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Reston   (703) 485-2148 Leesburg   (703) 777-1244

Red-Eye Drops: Are They Safe to Use?

If you haven’t been keeping up with the news, you might have missed this almost-unbelievable story from the summer: a woman was recently charged with murdering her husband after putting eye drops in his drinking water for three days straight. It was enough of a story to cause a fervor over red-eye drops and whether or not they’re safe to use.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at if you should continue using red-eye drops.


Red-Eye Drops Are Safe, With This Caveat

Any eye drops – particularly red-eye drops – are safe if they are used properly. That means using the drops just for the eyes; other than that, red-eye drops can be extremely toxic. That’s because it contains tetrahydrozoline, a chemical that can be extremely deadly if it’s ingested.

Most eye drops – including those you’ll find over the counter – contain this chemical, so it’s important to be extra careful that the drops don’t end up being ingested by any small children or animals in your household. Keep your eye drops in a high place or a locked cabinet. If your child requires the use of eye drops, be sure to administer it for him or her.

Signs of poisoning include lethargy, slow breathing, a slow heartbeat, hypothermia, and even falling into a coma. If you suspect that you or someone you love is experiencing these symptoms, it’s important to get to the emergency room right away, as medical intervention is crucial.


Take the Next Step

 Schedule a consultation with ophthalmologist Dr. Jacqueline Griffiths at NewView Eye Center in Reston, VA today. Dr. Griffiths is a leading expert in her field and will be happy to talk to you about any of your concerns over red-eye drops. 703-834-9777

NewView Eye Center in Reston, Virginia serves the greater Washington, DC metro area.