Eye drops are sterile aqueous or oily medicinal solutions that are injected into the eyes in the treatment or prevention of various ophthalmic diseases.
Types of eye drops
Depending on the type of action and pharmacological group, eye drops are divided into several types.
Important! There are combination drugs that have a complex effect, and may also contain substances that enhance each other’s actions.
Pharmacological groups of eye drops:
- Anti-infective drops for various eye infections: for the treatment of bacterial infections (bacterial conjunctivitis, barley, blepharitis, etc.) ¬ antimicrobial, antiparasitic and antihelminthic agents; for the treatment of viral infections (viral conjunctivitis, keratitis, etc.) ¬ antimicrobial, antiparasitic and antihelminthic agents; for the treatment of fungal infections (fungal keratitis, conjunctivitis, etc.) ¬ antimicrobial, antiparasitic and antihelminthic agents.
- Anti-allergic drops for allergic eye diseases: for the treatment of allergic eye lesions (allergic conjunctivitis, blepharitis, keratitis, etc.) – intermediates and their antagonists.
- Anti-inflammatory drops for non-infectious inflammatory processes of the eye: for the treatment of inflammatory diseases and injuries of the organ of vision, recovery after surgical treatment of the eyes – non-narcotic analgesics, including non-steroidal and other anti-inflammatory drugs; for the treatment of complex inflammation in various ophthalmic diseases – hormones and their antagonists.
- Drops for glaucoma: they are used to improve the outflow of intraocular fluid – vegetotropic agents, intermediates; and to reduce the production of intraocular fluid – vegetotropic agents, metabolics.
- Drops for cataracts: A number of pharmacological companies offer the market eye drops for the treatment of cataracts. At the same time, evidence-based medicine does not have a single confirmation that drops or other medicines can get rid of this ailment. The only scientifically proven method of treatment is a surgical procedure to remove the clouded lens with the implantation of an artificial lens.
- Regenerating drops in case of damage to the cornea: they are used to accelerate the healing and restoration of the surface tissues of the eye – regenerants and reparants.
- Vasoconstrictor drops for lacrimation, swelling, redness of the eyes, etc.: they are used to eliminate uncomfortable symptoms in various eye diseases – vegetotropic agents.
- Pupil-dilating drops for diagnostic eye examinations and treatment of ophthalmic diseases: they are used to eliminate spasm of accommodation and complex treatment of certain ophthalmic diseases, as well as for diagnostic eye examinations – vegetotropic agents.
- Drops narrowing the pupil during surgical procedures: they are used for the narrowing of the pupil during operations and the relief of an attack of glaucoma – vegetotropic agents.
- Moisturizing drops for dry eyes: they are used to moisturize the surface of the eye – metabolic agents, organotropic agents.
- Anesthetic drops for diagnostic manipulations and surgical treatment: they are used to relieve pain during examinations or procedures – neurotropic agents.
- Dyes for diagnostic eye examinations: they are used to detect damage to the cornea and foreign bodies – organotropic agents.
Preservatives in eye drops
For long-term storage and maintaining sterility, preservatives are added to the eye drops during use. The most popular preservative today is benzalkonium chloride. In this case, the substance has not only benefits but also side effects, such as a violation of the physicochemical properties of the tear film, the death of corneal epithelial cells, dry eye syndrome, etc.
To avoid side effects, manufacturers are trying to reduce or completely eliminate preservatives from eye drops:
- install antibacterial filters in reusable vials;
- optimize the bottle design, for example, into a disposable dropper tube;
- use low-toxic preservatives;
- block the negative impact of the preservative by other substances.
Which eye drops to choose
All drugs prescribed for glaucoma are designed to correct IOP and prevent the destruction of the fibers of the optic nerve. However, their mechanism of action is not the same. Some agents reduce the production of intraocular fluid, others improve its outflow, others have a combined effect.
The first-line drugs prescribed for glaucoma and eye pressure include prostaglandins and their analogues. These compositions contribute to the removal of intraocular fluid through additional ways. The group of prostaglandin analogues includes: Xalatan, Lumigan, Tafluprost, the list goes on, there are a lot of drugs.
The choice of a specific remedy depends both on the recommendations of the doctor and on the financial capabilities of the patient, since the price, especially for imported drugs, can differ quite significantly. It is not necessary to focus on the rating since the effect of the compounds on the human body is largely individual, much depends on the form of glaucoma, concomitant diseases and other factors. It is unacceptable to purchase medicine on your own, on the basis of advertising.
Hypersensitivity and individual intolerance may occur. A person may experience burning, discomfort, redness, headache, etc. If you noticed these symptoms, you need to re-consult a doctor so that he or she will select a different composition or suggest a remedy that relieves discomfort.
Important: most eye drops must be stored for no longer than 1 month (after opening).
Prostaglandins are effective, safe and convenient to use. You need to use the medicine only 1 time per day. And the effect lasts more than 24 hours. The drug allows you to reduce pressure by 3-12 mm or more, however, it acts gently, the degree of decrease depends on the initial IOP. The maximum effect is achieved after 12 hours. However, you should bear in mind that a noticeable decrease in pressure after instillation of drops begins only after 2 hours. Therefore, it is important to strictly adhere to the schedule of admission in order to prevent an attack.
When you see a doctor, it is necessary to inform him or her about the existing diseases. Since different formulations have different contraindications. Some are not applicable in the presence of heart failure and asthma, others are incompatible with diabetes. There are also drugs that are designed for people with certain chronic diseases.
If prostaglandins do not give the desired effect, a combined drug is prescribed. Their effectiveness is higher, however, in mild forms of glaucoma, the use of potent drugs is not recommended. You should also take into account that IOP can be corrected not only with eye drops but also with oral preparations, these are acetazolamide, glycerol. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages, you need to consult with your doctor.
When can you stop using eye drops?
Despite the fact that glaucoma is a chronic disease, and its complete cure is impossible, over time, you can achieve a stable remission with proper treatment. Such glaucoma is called burnt glaucoma. At the same time, the pressure stabilizes, the regression of vision actually stops. It is no longer necessary to instill drops with burnt glaucoma and cataracts with a decrease in pressure.
To determine the presence of IOP, you need to see a doctor. It is not always possible to identify the problem on your own since discomfort and pain in the eyes are felt only with angle-closure glaucoma, accompanied by sharp pressure surges. The open-angle shape is more insidious, it is often almost not felt. With glaucoma, a person may even have normal pressure.
To receive adequate treatment, it is necessary to undergo regular examinations, even if the state of health does not worsen. Based on the newly obtained data, the doctor makes changes to the course of treatment to achieve the best result. Such measures in most cases are enough to slow down the regression and preserve vision. Even if surgery is required, IOP must be maintained with eye drops afterward.
Top-selling eye drops
Bimatoprost is a physiologically active fatty acid found in almost all human cells in small amounts. Bimatoprost affects a number of processes in our body: it regulates cell growth helps the body absorb calcium helps break down fat. Due to the complexity of the synthesis, Bimatoprost is very expensive.
How Bimatoprost affects the growth of eyelashes is not really explained by anyone. But in general, the principle of its influence is clear. The agent penetrates into the hair follicles where the cilia begin to grow, promotes blood supply and metabolism, which causes the growth of the cilia.
50% of patients in the clinical study saw significant improvement 2 months after starting treatment.
In some cases, Bimatoprost and Bimat are prescribed to reduce eye pressure.
Careprost is an ophthalmic solution containing 0.03% Bimatoprost, the only FDA-approved drug that has gone through several clinical trials and has proven to increase the length, thickness, and darkness of eyelashes in people with eyelash hypotrichosis.
Careprost is a natural eyelash extension solution. These are eye drops that transform thin and weak eyelashes into curly and voluminous ones. It helps people who are unhappy with their short and brittle lashes to grow thicker and longer lashes.
Eye drops can be applied to your eyelashes, eyebrows, scalp hair, or beard if you are a man.
Apply Careprost eye drops once a day at night at about the same time each day. Use for 12-16 weeks on an ongoing basis to see the full effect of the medication.
Lumigan is a cosmetic product used to improve the growth of eyebrows and eyelashes. The main active ingredient bimatoprost, as part of the Lumigan solution, makes the hair follicles of the eyebrows and eyelashes stronger and healthier, which has a positive effect on hair growth, which becomes much darker and longer.
Bimatoprost, included in the Lumigan solution, being a fatty acid, stimulates the growth of ciliary hair and eyebrows. Clinical studies confirm that this product makes eyelashes 40% longer, more than 100% thicker and significantly darker. The solution must be applied along the ciliary hair growth line so that bimatoprost, penetrating into the hair follicles, causes blood flow and improves disturbed nutrition processes, thereby stimulating their growth. Lumigan has a clear, non-greasy texture that leaves no residue on the skin. The special applicator included in the kit makes it more comfortable to wear.
The remedy must be used constantly, for a long time (2 months or more), in order to maintain the effect.
The recommended dosage is a single application at bedtime. The application is performed along the upper eyelid at the base of the eyelashes. Before using the solution, be sure to remove makeup and contact lenses.
Lumogam is also used to reduce eye pressure.
This reliable agent is sold by prescription, with its help you can fight not only conjunctivitis but also the primary symptoms of glaucoma. It seeps well under the cornea, causes the outflow of intraocular fluid, due to which there is an increase in pressure. Such drops do not inhibit the production of tear fluid. The main active ingredient here is latanoprost. Unlike other eye drops, this drug does not begin to act immediately, the peak activity of the main active agent is noted approximately 12 hours after administration. In small quantities, substances accumulate in soft tissues, but there is no negative effect.
Use the medicine in strict accordance with the doctor’s recommendations. If you increase the dosage and frequency of use, then this can lead to the fact that the effectiveness will begin to decrease. With the help of such drops, it is possible to enhance the effect of other medications aimed at treating or preventing eye diseases. This remedy is not prescribed for children under the age of 18 and pregnant women. When breastfeeding, it is allowed to use Xalatan since it does not seep into milk.
Advantages: high efficiency in the fight against various eye diseases; there are practically no contraindications and side effects.
Eye Drops Price
Most eye drops are sold with a doctor’s prescription. Still, some online pharmacies offer to buy eye drops over-the-counter. We compared the current eye drops prices in various US pharmacies: Walgreens, CVS Health, and our online pharmacy washeyecare.com.
|Walgreens||CVS Health||Our Online Pharmacy|
|Bimat||Unavailable||Unavailable||$38.00 per bottle|
|Careprost||Unavailable||Unavailable||$35.66 per bottle|
|Lumigan||$284.45 per bottle||$225.65 per bottle||$65.17 per bottle|
|Bimatoprost||$56.59 per bottle||$125 per bottle||$29.00 per bottle|
|Xalatan||$316.76||$180.31 per bottle||$64.80 per bottle|
How to properly instill eye drops
To get a positive result from the treatment, you need to use the prescribed eye drops correctly.
- Wash your hands.
- Tilt your head back so that the medication gets into your eye instead of spilling out.
- With one hand, pull down the lower eyelid with your finger.
- With the other hand, drip 1-2 drops of the drug closer to the outer corner of the eye.
- Pinch the inner corner of the eye so that the drops do not leak out and enter the nose.
- If several names of drops are prescribed, then wait a few minutes between instillations.
- Close the vial tightly.
Important! Observe the storage conditions of drugs and read the instructions for use carefully, as some drops are stored in the refrigerator or for a limited time in the vial after opening.