensitivity, or if you have any eye discharge, blurred vision, eye floaters or flashes of light, double vision or other unexpected symptoms, contact your eye doctor right away for immediate attention.
Even if none of these additional symptoms occur, you should contact your eye doctor if your eyes continue to burn for more than a few days.
Schedule an exam
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In Addition To Age Dry Eye Can Result From:
- problems with normal blinking
- certain medications such as antihistamines, oral contraceptives, and antidepressants
- environmental factors such as a dry climate and exposure to wind, air-conditioning, and heat
- general health problems such as arthritis or Sjögrens syndrome
- chemical or thermal burns to the eye
- previous eye surgery
Rubbing Makes Eye Allergies Worse
Red, itchy eyes can be so uncomfortable, it’s tempting to rub or scratch. As much as you may want to, try to keep your hands away. Rubbing will only make symptoms worse by triggering the release of more inflammatory chemicals. Refrain from wearing eye makeup that might irritate eyelids. Wear glasses instead of contact lenses. Apply cold compresses over the area to help relieve symptoms. Wash your hands often to minimize introducing dirt or allergic substances into sensitive eyes.
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Three Similar Eye Ointments That Are Available Without Preservatives Are:
- Refresh PM
- Systane Nighttime Ointment
- Hypo Tears Ointment
If you are experiencing the symptoms of dry eye,your Eye Doctor can perform dry eye tests using diagnostic instruments to give a highly magnified view and special dyes to evaluate the quality, amount, and distribution of tears. Your Eye Doctor will also need to know about your everyday activities, your general health, medication you are taking, and about environmental factors that maybe causing your symptoms. Unfortunately, dry eye cannot be cured, but your eyes sensitivity can be lessened and treatment prescribed so that your eyes remain healthy and your vision is not affected.
How To Use Eye Drops
Placing drops in your eyes can seem frightening for some, while others may feel squeamish. The truth is, it does not hurt and often it can provide quick relief for your symptoms.
For best and safest results, here is the process:
You should not use most eye drops for more than 72 hours. If you are still experiencing red, itchy, watery eyes after 72 hours of use, stop using the drops and .
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