Managing Common Eye Conditions in the Pharmacy

US Pharmacist 

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Dry Eye Syndrome

Dry eye syndrome, due to decreased production of tears or excessive tear evaporation, causes discomfort and soreness. Patients may also complain about a foreign body sensation in the eye(s). Underlying causes of dry eye include Sjögren's syndrome, aging, staring at a computer screen for too long, blinking problems, and environmental factors. Additionally, patients taking such medications as oral contraceptives, antihistamines, and beta-blockers may experience dry eyes. Pharmacists are in an ideal position to discover this adverse reaction.

Dry eye syndrome can be managed using nonprescription artificial tear products (e.g., Murine Tears Dry Eyes, Visine Tears Dry Eye Relief).[10] Many OTC products are available, and preservative-free formulations are recommended if the patient experiences itching and irritation with the drops (e.g., Bion Tears, Refresh Celluvisc).[10] Dryness can also be prevented by the use of humidifiers. Cyclosporine eye drops that increase tear production are available by prescription (e.g., Restasis).[5]


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