Tags: eye drops | bacteria | vision | loss | death | safety

How to Use Eye Drops Safely

man putting drops in eyes
(Dreamstime)

By    |   Tuesday, 30 May 2023 08:09 AM EDT

The scary news stories about a rare strain and drug-resistant form of bacteria found in eye drops has many people frightened. Four people have died, and a total of 14 people have lost their vision with new cases being reported weekly. Infections have been reported in 81 people living in 18 states and four cases involved people who had to have their eyeballs removed.

The brands involved include EzriCare, Pharmedica and Apotex, according to AARP. These eyedrops have been recalled in recent months due to contamination concerns. The most concerning of these recalls is those associated with EzriCare drops, which have been contaminated with pseudomonas, an aggressive and highly contagious bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics.

Even if you steer clear of contaminated eye drops, experts say that using drops the wrong way can be harmful for your eyes and increase your risk of infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly one million doctor visits occur annually in the U.S. for eye infections, including 58,000 emergency visits.

Here’s how to use eye drops safely and effectively.

  1. Use drops manufactured in the U.S. An inspection by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of EzriCare’s manufacturing plant in India revealed multiple sanitary violations. Check with the FDA before using a product to see if there is a recall or safety alert issued. Inspect the bottle’s packaging to ensure it has not been opened or tampered with.
  2. Wash your hands thoroughly before and after using eye drops. One thing the pandemic has taught us is the value of hand washing to disrupt the spread of pathogens. Wash your hands with soap and water to remove bacteria and use a warm washcloth to clean your eyelashes that may also harbor germs that can spread into your eyes. You can also use baby shampoo to clean your lashes.
  3. Don’t touch your eye with the dropper. This can contaminate your eye and even the drops in the bottle to further spread the bacteria, says AARP.
  4. Put the drops in correctly. Tilt your head back and gently pull your lower eyelid down with your clean finger to form a pouch or pocket where the eye drop will go. Hold the bottle over your eye, says Healthline, with the dropper tip facing down. Look up and squeeze the bottle so that a single drop falls into the pouch you made with your lower lid. Close your eyes and tilt your face toward the floor for a couple of minutes. Use a tissue to wipe away any excess liquid from around your eyes.
  5. Close the bottle tightly and store the drops in a clean, cool place. Do not place the bottle in direct sunlight or near a heat source that can degrade the active ingredients, rendering them less effective.
  6. Don’t share eye drops with another person. Sharing drops can spread germs and infection.
  7. Don’t wear contact lenses while applying medicated eye drops unless your doctor or pharmacist says it is okay. Wait at least 15 minutes after using the drops before putting in the lenses. If you’re using moisturizing eye drops for use with contacts, there’s no need to wait.
  8. If you are using two types of eye medication, use them in the proper order. If you are using both an eye solution and an eye suspension, use the solution first. If you are using eye drops and eye ointment, use the drops first and apply the ointment 10 minutes later. Check with your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions, says Healthline.

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Health-News
The scary news stories about a rare strain and drug-resistant form of bacteria found in eye drops has many people frightened. Four people have died, and a total of 14 people have lost their vision with new cases being reported weekly. Infections have been reported in 81...
eye drops, bacteria, vision, loss, death, safety
592
2023-09-30
Tuesday, 30 May 2023 08:09 AM
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