Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

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Question:
Can I use redness eye drops with my prescription eye drops for conjunctivitis?

Answer:
If you have conjunctivitis, known as "pink eye" to some, you can ask your ophthalmologist to prescribe eye drops which relieve the redness and itching. I generally discourage the use of over-the-counter redness drops except for occasional cosmetic purposes. However, if you would like to supplement your prescribed drop with the occasional OTC drop, I would suggest Naphcon A. Cold compresses—an ice cube in a washcloth, rested on the closed eyes—will also relieve some of the swelling and redness and itching.

Conjunctivitis is very infectious. Wash your hands frequently and try not to rub or touch the eye to avoid transmitting it to friends and family.

Be sure to use the prescription eye drops your ophthalmologist has prescribed as directed. One of my patients started feeling worse after three days, so she increased the frequency of the eye drops from four times a day to every hour—but she got much worse. It turned out she was allergic to the eye drop.

If your eye is not getting better, or still red after a full course of medicine, be sure to call your ophthalmologist— you may need different medication or be allergic to the drops.

Answered by: Anne Sumers, MD Dr. Anne Sumers 

Categories: Eye Infections

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Answered: Jul 14, 2014

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