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Eyedrops: More Than Meets The Eye

Eyedrops: More Than Meets The Eye

Saturday, March 27, 2021


Redness-relieving eye drops are one way to return the whites of our eyes to their normally clear condition. Made from a decongestant, overuse of these drops can increase eye redness and bring about the conditions that they are trying to correct. 

The tiny blood vessels on the surface of the whites of your eye are the culprits. When irritation causes these blood vessels to expand, it makes the whites of the eye appear pink or red. Redness can result from being tired, suffering from allergies, being around smoke or from contact lenses. 

It’s safer to use artificial tears. Many of the package instructions do not limit the total number of drops that can be applied, but eye doctors caution that the preservatives in some artificial tears can increase irritation if used too frequently. The good news is that, in the case of preservative-free artificial tears, there is almost no risk of overuse. 

Most people don’t have reason to worry if they follow the usage instructions on labels and treat red eyes with preservative-free artificial tears. 

If you have tried different brands of lubricating eye drops and your eyes are still uncomfortable or if you have dryness or vision problems, talk with your ophthalmologist. 

Source: CDC and American Academy of Ophthalmologists


Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.