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October 19, 2015
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What to Consider Before Choosing Eye Drops

For just about any eye condition, there are eye drops to help relieve symptoms. But the best way to find the right eye drops is to consider why you need them in the first place.

Dry Eyes: Lubricating eye drops, otherwise known as artificial tears, provide temporary relief from eye strain, fatigue and wind. Lubricating eye drops work by supplementing your natural tears with additional moisture.

Redness: Decongestant eye drops, also known as whitening eye drops, eliminate red eyes with vasoconstrictors which shrink the tiny blood vessels in the white part of the eyes. Redness may be a symptom of a different condition, which may require a doctor to properly diagnose.

Allergies: Antihistamine eye drops reduce histamine in the eye tissues, which relieves the itching caused by allergies. Antihistamine eye drops are helpful in addressing other allergy symptoms such as redness, wateriness and swelling. You should consult with a doctor if itching symptoms don’t improve with over-the-counter drops.)

Soreness, swelling or Discharge: Lubricating eye drops may provide relief from eye irritation but discharge from an eye infection will require prescription antibiotic eye drops. If eyes are sore for long periods of time, you may need an eye exam to check for nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Pink Eye: Different kinds of eye drops may be necessary for different types of pink eye, also called conjunctivitis. Bacterial conjunctivitis requires prescription eye drops from a doctor. Viral conjunctivitis should eventually go away on its own, but lubricating eye drops can alleviate red, watery, sore eyes. Allergic conjunctivitis can cause redness and swelling, which can be relieved with lubricating or antihistamine eyedrops. Your eye doctor can help determine the best treatment for pink eye.

Contact Lenses: Rewetting drops are formulated to provide relief for dry eyes and discomfort associated with contact lenses.

For most symptoms, over-the-counter eye drops are likely sufficient, although persistent and severe systems may require a prescription. Eye doctors can help you find the best eye drops for a variety of symptoms, and advise you how to get the most out of them. If you have an eye infection or are experiencing vision difficulties, you may need treatment that only a doctor can provide.

If you have questions about the best eye drops for you, please contact our Los Angeles eye doctors at 877-871-1684.