Managing Common Eye Conditions in the Pharmacy

US Pharmacist 

In This Article

Preservatives in Eye Care Products

Additives, such as preservatives, need to be taken into consideration when selecting an appropriate medication. Preservatives in eye drops can cause stinging and itching as well as keratitis.[13] Furthermore, preservatives decrease the stability of the precorneal tear film and have a detergent effect on the lipid layer, worsening a dry eye.[14] Preservatives, such as benzalkonium chloride, are taken up by contact lenses, particularly soft contact lenses. The accumulation of such preservatives eventually reaches toxic levels, causing further irritation to the eye. Patients should be advised not to wear any lenses for an hour after instilling eye drops containing preservatives.[15]

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