Although your local grocery store may have a very large selection of eye drops and other eye products, most eye medications require a prescription. If you use eye medication, it is imperative that you follow the directions closely, keep the container clean, and call your eye doctor immediately if you think you may be having a bad reaction.
Over-the-counter Eye Medications
There are a few types of eye medications that are available over-the-counter (OTC).
Artificial tears can be used to lubricate dry eyes, and are safe for frequent and regular use. However, if you are dependent on them, you should talk to your eye doctor. You may be suffering from dry eye syndrome.
Antihistamine eye drops are used to relieve allergy symptoms, such as itchy eyes. These can bring relief, but you need to be sure that the itching and irritation is really due to an allergy, not something else such as an infection.
Eye drops for redness simply should not be used. They temporarily get rid of the redness by constricting the blood vessels in your eyes. With long term use they are addictive. They can also cause dryness and irritation. Not to mention, potentially masking a more serious underlying problem.
Prescription Eye Medications
Your eye doctor uses and prescribes eye medications for many reasons.
In the office, he may use drops to dilate, dye, or numb your eyes for various exams and procedures. He may prescribe antibiotic drops or ointment for an infection. If you have an eye condition such as glaucoma, drops may be prescribed to control the pressure inside of your eye.
If you have questions about your eye medication, please call an eye doctor in your local area today.