Eye Drops

Eye drops can be a key part of your treatment for the eye. There are many types of eye drops and reasons why you can use them. Eye drops you may encounter include redness-relieving drops, itch-relieving drops, antibiotic drops, dilating drops and numbing drops.

Eye drops are used to treat a variety of conditions or diseases, including eye infections, dry eyes, allergies and glaucoma. Eye drops can be essential to protect your eyes and preserve your vision.

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said 27 eye drop products have been linked to eye infections that can cause blindness. These products could be found at retail pharmacies and grocery stores. Earlier in 2023, other eye drop brands caused a drug-resistant bacterial infection that infected 81 people and killed four people, according to National Public Radio.

Although these infections have not been directly traced to these brands of eye drops, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the FDA, and state and local health officials are investigating. This has overall caused speculation within the eye drop industry.

The best thing for you to do is to use eye drops you are prescribed by an ophthalmologist or optometrist. Do not put anything in your eye that is not meant for your eye. Use the correct number of drops, and make sure you’re actually getting drops in your eye.

If you still want to use over-the-counter eye drops due to dry eyes or another issue, AARP has some tips on how to find safe eye drops.

If you develop an eye, respiratory, urinary or blood stream infection or start feeling eye pain after using eye drops, you should seek medical care as soon as possible. Call the UofL Health – Eye Institute at 502-588-0550 if you start noticing eye or vision issues. If the problem is more urgent, you can visit a UofL Health – Urgent Care Plus location, or visit a UofL Health – Emergency Department in an emergency.

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Article by: Patrick Scott, O.D., Ph.D.

Patrick A. Scott, O.D., Ph.D., is an optometrist with UofL Physicians – Eye Specialists and is also an assistant professor at the UofL School of Medicine in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. Dr. Scott received his bachelor’s degree from Canisius College in New York and his doctor of optometry degree from the New England College of Optometry. He completed his residency and fellowship at Boston University School of Medicine. He is member of the American Academy of Optometry, American Optometric Association, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, International Society for Eye Research, American Association of Clinical Anatomists, Kentucky Optometric Association, Optometric Retina Society and Sports Vision Society.

All posts by Patrick Scott, O.D., Ph.D.
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