Eyes are one of the most important and sensitive parts of your body.
Whether your eyes are dry, red, or even suffering from an infection, eye drops can be part of the solution. The first step is to find the right type of eye drops for your specific needs. Different types are designed for different symptoms. Using the incorrect type could be doing your eyes a disservice.
Here are our recommendations for what over-the-counter drops can help the most common ailments:
Note: This article is in no way a substitute for getting an eye exam. Eye exams are essential for maintaining proper eye health, and are the only way to get an accurate diagnosis. Schedule yours today!
If you spend most of your day staring at a computer screen, outside in windy conditions or in the sun for extended periods of time, your eyes can become dry and irritated. Lubricating eye drops are best suited for dry eyes. Keeping your eyes moist in these scenarios will help prevent eye injuries and infections. If this is a recurring issue, ointments are an option, but you should visit your eye doctor for advice.
Decongestant eye drops or “whitening drops” are useful for reducing the red colour in your eyes. Essentially, they shrink the blood vessels that are making your eyes red, and thus making them appear whiter. This is a misleading effect because it is not treating any dryness or itchiness in your eyes, in fact they can sometimes make your eyes dryer.
Antihistamine eye drops are designed specifically to treat eyes that are itchy or dry due to an allergic reaction.
Itchiness is often not an independent symptom; it’s usually due to either an allergic reaction or dryness that may be irritating your eyes. For this reason, you should try to identify which of these two ailments you are suffering from and use the suggestions above to treat yourself accordingly.
If you are suffering from swollen eyes, sore eyes or a buildup of discharge in your eyes, eye drops may provide you with short-term relief but they will not solve the problem. Symptoms such as these can be caused by an infection in your eye or a more serious disease. To diagnose these problems you should schedule an eye exam.