Protect Your Eyes: A Helpful Guide On Eye Drop Medication

Protect Your Eyes: A Helpful Guide On Eye Drop Medication

Today, there is a myriad of eye drops that are made to reduce virtually every form of eye discomfort. From strained computer eyes to allergy eyes, there are eye drops designed to relieve blurriness, redness, dryness, and more.

Eye drops are made to fix temporary discomforts. But, if you are experiencing a severe form of eye discomfort, you need to contact a professional immediately. They are good for stopping itchy eyes or redness that’s caused by a lack of sleep or irritation.

As we age, our eyes tend to lose their sharpness and precision. To prolong the effectiveness of your eyes, you’ll have to use eye drops to relieve pain and protect yourself from vision loss.

Let this guide help you see the benefits of using eye drops. We want to help you get your eyes operating properly not only to improve your optical help but also help you buy a pair of eye drops that are proven to work.

Types Of Eye Drops

The table represents the multiple types of eye drops that are available:


Treatment Usage

Side Effects

​Drop-eye drops

​Severe dry eyes.

​OTC drops aren't always effective; you might experience dry eyes longer than expected.

​Rinse drops

​Rinsing dust and debris from your eyes.

​Redness; burning or stinging sensation.

​Steroid/Antibiotic Drops

​Treatment of eye inflammation, eye infections, and eye pain.

Steroid: Can increase the chance of eye diseases if not used. properly.

​Antiviral Drops

​These are used to treat viral eye infections and herpes.

​Blurred vision, dryness, headache, photophobia (light sensitivity) burning or stinging sensation in your eyes.

​Glaucoma Drops

​Decreases eye pressure and manages eye fluids.

​High blood pressure, depression, blurry vision, breathing difficulties, and eye irritation.

​Anesthetic Drops

​Numbs your eye to prepare for further health procedures.

​Can damage cornea and cause further eye infection.

What Are Eye Drops Used For?

Eye drops are used to treat multiple ailments and issues that occur with your vision. These are the most common reasons why patients use them:

Dry Eyes

Artificial eye tears also known as lubricating eye drops, provides a lot of relief for dry eyes. The most common reasons why people experience dry eyes are due to computer strain, tiredness, and being outside in sunny and windy conditions.

Most eye drops work by providing tear elements that your eyes naturally produce. It makes your eyes more comfortable by using the artificial tears to add moisture to your eyes and make it easier for you to see.

Dry Eyes

We suggest not using a decongestant eye drops if you have dry eyes. They are usually prescribed for red eyes and might damage your eyes.

If you have severe dry eye issues, then you might need to look into eye ointment or lubricating gels. Use ointment and gels before you go to sleep because they are known to cause blurry vision.

But, if the ointments or OTC drops aren’t working, then ask your doctor for punctal plugs or other prescribed eye drops. This allows you to keep your eyes in good condition and prevent them from remaining dry.


You should get rewetting drops if you have contacts. They work by relieving discomfort that is produced by the eye contact water and stops dry eyes from obscuring your vision.

Contact your doctor if you plan on using OTC lubricating eye drops while wearing contacts. See if your contacts are compatible before placing the eye drops on your eyes. They aren't like rewetting drops, and you'll have to take off your contacts lenses to apply them.


Antihistamine eye drops are used to stop allergy induced itching. They work by stopping your eye tissues from producing histamine.

Alergies Eyes

There are some decongestant eye drops that are mixed with antihistamines. While they are used for allergy and itching treatment, they are better used for short-term eye protection. If the OTC treatments don't stop the allergic reactions or itching, then contact your doctor to receive more advanced eye prescription.

Pink Eye

Pink eye is an eye infection that takes place in multiple forms. Because of this, different forms of eye drops are needed. Here are the most common forms of pink eye that you need to look out for:

Viral Conjunctivitis

This is the contagious form and can affect others if they are close by. Most of the time, they'll go away. However, in severe cases, they'll cause sore, watery, red eyes or have a whitish or clear discharge.

If you suffer from viral conjunctivitis, then you'll have to opt for Over the counter lubricating eye drops help by restoring your eyes back to good health. However, if you experience severe symptoms, then you should contact your doctor immediately for intense treatment.

Bacterial Conjunctivitis

This is usually less severe but can make your eyes sore and red in appearance. It will then create a sticky, yellow discharge which can irritate your eyes after a while. Get prescription eye drops from your doctor in order to prevent your eyes from experiencing severe symptoms. 

Bacterial Conjunctivitis Eyes

Allergic Conjunctivitis

This is the most common form of pink eye as it causes your eyes to turn red. It causes itching and swollen eyes. Fortunately, it's not contagious and can be treated well. For instance, you can take OTC antihistamines like Benadryl, Zyrtec, and Claritin to help prevent your pink eye from getting worse.

But, if the symptoms become more severe, then you’ll have to receive stronger prescribed oral medications or eye drops. When using eye drops, don’t touch the tip of the bottle when placed near your eye. The bottle might become contaminated and risk spreading the infection.

After Surgery

Once your surgery is completed, your doctor might give you eye drops to prevent infections and minimize its recovery time. You need to use the eye drops as your doctor instructs you to. Until instructed otherwise, you should:

  • ​Start using your drops the morning after the surgery.
  • ​Only use them for the affected eye.
  • ​Before using the drops, wash your hands to prevent an infection.
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    Until advised by your doctor, don’t stop using your eye drops.
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    Don’t let others use your eye drops.


There are some human drops such as artificial tear drops that can work for your dogs. Here are a few tips to help apply eye drops for your pets:

Have the ointment or eye drops in your hand, then wipe and clean the residue from your pet’s eyes with a cotton ball and warm water.

Pets Eyedorps Review

Tilt your pet’s head back when applying eye drops on them. Rest your hand on their head to prevent them from accidentally hitting the dropper if they move. Squeeze the drops on their upper section of their eye.

For ointment, pull down their lid to create a pocket. Again, place your hand to rest on their head. This protects them from touching the ointment applicator. Then, place a small drop of the ointment in your pet’s eye.

Slowly open and close each eye lid so that the drops or ointment can evenly spread.

What Do Eye Drops Do?

Once they are applied, your eye drops will work almost immediately. They remove debris that’s placed on the surface of the eye. On average, it will take at least 2-3 seconds for your eye drops to work correctly.

Also, eye drops are used to relieve dryness. You’ll feel the effects instantly once they are applied correctly. If you stick a routine application and follow the directions as prescribed, your eye symptoms will fade after some time.

Ask your GP, pharmacist, or optician if you experience dry eye symptoms and are unable to treat them. The issues that cause dry eyes might be environmental. Since your body goes through constant changes, you might want to speak to your GP as well.

Your eye doctor might prescribe antihistamines, eye drops, ointments, or other forms of optical treatment.

Eye Drops Ingredients

Taking care of your eye vision is important in order to help you see properly. It doesn’t matter if you suffer from runny, dry, or itchy eyes, getting the right eye drops will help your eyes remain healthy.

But with the multitude of chemicals that’s in our food and medicine that we regularly consume, it can be difficult to determine the difference between good and bad ingredients. Here are the most common ingredients you should seek for in your eye drops.

Sterile Saline

Almost every eye drop that's used to combat itchy and dry eyes uses sterile saline is their main ingredient. Sterile saline is salt water that's filtered to act as an artificial version of your body's tears. When used with eye drops, sterile saline work to keep your eyes feeling normal and lubricated.

Lubricating Agents

If you have dry eyes, search for eye drops that contain lubricating agents such as carboxymethylcellulose and hydroxypropyl methylcellulose. They are both used to keep your eyes comfortable and moisturized.

Eye Drops Lubricants

Stop using it once you experience adverse reactions such as discomfort, swollen eyes, or itching. This will save your eyes from getting injured and helps you get the most out of your medication.


If you have any eye problems that are cause an allergic reaction or other seasonal allergies, find a pair of eye drops that contain antihistamine. This will reduce any discomfort that’s caused by allergies, itching, swelling, that you’ll feel due to your allergies.

Are Eye Drops Safe?

Eye drops are safe if you take the recommended dosage from your doctor. While you can use over the counter eye drops, they might have side effects associated with them.

On the other hand, you can use artificial tears as they don’t have the same chemicals that OTC eye drops have. This means that you can use them repeatedly without irritating your eyes. Most artificial eye drop packages don’t limit how many times you can use it, but doctors warn that you should keep it in moderation as the preservatives might increase irritation.

As we’ve stated earlier, you have to use your eye drops in moderation. This allows you to relieve your eyes from further pain and improve your vision.

Side Effects

Like with any form of medication, there are some side effects associated with it if used improperly. Here are the most common side effects that you'll experience when using steroid and lubricant eye drops:

Vision Issues

With lubricant eye drops, there is a rare chance that your vision will be temporarily blurred. This only occurs the first time you use the medication as your eyes start to get used to it. Also, minor side effects such as irritation/burning/stinging might temporarily occur. Tell your pharmacist or doctor promptly if these effects continue to occur.


Posterior subcapsular cataracts is a disease that grows on the back of your eye lens. Steroid eye drops increase the risk of this major side effect when used continuously. Cataracts cause a permanently blurred vision and must be surgically removed.

Cataracts In eye


Because steroids are used to reduce inflammation, it reduces your body’s immune system’s natural response to these instances. As a result, fungal or dormant viral infections will become active. Let your doctor evaluate this symptom if you start to notice any signs of vision loss or pain in your eyes.


On occasion, steroid eye drops have been reported to increase eye pressure. Glaucoma is a result of this eye pressure and can lead to permanent vision loss if left untreated. If it's detected early enough, using medicine with lower eye pressure can prevent glaucoma. But, vision loss might occur if the eye pressure isn't detected.

Over Usage

In addition to the previous side effects, over using eye drops can lead to more severe symptoms. Here are the most common issues that patients face when overusing their eye drops:

Eye Irritation

Some eye drops contain imidazoline and antihistamine can lead to eye irritation. Symptoms include headache, watery eyes, or a mild sense of burning. For people who wear eye contacts, they are at a higher risk of receiving eye irritation.

Eye Infection

Eye drops that have a corticosteroid are used to reduce inflammation that's caused by a foreign object, radiation, and an allergic response. But, it's only supposed to be used in the short-term. The patient must seek their physician to be reevaluated if the symptoms persist for more than two days.

Fungal, viral, and bacterial infections are associated with steroid eye drops. Prolonged use increases the immune system’s defense response, weakens the immune system, and increases the chance for eye infections.

Rebound Eye Redness

This occurs when a patient overuses eye drops that are intended to reduce eye redness. Imidazoline acts as a vasoconstrictor, which is used to narrow the blood vessels. OTC eye drops can relieve redness, but not directly treat the cause of it.

Rebound Eye Redness

Rebound eye redness occurs when the eye’s blood vessels begin to dilate once the medication effects start to wear off. Don’t overuse your eye drops in this situation as it leads to dependence and misuse.

To stop this, don't use your eye drops for long-term use and use them as directed by your doctor or physician. When overused, eye drops can damage blood vessels in your eye and cause permanent eye redness/.

Shelf Life Of Eye Drops

The shelf life of a product is the amount of time a commodity has until it’s unfit for further usage, sale, or storage. While all eye drops have preservatives to stop contamination temporarily, it won't fully prevent it.

Remember, eye drops do have an expiration date on it. This is because its active ingredient (usually sterile saline) tends to decline in shelf life over time. Once the eye drops are opened, it needs to be used quickly as its rate of degradation increases.

Some eye drops that are preservative free should be used immediately because they are highly sterile and are at its peak level of contamination if opened.

According to ophthalmologists, they recommend that users dispose of their eye drops after 3 months. Eye drops that don't have preservatives are placed inside single-use tubes. This means that you need to use your eye drops within three months of opening it.

Are Expired Eye Drops Safe?

No. Regulatory authorities such as the FDA (Food Drug Administration) suggest that you shouldn’t use eye drops that have exceeded their shelf life. Your eyes are the most sensitive organ in your body. Continued usage of expired eye drops can lead to mild to major side effects.

Eye drops are unstable, have a small shelf life, and are easily disposed of. Multi-dose eye drops have preservatives which help maintain their shelf life. We suggest that you use them within 28 days to prevent any unexpected side effects from occurring.

Side Effects

When using eye drops past their expiration date, expect the following:

  • ​Blurred vision
  • ​Eye pain
  • ​Irregular heart beat
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    Redness/stinging in the eye
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​​​​​Drug Administration Policy

The drug administration policy has created a list of guidelines that should be followed when applying eye drops.

  • ​Refrigerate the eye solution if you can’t determine if your eye drops reach the eye surface. Also, don’t refrigerate suspensions.
  • ​Wash your hands to reduce the risk of contamination. Wash areas around your eyes to remove residue which might cause eye irritation.
  • ​Tilt your head backward.
  • Grab the lower eyelid and pull it away from the eye to make a pouch.
  • Place the dropper at least 3 inches away from your eye.
  • Release the eyelid after the eye drop has been applied. Rest your eyes for at least 3 minutes to allow the solution to spread evenly throughout the cornea. Minimize squeezing or blinking your eyelids during this procedure.
  • Use your finger to place pressure on the tear duct opening.
  • Wipe off excessive solution from your eyes.
  • If you have to use multiple eye drops, wait at least 5 minutes before applying the next drop. This time frame ensures that the second eye drop isn't diluted by the first and that the first eye drop isn't flushed away by the second one.
  • Place your suspension eye drop last if you’re required to use it.
  • If ointment and drop therapy are needed, place the drops in for 10 minutes before the ointment. This prevents the ointment from creating a barrier to the eye drops.

​Over The Counter Eye Drops

The availability of antibiotic medication and eye drops across multiple pharmacies makes it the first choice of action for sufferers. Besides, a short treatment period clears up most eye discomfort.

However, while this can provide a short-term solution, it can lead to issues later down the line. Studies have shown that buying OTC eye drops have minimal long-term benefits. Even though they can relieve short-term discomfort, you need to consider the risk of prolonged damage and the side effects before self-medicating.

Over The Counter Medication

Most eye drops have anionics, which cause your eyes to contract rapidly after usage. Applying them without professional consultation might lead to vision loss. If you're experiencing eye problems, it's best to consult your doctor, physician, eye care professional, or your physician for treatment.


It doesn't matter if you're having a slight itch or suffering from severe symptoms such as cataracts. You need to take care of your eyes. Don't make the mistake of neglecting your eyes as you'll damage your long-term vision in the process.

 As we end this informational post, we invite you to look into our buying guide. With the buying guide, you’ll be able to find the best eye drops that exceed the utility of over the counter products. Give it a look if you’re serious about recovering your eyes back to good health and relieving unnecessary pain.

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