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Are you using Visine?

Are you using Visine (or drops that "get the red out")? Here is some information you should know!

Visine is an over-the counter drop that is mostly used when people have red eyes, dry eyes, or itchy eyes. Visine's active ingredient, Tetrahydrozolin, works to constrict the blood vessels in the eye. This produces a short-lived white appearance and within 15 minutes, the redness will return and another drop will be required. However, using Visine on a prolonged and continuous basis use can create more serious effects. The constant constriction and re-dilation of the vessels can eventually cause an irreversible red eye. Visine's other harsh chemicals can dehydrate the eye, exacerbating the initial dry eye symptoms a patient decided use the Visine for in the first place. Finally, one of Visine's classic side effects is causing the pupil to dilate (the black part of the eye to enlarge) which can produce unexplained blur, glare, or haloes.

The best method to get rid of dry eyes, itchy eyes, or red eyes is to visit an eye care professional to discover the reasoning behind the symptom(s). Most of the time, this visit will be covered by a patient's medical insurance. During the short visit, the eye doctor will evaluate many factors such as the eyelids, lashes, tears, corneal (front) surface, and other structures that could be the culprit. More appropriate and better products will then be recommended and prescribed.

Dianna Kattengell, O.D.

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Written for Our Blog on Jan 18, 2015


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