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OPTOMETRY & EYEWEAR with Melissa Hay, Visique Milford

All About Eye Drops

With winter upon us, this month our regular optometry columnist Melissa Hay, of Visique Milford Optometrists, takes a look at the effects indoor environments can have on the eyes and the benefits that eye drops can bring…

If you are lucky enough to be getting a break from winter and travelling overseas, a good idea is to pack some lubricating drops in your toilet bag. It is very common when travelling to develop dry eyes, due to the plane air conditioning, but also the hotel environment. This dry eye can lead to irritated and red eyes – but more seriously can pose you at risk of developing an infection.

At the pharmacy or in optometry practices there is a myriad of eye drops available for all types of eye conditions. The most common eye drops are for dryness or for allergy. The allergic eye drops should always be used with caution, and only under the strict conditions that it orders on the package. Many allergy eye drops contain preservatives, which can create a toxic reaction in the eye drying it out. But, they also can contain a decongestant. These work to whiten your eye, which has a short term gain, but its long term pain is it can make you very reliant on the eye drop. The best thing to do if you think your eyes are allergic is seek advice, or use a cold face cloth for two minutes over your closed eyelids.

Lubricating eye drops can either come in a bottle or in individual vials. The vials are definitely the safest and most convenient drop to use. They are safe, as they do not contain any preservative in them – but, they are also good, as you can have them in your bathroom for months without them going off. The bottles go off after one month of opening them. If your eyes are uncomfortable and dry, you should use lubricating drops at least four times a day to get maximal effect. You may need to seek advice if your eyes don’t settle after that time.

If you wear contact lenses and have eye discomfort, it is better to talk to your optometrist about your options rather than use any eye drops. There are some eye drops specifically designed for use with contact lenses. If you are having an issue with your contact lenses, it maybe due to a poor fitting lens, the cleaner you are using or over wear.

If you have any questions about any eye drop available, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Visique Milford Optometrists,155 Kitchener Road, Milford. Phone 489 4797.

by Melissa Hay