What are the different types of prescription eyedrops?

Steroid (Corticosteroids) Eyedrops
These eyedrops are extremely potent and should be used only under your ophthalmologist’s guidance. Using them for an eye problem without telling your ophthalmologist is dangerous.
Whenever corticosteroids are used, they reduce your eye’s ability to fight infection and to repair injury. Using them over time can lead to glaucoma or cataracts, which can cause loss of vision.
In spite of the risks, the benefits of using steroids are so important in treating certain conditions that they must be prescribed. The generic names of common corticosteroids are: 
  • Prednisolone
  • Dexamethasone
  • Loteprednol
  • Fluorometholone
  • Medrysone
  • Rimexolone
Eyedrops to Treat Infection
Your ophthalmologist may prescribe eyedrops if you have an infection that can be treated by a certain medication. Not all “red” or “pink” eyes necessarily mean an infection is present.
No single medicine is effective against all types of infection. Some infections cannot be treated with eyedrops.
Once treated for an eye infection, you should notice improvement in your condition within several days. If your condition becomes worse while you are using the eyedrops, call your ophthalmologist.
Eyedrops to Treat Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve often related to high pressure inside the eye. Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness, but loss of sight from glaucoma can be prevented with early treatment. Eyedrops applied every day are used to lower the pressure within the eye.
Glaucoma medications reduce the fluid pressure in the eye either by decreasing the amount of fluid forming in the eye or by increasing the eye’s ability to drain fluid. This fluid, called aqueous humor, is inside the eye and is different from your tears. 

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.