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Which Eye Drops Are Best for You

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Do you get overwhelmed while shopping for the right eye drops? The first step is to determine what eye condition you have:

  • Allergies
  • Dryness
  • Infection
  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Soreness
  • Swelling

Before you buy any eye drops, check with your eye doctor to determine the cause or severity of the problem.

Prescription vs. non-prescription
Eye drops are broken into these two categories. Non-prescription (over-the-counter) are typically less costly and appropriate is most cases. Don’t make a gamble with your eyes; check with your doctor before using OTC eye drops.

Eye drops for soreness, swelling or discharge
Before using eye drops for soreness, you need to determine the underlying cause. Eyes are usually sore because they are strained, dry, or tired. Lubricating eye drops may provide relief for eye irritation caused by

  • Swelling from inflammation
  • Eye discharge

However, if the color of discharge is yellow or greenish, it could be an infection and you should see a doctor.

Eye drops for contact lenses
Rewetting eye drops are specifically formulated for contact lenses. If you only have regular OTC lubricating eye drops, check with your eye doctor to see if your contacts are compatible. OTC and prescription eye drops are not made for contact lens wearers.

Eye drops for redness
Decongestant eye drops shrink blood vessels around the eye to make your eyes look less red. However, they could be masking an underlying problem. If you frequently have red eyes, you should check with your eye doctor. Do not over use decongestant eye drops because that will lead to other problems like dryness, irritation, dilated pupils, and even build up a tolerance towards them causing greater redness.

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