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What different non-prescription eyedrops are available?

You can buy many eyedrops without a prescription. Even though you can buy them over the counter, these eyedrops may still contain medications.

Eyedrops should be used according to the directions of your physician and the directions on the package. Be aware of any symptoms you may experience since nonprescription eyedrops can also cause an allergic reaction.

Drops called artificial tears are solutions that can soothe irritated or dry eyes. Most artificial tears can be used five to six times per day. If drops are needed more frequently, preservative-free artificial tears are available and can be used as often as needed.

Decongestant eyedrops contain a medicine that whitens the eyes by shrinking, or constricting, blood vessels. While decongestant drops don’t improve the health of your eye, they make the eye appear less red. If you use these eyedrops infrequently and for a short duration of time, they are usually not harmful. If you use them often, your eyes may actually become more red and irritated when the eyedrops are discontinued.

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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.