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Eye care

Your eyes are exposed to the elements and while they have a protective layer of fluid, they are prone to infection and irritation from many crux's of modern living.

Prescription Doctor offers a range of eye drops to bring relief from irritation, redness and other common eye ailments. See our products below.

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Murine dry and tired eyes polyvinyl alcohol povidone

Murine dry and tired eye drops

Rated 0 out of 5 based on 0 reviews
  • Rehydrates eyes
  • Lasts 8 hrs
  • Easy to use
Murine hayfever eye drops 2% sodium cromoglicate 10ml

Murine Hayfever eye drops

Rated 0 out of 5 based on 0 reviews
  • Relieves watering eyes
  • Long lasting
  • Safe to use with contact lenses
Murine irritation and redness 0.012% naphazoline eye drops

Murine irritation and redness eye drops

Rated 0 out of 5 based on 0 reviews
  • Relieves irritation
  • Reduces redness
  • Can be used with contact lenses
Optrex Bloodshot Eye Drops Naphazoline hydrochloride and witch hazel

Optrex Bloodshot eye drops

Rated 0 out of 5 based on 0 reviews
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Relieves bloodshot appearance
  • Available from a UK registered pharmacy
Optrex Hayfever Relief 2% Sodium Cromoglicate Eye Drops

Optrex Hayfever relief eye drops

Rated 0 out of 5 based on 0 reviews
  • Relieves itchy eyes
  • Reduces eye redness
  • Available from a UK registered pharmacy
Optrex Refreshing Eye Drops Witch Hazel for tired eyes

Optrex Refreshing eye drops

Rated 0 out of 5 based on 0 reviews
  • Replenishes tear film
  • Rehydrates eyes
  • Provides fast relief
Optrex Sore Eyes hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) Eye Drops

Optrex sore eye drops

Rated 0 out of 5 based on 0 reviews
  • Repairs tear film
  • Relieves soreness
  • Available from a UK registered pharmacy

Diagram of the human eyeOur eyes are incredible organs which allow us to view the world around us. They can differentiate between more than 10 million individual colours and adjust to changes in light.

There are many aspects of modern life which take their toll on our eyes and can lead to dry, tired and irritated eyes. Staring at screens, spending long periods in dry, dusty or polluted environments, and hay fever can cause the fluid layer which protects the cornea to evaporate, leading to irritation.

The cornea is a clear layer which covers the pupil, iris and lens of the eye and is responsible for refracting (bending) light which enters the eye. It is kept lubricated and cleaned by a veil of fluid called the tear film.

Tear glands (lacrimal glands), located at the top of the eyeball, produce a continuous flow of tear fluid. When we blink, the eyelids spread the fluid across the eye's surface evenly. The tear film evaporates every 15 to 30 seconds between blinking.

The tear film carried a range of functions, including:

  • Lubricating the eyelids to allow them to move freely across the surface of the eye
  • Supply the corneal cells with nutrients and oxygen
  • Protect the cornea and conjunctiva from particles which could affect the eyes
  • Helps to destroy bacteria to protect from infections
  • Cleans the eyes of foreign objects through the action of blinking

The tear film must be kept intact to protect the cornea from damage.

Eye drops can replenish the tear film and keep your eyes lubricated. Some eye drops can soothe discomfort and irritation, while other eye drop formulations can treat inflammation of the conjunctiva.

It's important to choose the right eye drops for your condition. If you are unsure, speak to a doctor or pharmacist. Our online pharmacists can assist you in finding the right eye treatment for you.

How do our eyes work?

The different colours of the visible light spectrum are split up into different frequencies, similar to how radio stations are split across different frequencies. Blue and ultraviolet (UV) light travels faster and has a shorter wavelength than red and infrared (IR) light, which has a longer wavelength. The shorter wavelengths carry more energy and penetrate further than longer wavelengths, which can often be easily blocked.

Your eyes process these variations in wavelengths akin to a camera to see the different colours.

When light rays hit an object, they are either absorbed by the object we are looking at or reflected off the object and into our eyes. Depending on which wavelengths are absorbed or reflected will determine the colour. The reflected light enters the front of the eye, called the cornea. The cornea bends the light and flips what we see.

Behind the cornea is the lens, which helps to focus on objects, and the iris. The iris is the coloured ring in your eye which may be brown, blue, green or grey. The iris opens and closes to allow more or less light into the eye. In the dark, the iris opens making the pupil (the name given to the hole in the middle of the iris) larger to receive more light.

At the back of your eyes is the retina. Here, there are 3 types of cone cells. Each of these cells is sensitive to a different light colour - red, green and blue. Due to the principles of additive colour, these three individual colours can be mixed to produce all other visible colours.

They capture the light to produce an image. The image captured on the retina will be upside down because the cornea bends the light. When the image is sent to the brain, it is flipped the right way up.

What are dry eyes?

Structures involved in tear productionDry eye syndrome (DES) can occur when the glands do not produce enough tears to keep the eyes adequately lubricated or when the layer of lubrication evaporates. In either case, dry eyes can be an irritating nuisance.

Dry eyes have recently been referred to as “screen eyes”, as the persistent use of screens in our daily lives can cause the protective layer of fluid over our eyes to evaporate faster.

Typical symptoms of dry eyes include:

  • A gritty sensation in the eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Irritation or soreness of the eyes
  • Redness of the eyes (Bloodshot eyes)
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Watering eyes

The symptoms of dry eyes can be associated with other health conditions, such as allergies like Hay Fever. If you persistently suffer dry eyes, you should speak to your doctor to rule out whether an underlying health condition causes your symptoms.

Age, hormones, medical conditions and even the environment we live in can cause dry eyes. This condition is more likely to develop if you:

  • Are over the age of 50
  • Have arthritis, blepharitis, diabetes, lupus or Sjorgren's syndrome
  • Spend prolonged time looking at computer screens without regular breaks
  • Spend time in cold, dry, dusty or windy environments
  • Wear contact lenses

While dry eye syndrome is typically diagnosed based on the symptoms alone, you should speak to your doctor or an ophthalmologist to determine whether there is an underlying cause to the condition.

Your doctor, pharmacist or ophthalmologist may also be able to suggest the best type of treatment for you, depending on your condition.

How can I treat dry eyes?

Dry and tired eyes usually resolve on their own while sleeping. However, if your symptoms are the result of medicine or an underlying condition, or if you experience dry eyes frequently, you may get effective relief from the use of eye drops.

Eye drops act as an artificial replacement for the protective tear film which covers our eyes. They lubricate the eyelids and help to keep our vision clear.

Eye drops intended for dry eyes may contain distilled witch hazel, which provides a soothing sensation when applied.

How can I prevent dry eyes?

If an underlying medical condition is causing your symptoms, you should speak to your doctor in order to treat the underlying condition directly.

Regardless whether your dry eyes are caused by an underlying health condition or not, there are a number of ways you can prevent dry and tired eyes.

Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day to give your body the fluids it needs to regulate tears and the amount of fluid in the eye. If you are particularly prone to dry eyes, you should consider limiting or cutting out things which might cause or contribute to dehydration, such as drinking alcohol or smoking.

When using a computer, take regular breaks from looking at the screen and blink regularly to keep your eyes moist. You can also try the 20-20-20 method; for every 20 minutes spent staring at the screen, spend 20 seconds looking at something 20 feet or more away.

Adding moisture to the air can help combat dry eyes and you don't need a dehumidifier. Drying your clothes inside, cooking on a stove, taking a steamy bath or shower, and even simply leaving a bowl of water on a windowsill on a sunny day can make the air more humid.

When outdoors, protect your eyes from wind and the sun with wraparound sunglasses. Whenever possible, avoid dry and dusty environments or wear adequate eye protection.

Taking a break from wearing contact lenses can help to rest your eyes, as can getting an adequate amount of sleep.

What is conjunctivitis?

While dry eyes in and of itself can be a nuisance, there are many situations which can cause irritation to your eyes. Many of these go hand-in-hand with dry eyes, resulting in the appearance of red, bloodshot eyes.

Warm, dry and sunny days pose a significant threat to the lubricated layer of your eye. On top of the evaporation, particles of dust, sand and pollen can get into your eye and cause irritation and inflammation of the conjunctiva. This is called conjunctivitis.

There are 3 main types of conjunctivitis:

Infectious conjunctivitis
This condition is often caused by bacteria or a virus. It can be passed on to other people through contact with the eye or infectious discharge from the eye.
Allergic conjunctivitis
Often a symptom of hay fever, allergic conjunctivitis is caused when pollen comes in contact with the eye. The body will fire histamine to remove the foreign body in response to the pollen. Histamine can cause inflammation of the conjunctiva. Allergic conjunctivitis is not contagious.
Irritant conjunctivitis
Irritants such as bleach, chlorine and juices from foods such as garlic, onions and chillies can irritate and sting if they come into contact with the eye. This can cause the eyes to appear red and bloodshot. Irritant conjunctivitis is not usually contagious.

Other names for conjunctivitis include "red eye" and "pink eye".

Typical symptoms of conjunctivitis include:

  • Inflammation or widening of the blood vessels in the eyes (referred to as bloodshot)
  • Mucous and/or watery discharge
  • Redness of the eyelids

Other possible symptoms include:

  • Burning or stinging sensation in your eyes
  • Enlarged lymph node (gland) in front of the ear
  • Gritty feeling in your eyes
  • Sticky substance on your eyelashes

You should seek immediate medical advice if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Disturbances in vision
  • Eye pain
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Severe redness in eye(s)

How to treat conjunctivitis?

Infective conjunctivitis, caused by a bacterial or viral infection, is contagious and can be easily passed on to other people. If you notice pus or a sticky substance being secreted from your eyes, you should speak to your doctor, who may prescribed a course of antibiotics if your conjunctivitis is caused by bacteria. Antibiotics will not be effective if your condition results from a virus.

If you suspect you have infective conjunctivitis, speak to your doctor.

Allergic conjunctivitis can be treated with antihistamines (such as fexofenadine or cetirizine) and other allergy treatments, such as hay fever eye drops. These can be available over-the-counter or on a prescription from your doctor.

Irritant conjunctivitis usually doesn't require any medicated treatment and usually clears up a short time after the irritant is removed from the eyes. In most cases, rinsing your eyes with clean water is sufficient to wash away the substance. However, if the irritant was bleach (such as hydrogen peroxide), acid or another damaging substance, you should seek emergency medical attention as exposure to such corrosive chemicals can result in blindness.

In any case, you should take appropriate precautions to prevent the spread of conjunctivitis to other people - even if your condition isn't contagious.

Avoid rubbing your eyes. If your conjunctivitis is caused by an abrasive particle, such as sand, you could run the risk of scratching your cornea. Moreover, the offending particle may become lodged between the eyeball and eyelid, causing further irritation or infection. You should rinse your eyes with cold water as soon as you can after they come into contact with an irritant.

Wash your hands regularly using antibacterial soap to prevent bacteria from being introduced to the eye and causing further irritation. You should also wash your pillow and any surfaces which might have come into contact with your eyes and surrounding areas. If you wear contact lenses, you should switch to using glasses until your infection has cleared up.

How do I put in eye drops?

Here's how to put in eye drops.

If you wear contacts, remove them before putting in your eye drops.

  1. Tilt your head back and look up at the ceiling.
  2. Pull your lower eyelid down.
  3. Without touching your eye with the dropper, apply the required number of drops to the eye.
  4. While keeping your head tilted back, close your eyes for several seconds.
  5. Open your eyes and wipe away any residual fluid which may run down your face.
  6. Repeat steps for the other eye if necessary.

Wait 15 minutes after applying eye drops before putting your contacts back in.

Buy eye drops online from Prescription Doctor

Prescription Doctor offers a range of eye drops for various conditions. Whether you are suffering from dry and tired eyes from long work hours or eye strain, allergic conjunctivitis as a result of hay fever, or bloodshot eyes caused by an irritant such as chlorine, we have a suitable treatment for you.

Eye drops for dry eyes can be readily bought over the counter at your local pharmacy or bought online from trusted online pharmacies such as Prescription Doctor.

There are a range of products which can be used depending on the severity of your condition, including:

  • Optrex
  • Murine

Your symptoms and the severity of them should be considered when choosing the right treatment for you. Moreover, if you wear contact lenses, you will need to read the directions on how to use eye drops with contact lenses, as some eye drops can damage contact lenses and impede your vision.

Both Optrex and Murine offer products for dry eyes, irritated or red eyes, and allergic conjunctivitis, which you can buy online using Prescription Doctor's online pharmacy service.

If you are unsure which products are suitable for you, speak to your pharmacist for advice.

All products bought from our online pharmacy are dispatched in discreet packaging to ensure your privacy. We offer next-day delivery to ensure your treatment arrives as soon as possible.

Authored & Reviewed By

Mohamed Imran

Mohamed Imran Lakhi

MPharm - Lead Pharmacist
This content has been written and checked for quality and accuracy by Imran Lakhi is the superintendent pharmacist and founder at Prescription Doctor. He has been at the core of our team.

Published on: 13/02/2020 Reviewed on: 18/05/2023
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