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CVS carries a wide assortment of eye drops designed to address a variety of needs. While OTC eye drops may be very helpful, it is important to remember that using over the counter products is not a substitute for seeking professional medical advice. You should always check in with your doctor to discuss your symptoms before starting any OTC eye drops.

Artificial Tears

Artificial tears, otherwise known as lubricating eye drops or eye drops for dry eyes, are designed to keep the surface of your eyes moist. Some popular dry eye drops include Visine, Systane, and Refresh eye drops. Keep in mind that certain ingredients in artificial tears eye drops may be irritating to some people. If you are sensitive to preservatives, look for preservative free eye drops. If you still experience eye discomfort, you should make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your symptoms and what the best treatment options are for you.

Antihistamine & Allergy Eye Drops

Eye drops for allergies often contain an antihistamine to help control and relieve the discomfort of itchy, watery eyes caused by allergens like pet dander, pollen, and mold. If your eye itching is severe or if it does not improve using OTC allergy eye drops, you should stop use and make an appointment with your doctor. He or she can help pinpoint what is causing your symptoms and offer professional advice about what treatment options may be best for you.

Eye Drops for Red Eyes

Red eye drops are designed to help clear the redness out of your eyes. However, these drops should be used with caution. Frequent use can irritate your eyes further, and may even cause your eyes to become dependent on them, so that when you stop use, your eyes may look even redder than before. Eye drops for red eyes often contain a vasoconstrictor to shrink the blood vessels on the surface of your eyes so that they appear less red. However, red eye drops formulated with a vasoconstrictor can be irritating, and you should avoid them completely if you have dry eyes. Additionally, if you have red eyes that you think are due to allergies, allergy eye drops are usually a better choice. Popular products like Visine and Rohto eye drops are well-reviewed and widely available from retailers such as CVS. However, if you are concerned about redness in your eyes, it is best to make an appointment with your doctor. He or she can advise you on the cause of your redness and make recommendations for the most appropriate treatment.

Other Types of Eye Drops

Beyond the three most popular types of eye drops, CVS also offers specialized eye drops designed to help with specific conditions. Stye eye drops are formulated with ingredients that may help relieve some of the symptoms associated with eye styes, including redness, burning and tearing. Similasan eye drops are a well-reviewed option. In addition, CVS also offers pink eye drops. Eye drops for pink eye are designed to help soothe and temporarily relieve symptoms such as redness, burning, dryness, grittiness, and watery discharge. When shopping for stye eye drops or pink eye drops, you should look for a product formulated without vasoconstrictors, because vasoconstrictors can be harsh on irritated eyes and may actually cause more discomfort and irritation.

How to Put in Eye Drops

Putting in eye drops may be daunting, but there’s no need to worry. Learning how to use eye drops isn’t nearly as difficult as you may think! First, you should wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. It is often easiest to lie down when you are putting eye drops into your own eyes, but you can also try standing in front of a mirror. Looking up toward the ceiling, gently tilt your head back and pull the lower eyelid of one eye down using one hand. Holding the bottle of eye drops in the other hand, carefully squeeze out the recommended number of drops, depositing them inside your lower lid. Do not touch the top of the bottle to your eye. If your hand feels a little wobbly, it may help to rest part of your hand or wrist on your forehead to help keep your aim steady while you instill the drops. Once you feel the drops go into your eye, blink and dab any excess liquid away with a clean tissue. Then close your eye for a moment to let the solution go into your eye. If needed, repeat this process with your other eye. Once you are finished, wash your hands to clean off any residue that may have dripped onto them. This step is especially important if you are using medicated eye drops, because you don’t want the medicine to be absorbed into your skin or potentially cause irritation. If you have any questions or concerns about how to put in eye drops, do not hesitate to ask your doctor.

Do Eye Drops Expire?

Yes, eye drops do expire! All eye drop bottles include a printed expiration date. While over the counter eye drops are usually formulated with preservatives, most still expire after a year. You may be wondering, can you use expired eye drops? The short answer is no, you should not use expired eye drops. Expired eye drops are not only less effective, but they may also have become contaminated over time with bacteria or have undergone changes in the chemical composition that could cause more harm than good to your eyes. Instead of using expired eye drops, you should buy a new bottle. You’ll also want to call your pharmacist to find out how to properly dispose of the expired eye drops. (While some can be safely thrown away in your household trash, others may require special procedures.) And remember – even if your eye drops have not yet reached their expiration date, if you notice changes in the color, if the area under the cap becomes dirty, or if you find that using them has become uncomfortable, it is best to discard the drops and buy new ones.

Finally, it is important to remember that over the counter eye drops are never a substitute for a doctor’s care. If you notice eye discomfort or are concerned about specific symptoms, it is always best to make an appointment with your doctor so that you can receive a professional diagnosis. Your doctor can also give you personalized treatment advice and may offer recommendations for the best eye drops for your unique needs.

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