Commonly Prescribed Eye Medications
Many eye conditions and infections require more than over-the-counter remedies. Whether you experience eye redness, inflammation, or pain, the right medication will provide you with the relief you seek.
The following are a list of common eye problems and the medications used to treat them:
Bacterial Eye Infections
A bacterial eye infection tends to be caused by trauma, eye surgery, contact lens wear, immune deficiencies, or other conditions that result in bacterial growth.
The two most common types of bacterial eye infections are:
- Conjunctivitis – commonly known as pink eye
- Blepharitis – chronic inflammation of the eyelids
To treat your condition, your eye doctor may prescribe:
- Moxifloxacin ophthalmic solution
- Besifloxacin ophthalmic suspension
- Tobramycin ophthalmic ointment
Viral Eye Infections/Herpes Simplex Keratitis
While viral eye infections may sometimes resolve on their own, make sure to visit to your eye doctor to determine whether your infection is viral or bacterial. Some viral infections, including herpes simplex keratitis, require urgent medical attention and can result in an eye injury and permanent vision loss if not treated promptly. Your optometrist will likely prescribe one of the following medicines to treat herpes simplex keratitis:
- Ganciclovir ophthalmic gel
- Vidarabine ophthalmic ointment
Sand, dust particles and sharp objects can all cause corneal abrasions (scratches on the surface of the eye). Symptoms include pain, light sensitivity and inflammation. If you’ve experienced any of these symptoms, make sure to get immediate medical attention.
The following medications are typically prescribed to alleviate any unpleasant symptoms associated with a corneal abrasion.
- Pain reduction – diclofenac sodium solution, ketorolac tromethamine
- Infection prevention – moxifloxacin ophthalmic solution, besifloxacin ophthalmic suspension
Dry Eye Syndrome
Are your eyes dry, itchy and reddish? If so, you may have dry eye syndrome. Aging, blocked eyelid glands, a dry environment, eye strain and certain medications and medical conditions can cause this common eye condition. While over-the-counter lubricating eye drops may provide temporary relief, they’re usually not a long-term solution. If you have dry eye, your optometrist may prescribe the following meds:
- Cyclosporine – an anti-inflammatory medication
- Lifitegrast – prevents a specific type of eye inflammation caused by dry eyes
Anterior uveitis is an inflammation at the front of the eye, between the cornea, the iris and the ciliary body. You may feel pain, redness and sensitive to light. Though it isn’t an infection, left untreated, anterior uveitis can cause serious complications such as retinal swelling, cataracts or glaucoma.
- For light sensitivity and pain – cyclopentolate hydrochloride ophthalmic solution
- To treat redness and inflammation – prednisolone acetate ophthalmic suspension, difluprednate ophthalmic emulsion
- To reduce eye pressure if needed – timolol ophthalmic solution
Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness around the globe. It’s caused by an abnormally high pressure in your eye that damages the optic nerve, which, left untreated, leads to vision loss and even blindness. The following medications can help you manage this serious condition:
- Timolol ophthalmic solution
- Brimonidine tartrate ophthalmic solution
Talk to Your Optometrist About the Right Medication for You
If you experience unpleasant eye symptoms and think you may have an eye condition, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor as soon as possible. Dr. Kerry Head at Illinois Vision Clinic in Peoria will provide treatment by prescribing the perfect medication for your unique situation.