Signs Your OTC Drops Aren’t Working


Over-the-counter (OTC) eye drops are often the first treatment option for people who have chronic dry eye. Some people find relief from OTC eye drops, but others experience side effects or don’t see much improvement in their condition.

In this post, Dr. Gregory Johnson of Intracoastal Eye discusses some common signs that your OTC drops aren’t working.

No Relief After Several Weeks of Use

Dry eye patients sometimes need to use eye drops for several days or weeks before they start working. If it’s been a few weeks and you haven’t seen any changes, it may mean you need to seek a different type of treatment.

If you have really bad symptoms, you might not be able to last a few weeks without getting some relief. Consult an ophthalmologist if you have severe dry eye that is seriously affecting your quality of life.

Side Effects of OTC Eye Drops

OTC eye drops can have any of the following side effects:

  1. Stinging or burning in the eyes
  2. Allergic reactions (rash, itching, swelling, trouble breathing)
  3. Redness
  4. Blurred vision

Many people will experience at least some stinging when they first apply their eye drops. Your corneas may be so dry that the side effects will lessen once you start using the drops consistently.

If your side effects last for a long time or persist after several days of use, you may need to look for other dry eye treatment options.

Inconsistent Results

If your eye drops gave you relief one time, you may think they’ll work every time. That isn’t necessarily the case.

Dry eye symptoms can vary depending on any of the following factors:

  1. Humidity
  2. Temperature
  3. Season
  4. Prolonged computer use
  5. Contact lens use

Eye drops that only work in certain seasons or environments may not be the right long-term treatment option. You need something that works during various activities and in each different environment you spend time in.

Schedule a Dry Eye Consultation

An effective dry eye treatment plan should be customized to your needs. Dr. Johnson offers a variety of treatment options based on your symptoms and the underlying cause of your chronic dry eye.

To schedule your appointment at Intracoastal Eye, call (910) 777-8254 or send us an email.