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What is an eye drop?

The excessive use of new technologies and the effects that pollution produces on ocular health are the reasons why the use of eye drops has increased. It is a pharmaceutical measure presented in liquid form whose objective is to moisturize the eyes or fight some types of infections .

The eye drops come in small droppers that facilitate their dosage according to the pathology that you want to treat. In addition, both its label and its plugs follow a color code to identify the type of drug more easily.

Currently, they can be purchased in different presentations for each need. However, in general they are distinguished into two categories: those that need formula and those that do not. It is essential to understand that not all are destined to the same and, therefore, their excessive or erroneous application can cause undesired effects .

Types of eye drops

An eye drop can be a simple saline solution for small eye discomforts or a complete formula to treat more serious pathologies. Some companies distribute them according to their color , so it is possible to distinguish them in three color categories:

  • Red: indicated to dilate the pupil.
  • Green: solution to contract the pupil.
  • Yellow: prepared anesthetic drops.

These colors are more important than many think, since they help to choose the most appropriate one. However, sometimes they can be found in pink, white, etc. Therefore, it is essential to know which are over-the-counter and which ones are only used under medical supervision.

Eye drops without a prescription

As we already mentioned, the modern lifestyle and technology can influence the appearance of various eye discomforts. These factors, in addition to other external causes, usually cause ocular dryness, redness and a gritty sensation . For these cases, which are considered mild, there are eye drops without a prescription.

Eye drop for red eyes

This variety of eye drops is used when the eyes suffer irritation, redness and itching. Usually this type of discomfort originates when the eyes are exposed to harmful external agents such as smoke, air conditioning or chlorine from swimming pools.

Eye drops for dry eyes

They are also known as artificial tears and are drops that restore the lubrication of the eyes. They are indicated for the dryness that the eyeball suffers due to the abusive use of computers and mobile devices. They are also indicated for the loss of moisture caused by age or by polluting agents .

Eye drops with medical prescription

An eye drop may contain the formula indicated to deal with various infections or inflammations. Since these problems are delicate and expose visual health , the medication can only be purchased with a prescription. The best known are:

  • Bactericides: administered in case of bacterial infections.
  • Bacteriostats : whose function is to stop the growth of bacteria, although it does not eliminate them.
  • Combined antibiotics: include combined steroid antibiotics and another variety of medications.

The great advantage of eye drops is that their dosage form allows the medication to penetrate easily into the eye through the tear duct . In addition, the blinking will help you spread more easily across the eyeball.

Main components of eye drops

What is an eye drop?

Before reviewing some of the main applications of the eye drop it is good to know some of the main components that make them up. Thus, in an eye drop you can find substances such as:

  • Antimicrobial agents
  • Tonicity regulators
  • Viscous agents
  • Active principle of eye salve
  • Base solution
  • PH regulators

Most common uses of eye drops

In addition to being the solution for redness and dryness, some formulas for eye drops offer a treatment for conditions that compromise the eyes. Of course, it is essential to receive an adequate diagnosis in order to choose the most convenient one. Its main uses include:

  • Allergic conjunctivitis or infections (bacteria and fungi)
  • Uveitis
  • Glaucoma
  • Conjunctival xerosis

Note: A doctor may also use diagnostic eye drops to check intraocular pressure or look for any damage to the corneas.

Advice for the proper use of an eye drop

What is an eye drop?

Considering that the inappropriate use of eye drops can cause unwanted reactions, below we share some simple guidelines to use them safely and effectively . All advice should be applied whether the eye drop is over-the-counter or prescribed.

  • Under no circumstances should antibiotic eye drops be used without medical prescription. In fact, there should not be self-medication in any case.
  • Although the eye drop is without a prescription, it is essential to ask the doctor or professional in charge about its application form and correct dosage.
  • It is not advisable to abuse eye drops to treat red eyes or dryness. Sometimes they have components that in excess produce an effect contrary to the desired.
  • Use the most indicated eye drops for the eyes.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before opening the boat.

Side effects of eye drops

Most of the time the side effects of eye drops do not represent something serious. As soon as it is applied, the person may feel tingling, blurred vision and metallic taste in the mouth. Many times these symptoms are the result of an allergy to some component of the medication.

If treatment with eye drops includes those that contain steroids, the possibility of side effects multiplies. Therefore, it is essential to avoid prolonged use and keep under medical supervision. These risks include cataracts, eye pressure and glaucoma.

What is an eye drop?