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Dr. PG
Dr. PG, Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2337
Experience:  MBBS, MD (Ophthalomology)
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How often can I use vasoconstrictor eye drops (Visine, Clear

Customer Question

How often can I use vasoconstrictor eye drops (Visine, Clear Eyes, etc.) in a way so that my eyes don't experience a rebound effect? My eyes are very dry and always red so I'm in desperate need of the drops very often and am trying to ensure that I won't worsen the redness through using them. I should also mention I have tried virtually every "dry eye treatment" route possible.
Thanks for you help.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. PG replied 7 years ago.

Hi,

Visine eye drops are basically decongestant eye drops. They a re recommended in patients of eye allergies and not dry eyes. In fact in patients of dry eyes, it would further worsen the dryness. If most of the lubricating eye drops like optive/systane/refresh tears etc have not helped you till now, then you need to be put on treatment to cure the inflammation or mild bacteria growth at the eyelid margins in the eye. The treatment for this is -

- applying warm compresses on the eye and doing lid massage to open the pores. Below is a link describing the technique of the massage

http://www.contactlens.org.nz/extra1.aspx

- taking oral doxycycline for 6 weeks to help reduce the infection at the closed pores on the eyelid margins.

The process for improvement is slow. Eye drops are for temporary relief, while the main treatment is to open the closed pores on the eyelid margins.

Still, if you want to use visine eye drops, you can use it once or twice a day to prevent a rebound phenomenon.

Regards

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thanks very much for your response Dr.. Unfortunately I have exhausted the "dry eye treatment" route and with that have developed my interest in the use of vasconstricting (like Visine) drops. In you're reply you're saying I'll be able to use them once or twice a day without any rebound effect? Wouldn't it be much less to avoid the rebound effect (especially being a fair skinned guy with blue eyes where redness seems to be always more than ready to hit the surface)?

Thanks in anticipation,

Chris

Expert:  Dr. PG replied 7 years ago.

I can understand your frustration.

Usually, once or twice a day dose is recommended to avoid any rebound effect. Mostly, the response varies from patient to patient. You can try using them once a day initially, and increase to twice a day if required after 5-7 days, because as I said more frequent use of decongestant eye drops further increases dryness of eyes.

Regards

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thanks again for your help Dr. PG,

Before I accept this as the final answer to my question I would like to know...why is it that they say on the "Visine: Get the Red Out" drops that they don't recommend using them 3 days in a row if, in according to what you say, I can use them daily without experiencing any rebound effect? Is there some information I'm missing out on here and/or is there a source where this could be explained further on the internet? Once again, thanks very much for your help.

In anticipation,

Chris

Expert:  Dr. PG replied 7 years ago.

A rebound effect is not seen in all patients, but is a possible effect that can be seen in some patients using Visine eye drops. So, the more a patient becomes dependent on decongestant eye drops, more are chances of a rebound effect on stopping them. The rebound effect is decreased either by slowly decreasing the frequency of using eye drops over few days or by using them initially one or twice. This is true for most decongestant eye drops.

Regards