Dangers of over-the-counter eye drops

How to properly use eye drops

Many people attempt to treat eye redness and irritation with over-the-counter eye drops. However, over-the-counter eye drops can lead to more problems than they solve.

Eye Redness

Most drops that claim to “get the red out” contain ingredients that will constrict the blood vessels of the eye for a short time but can lead to more redness as they wear off. These drops can be effective in masking the symptoms of redness, but they don’t do anything to alleviate the original cause of the redness.

Dry Eyes

Artificial tear drops can be helpful in treating dry eye, although most contain preservatives. Using a drop with preservatives more than 2-3 times per day can lead to more dryness and irritation of the eye’s surface. If your eyes become red, irritated or itchy, it is always best to visit an eye doctor first to determine the cause of the discomfort in order to properly treat the issue.

Contact Rinkov Eyecare Centers to learn more about how red, dry or irritated eyes can be treated.

From the eye doctors, opticians and staff at Rinkov Eyecare Centers. We’ve provided comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses, eyeglasses, sunglasses and medical treatment of eye disease such as cataract treatment in Columbus, Ohio, for over 35 years. Come see an optometrist at one of our Columbus locations – Downtown, West, East, Westerville, Dublin, Bexley and Nationwide Plaza. 

CARE : 20|20 : LIFE

*this advice is general in nature and does not constitute an exam. For specific advice, see your eye doctor or healthcare professional.*

Eye Drops that Whiten Your Eyes

Many people who come into our office tell us that they use eye drops to whiten their eyes. These “gets the red out ” medications should only be used on an occasional basis. They have drugs in them called vasoconstrictors that shrink the blood vessels in the white of the eye. With repeated use, the blood vessels become used to the drug, and  the eyes are always red unless you use the drop. This vicious cycle should be broken by switching to a drop that is simple an artificial tear and does not contain eye whitening medications. If the redness is accompanied by itching, a prescription antihistamine eye drop for allergic conjunctivitis can be used.

From the Optometrists, Opticians and Staff of Rinkov Eyecare Center. Providing quality comprehensive eye exams, contact lenses, glasses, sunglasses and medical treatment of eye disease. Serving Columbus, Ohio for over 35 years. Downtown Columbus, West Columbus, Dublin, Westerville and Reynoldsburg.


Downtown – 614-224-2414 West – 614-878-7771

East – 614-861-7771 Westerville – 614-890-3577

Dublin – 614-978-9940