Pros: Soothes eye irritation from allergies. Works fast.
Cons: Pricey--but cheaper than prescription meds. NOT for use on children under age 6.
Several years ago, I had some redness in one part of my eye and, as usual, it got worse. I tried some over-the-counter eye drops that were supposed to help with irritation from pollen, etc. , but they didn't help. After a few days, my eye was redder and itchy and gummy. I went to the doctor expecting to get the usual prescription eye drops and he surprised me.
Instead of ordering a prescription medication, he told me to get some over-the-counter Naphcon A eye drops. I told him that I already had some other over-the-counter anti-redness eye drops at home (and told him which ones), but he said that those wouldn't do. He said that when you have an eye inflammation, some of the eye drops that reduce redness can make the problem worse. Although they may temporarily work to get the red out, they do so in a way that further irritates the eye. Plus, they don't address the cause of the irritation. The eye might look less red for a little while, but once the treatment wears off, the condition of the eye could become worse.
What he'd described was what had been happening when I used the eye drops I already had. He'd further sugggested that if I ever needed anything to treat dry, tired eyes to just use Natural Tears.
I went to the drugstore and I found Alcon Naphcon A eye drops. The label said it was for "Eye Allergy Relief." It was a bit more expensive than the other eye drops, so I bought it grudgingly. I took it home and put some in my eyes. I don't recall if I needed several treatments, but I do recall that my eye started to feel better right away and was completely better pretty quickly (probably in a few days).
No More Doctor Visits
In the past if I had an eye that was itchy or a little red, it would usually get rapidly worse and end up as pinkeye, requiring a trip to the doctor. Usually this would happen once a year, sometimes once every two years. I haven't had pinkeye since I started using Alcon Naphcon A--and it's been several years (more than 12).
Now, when an eye inflammation seems to be starting or my eye is unusually itchy, I put in one or two drops of Alcon Naphcon A and that's it. My eye feels better right away and looks pretty quickly (how long depends on how irritated it was). One treatment is usually enough--unless it's the lid that's swollen (it's hard to get the medication inside of the eyelid, as the infection can be deeper than the lining).
And Check the Expiration Date
June/2010 Recently I had some redness that didn't respond to the eyedrops. It would get a little better right after I added the drops, but then quickly go back to how it was. It was like that for about a day before it occurred to me to check the expiration date. Sure enough, the bottle was way, way, WAY past the expiration date. I bought a new bottle and my eye responded to the first treatment.
For ANY medication you already have (especially one you've been using for years)--it's usually a good idea to check the expiration date BEFORE you take it.
About the Medication
The eye drops sting a little, but not much. They get the red out and my eyes are unusually white and clear after I put some drops in. The eye drops also contain some antihistamine, which helps reduce swelling and irritation from allergens. I haven't had any problems in using this in my eyes after removing contacts (I've had some problems with some other eye drops in the past). Before we moved and adopted a cat I used to use it only 2-3 times a year. With the heavy pollen where we now live (and our cat-fur-filled house), I have to use it a lot more--but it really beats going to the doctor.
Naphazoline Hydrochloride (0.025 percent)..... Redness reliever
Pheniramine Maleate (0.3 percent).....Antihistamine
Benzalkonium chloride, boric acid, edetate disodium, purified water, sodium borate, sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide and/or hydrochloric acid.
The label says that it can be used for the "temporary relief of redness and itching of the eyes due to ragweed, pollen, grass, animal dander and hair."
SOME WARNINGS from the label:
Important: Check with a doctor BEFORE using this on children under the age of 6!! Also check with a doctor if you have heart disease, high blood pressure, trouble urinating or narrow angle glaucoma.
And of course as with all medications, KEEP THIS AWAY FROM CHILDREN. Swallowing of this by infants or very young children is extremely dangerous (it can cause coma).
Some Advice About Eye Inflammations
Conjunctivitis (aka "pinkeye") is an inflammation of the membrane that covers the lining of the eyelids and the outer eye. It can be caused by an infection (bacterial or viral), an allergy or an irritant.
If you have pinkeye, experts say you should see a doctor. If the pinkeye is caused by a bacterial infection, then it might require antibiotic drops (though some doctors like to wait and see if the bacterial infection might clear on its own--usually in 5-7 days). Bacterial or viral eye infections are EXTREMELY CONTAGIOUS. If you have one (or aren't sure), wash your hands often--especially after touching your eyes--and don't share your towel with anyone else. If you are around someone with a bacterial eye infection, wash your hands often and try to avoid touching your eyes.
Treating BACTERIAL eye infections with antibiotic drops reduces the risk of spreading it. Some websites say that the risk is gone 24 hours after starting treatment with antibiotic drops, but others say the risk continues till the eye stops discharging mucous.
Websites say that viral eye infections can be contagious for up to two weeks. Doctors will often prescribe antibiotic drops if they aren't sure if the infection is viral or bacterial--so don't assume that you have a bacterial infection just because you were given drops. Your doctor can explain how to tell the difference.
In using eye drops, be careful to not let anything touch the tip of the applicator, or you might contaminate the solution.
If you have ANY type of eye inflammation, stop wearing contact lenses until after your eye is completely better.
If you have a BACTERIAL or VIRAL eye infection you will need to throw out your contacts AND their storage case. If you don't, you risk re-infecting yourself.
My thanks to Bops_mom for helping to get this product listed! It took a lot of patience and following up on her part.
Other Health Product Reviews
Another health product I strongly recommend is Airborne, a dietary supplement that can prevent you from catching a cold. For more information, read my review on Airborne.
If your sinuses are driving you crazy because of allergies and colds, you might be interested in my review on the Sinus Survival Program.
You can Lower Your Blood Pressure without drugs using Resperate.