Eye drop

Eye drop
These eye drops are packaged for single use, without preservatives.

Eye drops are saline-containing drops used as a route to administer medication in the eye. Depending on the condition being treated, they may contain steroids, antihistamines, sympathomimetics, beta receptor blockers, parasympathomimetics, parasympatholytics, prostaglandins, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or topical anesthetics. Eye drops sometimes do not have medications in them and are only lubricating and tear-replacing solutions.

Eye drops have less of a risk of side effects than do oral medicines, and such risk can be minimized by occluding the lacrimal punctum, (i.e. pressing on the inner corner of the eye) for a short while after instilling drops.


Types and uses

Different pharmacological classes of eye drops can be recognized by patients by their different colored tops. For instance the tops to dilating drops are a different color than anti-allergy drops.

Rinse eye drops

These eye drops contains normal saline with no excipients and are used primarily for eye rinsing.

Steroid and antibiotic eye drops

Steroid and antibiotic eye drops are used to treat eye infections. They also have prophylactic properties and are used to prevent infections after eye surgeries. They should be used for the full time prescribed without interruptions. The infection may relapse if the use of the medication is stopped.[1]

Glaucoma eye drops

Eye drops used in managing glaucoma help the eye's fluid to drain better and decrease the amount of fluid made by the eye which decreases eye pressure. They are classified by their active ingredient and they include: prostaglandin analogs, beta blockers, alpha agonists, and carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. There are also combination drugs available for those patients who require more than one type of medication.[2]

Dry eye treatment

There is a wide variety of artificial tear eye drops that provide different surface healing strategies. One can find bicarbonate ions, hypotonicity, viscosity, and non-preserved types. They all act differently, therefore, one should try different artificial tears to find the one that best works.[3]

Allergy eye relief eye drops

Some eye drops may contain histamine antagonists or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which suppress the optical mast cell responses to allergens including (but not limited to) aerosolized dust particles.

Pink eye or conjunctivitis eye drops

Antibiotic eye drops are prescribed when conjunctivitis is caused by bacteria but not when it is caused by a virus. In the case of allergic conjunctivitis, artificial tears can help dilute irritating allergens present in the tear film.[4]

Mydriatic eye drops

These make the eye's pupil widen to maximum, to let an optician have the best view inside the eyeball behind the iris. Afterwards in sunny weather they can cause dazzling and photophobia until the effect of the mydriatic has worn off.

Side effects

Man applying eye drops

Steroid and antibiotic eye drops may cause stinging for one or two minutes when first used and if stinging continues, medical advice should be sought. Also, one should tell their doctor if vision changes occur or if they experience persistent sore throat, fever, easy bleeding or bruising when using drops with chloramphenicol. Also, one should be aware of symptoms of an allergic reaction, such as: rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, and trouble breathing.[5]

Prostaglandin analogs may cause changes in iris color and eyelid skin, growth of eyelashes, stinging, blurred vision, eye redness, itching, and burning. Beta blockers' side effects include low blood pressure, reduced pulse rate, fatigue, shortness of breath, and in rare occasions, reduced libido and depression. Alpha agonists can cause burning or stinging, fatigue, headache, drowsiness, dry mouth and nose, and also they have a higher likelihood of allergic reaction. Carbonic anhydrase inhibitors may cause stinging, burning, and eye discomfort.[6]

Lubricant eye drops may cause some side effects and one should consult a doctor if pain in the eye or changes in vision occur. Furthermore, when redness occurs but lasts more than 3 days, one should immediately consult a doctor.

See also


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • eye|drop — «Y DROP», noun. = tear. (Cf. ↑tear) …   Useful english dictionary

  • eye-drop — noun 1. a drop from an eye dropper • Syn: ↑eyedrop • Hypernyms: ↑drop, ↑drib, ↑driblet 2. a method of irrigating the eye used by ophthalmologists • Syn: ↑eyedrop …   Useful english dictionary

  • eye|drop|per — «Y DROP uhr», noun. = dropper (def. 1). (Cf. ↑dropper) …   Useful english dictionary

  • eye-drop — noun a) a tear b) a saline liquid, used to administer medication to the eye …   Wiktionary

  • eye drop — noun Medicine to be administered to the eyes …   Wiktionary

  • eye·drop·per — /ˈaıˌdrɑːpɚ/ noun, pl pers [count] : a small tube that is used to measure out drops of liquid : ↑dropper …   Useful english dictionary

  • eye dropper — eye drop per, n. a small dropping tube for delivering drops of a liquid; same as {dropper[2]}. [PJC] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • drop — be·drop; chon·drop·te·ryg·ii; drop; drop·let; drop·pa·ble; drop·page; drop·per; drop·ping·ly; drop·si·cal; drop·sied; drop·sonde; drop·sy; eaves·drop·per; eye·drop·per·ful; gum·drop·py; hy·drop·a·thy; hy·drop·ic; hy·drop·o·tes; mi·cro·drop;… …   English syllables

  • Eye examination — An eye examination is a battery of tests performed by an optometrist or ophthalmologist assessing vision and ability to focus on and discern objects, as well as other tests and examinations pertaining to the eyes.All people should have periodic… …   Wikipedia

  • eye — big·eye; eye·able; eye; eye·drop·per·ful; eye·ful; eye·glassed; eye·glassy; eye·ish; eye·less; eye·le·teer; eye·some; eye·tie; pop·eye; sock·eye; wall·eye; eye·let; arms·eye; eye·less·ness; eye·let·er; eye·let·ter; …   English syllables

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