Eye drops are the most becoming very common nowadays in treating several diseases and conditions related to the eyes. It can be as simple as contact lens moistening, eye redness, conjunctivitis to special conditions such as cataract surgery post-operative patients, patients with glaucoma and the like.
Composition of Eye Drops.
Eye drops are basically made of saline solution. Apart from this as the base ingredient, it may also contain other substances depending on the intended use such as anti-redness, lubricants, etc. For example, in bacterial conjunctivitis, it may contain antibacterial ingredients.
Common Uses of Eye Drops.
Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis). Conjunctivitis or Pink Eye is a common condition which involves the inflammation and irritation of the conjunctiva, the layer which lines the inner eyelids and the membrane of the eyes. There are different types of conjunctivitis and some of them are bacterial, viral, allergic, etc. Antibiotic eye drops are prescribed in this condition to limit the growth and spread of the infecting organism.
Eye Examinations. In a physical assessment, when the doctor needs to view the internals of the eye, eyedrops can be instilled either to numb the eye, or make the pupils dilate for more light to pass through, allowing proper viewing of the eye.
Dry Eyes. There are generally three layers inside our eye which provides lubrication. Due to many causes, and one of them is aging, production of tears and lubricants is not any more effective. This leads to signs and symptoms such as pain and redness, burning sensation in the eye, vision changes, and the like.
Eye Allergies. Allergic conjunctivitis, a common eye allergy is brought about by irritants in the environment which when exposed to, a person suddenly develops eye redness and itchiness. In cases of eye allergies, eye drops containing antihistamines, decongestants and steroids are being prescribed. Glaucoma. This condition is caused by an increased pressure inside the eyes. One cause of glaucoma is that there is too much fluid inside the eye due to improper drainage. Glaucoma can be treated with eye drops which helps in improving the drainage of the fluid that is contained inside our eyes.
Important Reminders in Administering Eye Drops
Many times, even physicians and health care personnel fail to include health education in terms of instilling eye drops which makes it unhealthy for people instilling eye drops by themselves.
In instilling eye drops, the person must be seated in a flat surface (i.e. chair) and must tilt his or her head backward. The person must also look upwards and avoid directly instilling the medication into the center of the eye (iris). The eye drops must be instilled in the lower conjunctiva and once instilled; the person must close or blink his or her eyes for a few seconds to aid in spreading the medication.
In some cases, it is also required to press the nasolacrimal ducts (the ducts that connect the tear glands to the pharynx) as some drugs can cause systemic effects when absorbed by the said duct. It is also advised not to touch the eyes with the tip of the eye drop to prevent contamination and cross infection.