Is it bad to use eye drops everyday: Is It Risky to Overuse Eye Drops?
Is It Risky to Overuse Eye Drops?
Kornmehl Laser Eye Associates
Laser Vision Correction, Dry Eye Treatment, Cataract Surgery,
Contact Lenses & General Eyecare
Posted on by Dr. Ernest Kornmehl
Like any medication, eyedrops must be taken as directed. And unless your doctor has instructed you to do so, eyedrops should not be taken on a daily basis for weeks at a time. Eyedrops are meant only as a temporary fix — not a long-term solution. In fact, overusing eyedrops can actually put your eye health at risk. Dr. Ernest Kornmehl explains more in this post.
May Cause Increased Eye Dryness, Redness and Irritation
Medicated and allergy eyedrops are meant to soothe red, irritated eyes, but overusing them may actually make the symptoms worse. Here’s how:
When the eyes become irritated, the tiny blood vessels that nourish the sclera, or white part of the eye, start to dilate. Medicated eyedrops help to constrict these enlarged blood vessels to ease redness and irritation. However, prolonged use of the drops can actually cause a “rebounding” effect. Since blood flow slows or stops, less oxygen and nutrients can get to the sclera; in turn, the blood vessels respond by enlarging, causing a cycle of persistent redness and irritation.
May Wash Away Your Natural Tears
Artificial tears provide lubrication if your natural tear production diminishes or the quality of your tear film is compromised. However, overusing artificial tears can actually flush out the tears your eyes do produce. Or, it can wash away the oily layer of the tear film that helps the tears “stick” to the surface of the eyes. As a result, the tears evaporate too quickly and dry eye problems continue.
May Hide Serious Underlying Problems
If symptoms like eye redness, irritation or dryness endure despite prolonged use of eyedrops, there may be something more serious going on, such as inflammation, an eye infection, eye trauma or something stuck in the eye. And the longer the issue goes undetected, the more serious the consequences may be. Any ongoing symptoms should always be evaluated by a professional to confirm or rule out a serious underlying cause.
Contact Dr. Kornmehl
If you have dry eyes, eye irritation or other symptoms that won’t resolve on their own, you should have your eyes examined by a professional. Dr. Kornmehl is happy to answer your questions about dry eyes, eye infections and other eye problems. Simply contact our Boston office today.
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Are You Overusing Eye Drops?
Eye drops are often recommended by doctors for a range of conditions and even for general eye care. They can help reduce the occurrence of dry, itchy eyes and are helpful for people with a variety of issues such as:
- Eye trauma
- Eye infections
- Chronic dry eye
Despite their usefulness, eye drops aren’t meant for long-term, regular use. If used too often, they could cause a variety of issues, including worsening pre-existing dry eye.
Are You Overusing Eye Drops for Dry Eyes?
Dry eye is a chronic, gradually worsening condition that could leave you finding yourself constantly reaching your eye drop bottle on a daily basis. The condition is characterized by minimal tear production or tears that don’t seem to lubricate your eyes for long enough. For many people with dry eyes, eye drops are seen as a quick fix, and there are many different types of artificial tears used to help relieve the burning or itching sensation the condition causes.
Whether you’re using over-the-counter eye drops, medicated eye drops, or allergy eye drops, each of these temporary solutions could offer more risks than benefits when overused.
Risks of Overusing Eye Drops
Overusing artificial tears could expose your eyes to serious dangers, including:
Increasing Eye Redness and Dryness
Most eye drops work by constricting the blood vessels, causing the white part of your eye to become red and irritated. However, overusing these eye drops could cause a rebound effect, where the blood vessels constrict so much and so little oxygen and nutrients reach your eyes that your body overcompensates and dilates the vessels even more. This could worsen and prolong your eye redness and irritation.
Washing Away Your Natural Tears
Eye drops could damage your eye’s oily tear film that helps your tears stick to your eye. This could leave you with tears that evaporate too quickly and worsen your dry eyes even more.
Hiding Serious Underlying Eye Conditions
Eyes that are red and irritated could be a sign of trauma, infection, or inflammation. Overusing eye drops could make it very difficult to realize if something is wrong and leave these conditions to develop to the point where they cause severe damage to your eye or vision.
Benefits of ICL
ICL (Implantable Contact Lens) is one of the best ways to treat a condition like dry eye. This procedure can lessen the frequency at which you experience bouts of redness and irritation, reducing your need for eye drops. Visian ICL can be performed on both of a patient’s eyes during the same office visit.
Unlike LASIK and PRK, this procedure is not known to cause dry eyes as a potential side effect. This is because the biocompatible Collamer used for ICL will maintain your natural eye chemistry. Furthermore, the UV-blocking properties of the lens will reduce eye dryness and protect your vision. If you are a potential ICL candidate, you should consider all of the benefits that you can experience by undergoing this procedure and permanently reducing eye drop use.
If you are interested in getting a procedure for dry eye, farsightedness, nearsightedness, or astigmatism, an eye exam and assessment could help an eye doctor decide which treatment you are a good candidate for and how to move forward.
Schedule an appointment online today to talk with an expert about getting ICL for dry eyes, or take this LASIK self-test to discover if you’re a good candidate for the procedure.
Why is it harmful to get carried away with eye drops?
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In the modern world, a person spends a lot of time in direct contact with the strongest eye irritants. We are talking about many hours of work on computers, tablets, phones and other gadgets. Almost the whole day we are engaged in printing documents, searching for information on various Internet resources and filtering it, but we don’t even think about how negatively this affects our health.
Regular computer games, lack of sleep and vitamins, lack of exposure to fresh air, as well as the abuse of addictions lead to irritation and pain of the eyeballs, and sometimes vision loss. To prevent this from happening, or in their desire to reduce the feeling of discomfort, many people begin to use eye drops. Their impact contributes to the appearance of the so-called protective film. It soothes the visual organ and copes with burning and pain.
Classification of eye drops:
- Preparations for combating infectious diseases. For example, antiviral or antifungal.
- Anti-inflammatory preparations. For example, sodium chloride for washing.
- Anti-allergic products.
- Moisturizing eye drops. Works like an artificial tear.
- Drops to relieve swelling.
- Medicines for the treatment of glaucoma.
- Preparations for the prevention and treatment of cataracts.
The importance of consulting a doctor.
Many patients often end up in the ophthalmology department after suffering from eye problems for some time, being too lazy or embarrassed to visit a qualified doctor, and decide to self-medicate using eye drops. They look for a description of their ailment on the Internet, and then write out the name of the medicine and boldly follow it to the nearest pharmacy. Doing so is strictly prohibited! You must understand that you can’t buy any eye preparation. It may simply not be suitable for your situation or for your eyes. The consequences can be very diverse, from a slight tingling of the visual organs, to complete deprivation of vision.
Learn for yourself that if you have the most seemingly minor problems, you should immediately contact an ophthalmologist. With early treatment, you can kill the disease at an early stage. And keep a bright and clear picture of the world for yourself.
Negative effects of excessive use of eye preparations.
Some people don’t realize that there are downsides to regular drops. The bottom line is that your eyes tend to get used to the drugs. And if you have been using this remedy for too long a period, contrary to the doctor’s recommendations, then it will be very difficult to refuse it. At first, the eyes will experience dryness or burning. Therefore, it is necessary to give up this business not immediately, but gradually. Thus, it will be easier for them to cope with new circumstances and easier to integrate into the familiar environment.
Take care of your eyes. Don’t be careless. Well, if it so happened that you feel obvious discomfort in the eyes, do not delay. Address to the oculist.
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Eye drops: 8 secrets of their use that everyone is silent about
Eyes are a sensitive area and eye drops should be used skillfully. And at the same time, few people teach this. Here are eight yes’s and no’s about eye drops that everyone should know.
1. Not all at once
One of the most common mistakes people make is burying too quickly. However, the amount of liquid that the eye can “digest” is very limited – no more than one drop for a few seconds. Therefore, if the recipe says “four drops every six hours”, this does not mean that they should be “poured” into the eye all at once – pause! And then the drops will not roll down the cheeks and the rather expensive medicine will not be wasted.
2. Different types – every 30 minutes
If you use different drops, you must wait 30 minutes between each use. Otherwise, they can interact with each other, which at best will reduce their effectiveness. At worst, the eyes may begin to burn or they will become watery profusely.
3. Strictly maintain the dose
Drops are absolutely no different from other medicines – you need to maintain the prescribed dose, otherwise the consequences can be disastrous. And it works both ways – taking “too rarely and little” in the case of serious diseases like glaucoma can be just as dangerous as “too often and much. ” The best advice is to set a “reminder” using the alarm clock in your smartphone. On Android and iOS, you can set as many alarms as you want.
4. Use them on the day of your appointment
Even if you go to the doctor on that day, still use the drops as prescribed – it’s amazing how many people choose to come in with “clear” eyes. The only exception to this rule is if the doctor himself directly told you that before the next visit to him you should pause for 12 or 24 hours.
5. Keep track of the expiration date
Medicines have an expiration date (oddly enough) and using expired eye drops is a very bad idea. If you use the “old” drops left over from the previous time – always check their expiration date! Sometimes it is a formality and the drops last much longer, but only your doctor can tell you about this.
6. Don’t self-diagnose
If you diagnose yourself with diarrhea and “prescribe” activated charcoal, that’s one thing. If you misdiagnose your eyes and put the wrong medicine in them, that’s another thing entirely.