Many of our patients say that their friends and co-workers frequently ask them “what’s wrong? “or “have you been crying?” due to their eye redness. The first thing we typically ask these patients who say this is if they have used anything to try and get relief from their red itchy eyes. One of the most common replies we hear, that makes us cringe a little each time, is “I use Visine® every day as treatment for red eyes.”
Products like Visine and Clear Eyes® do indeed get the red out of your eyes, but they are not considered a true treatment for red eyes because they are not treating the cause of the redness. Instead, they are just hiding it for a few hours.
Visine and Clear Eyes are not the best eye drops for red eyes because they work by constricting the blood vessels on the front of the eye, which does make the eyes appear whiter, but in turn it reduces the oxygen supply to the eye. After the medication wears off, the blood vessels dilate even larger than before to increase the blood flow to the area. This causes the eyes to appear even more red than before! Patients then just think their red itchy eyes are getting worse, so they use even more of the medication. It becomes a vicious cycle of chronically using the drops to make their eyes white, but never really helping the problem.
Many things can cause red itchy eyes, such as allergies or chronic dry eye, and with proper treatment, the redness can be relieved – not just hidden! You need to treat the source of the problem for your red itchy eyes, not just cover up the problem. Contact Dr. Mills at Providence Eye & Laser Specialists today to schedule a general eye exam and let us help bring back the white eyes you once had.