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Thread: Redness Relief

  1. #1
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    Redness Relief

    Hello:

    New to the site (long term Dry Eye issues :-(

    Should I assume that all drops that claim redness relife are not safe??? One of the issues I have with my DES is major redness in both eyes.

    Any help appreicated, Jeff

  2. #2
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    Hello Jeff and welcome to DEZ!

    I am sorry to hear about your redness & dryness issues.

    I saw in the other thread that you have been a longterm user of ClearEyes and I am SO relieved to know you've stopped using it. This is your first important step to getting your dry eye under control. With ClearEyes you have been getting the double whammy of the side effects of overusing a vasoconstrictor, and the toxic effects of the preservative benzalkonium chloride.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff H
    Should I assume that all drops that claim redness relife are not safe??? One of the issues I have with my DES is major redness in both eyes.
    My opinion: YES - and particularly for chronic dry eye patients (which, if you weren't when you started using CE, you are now). Please read the label on ClearEyes. This labelling is mandated by the FDA and (if memory serves) the same labelling is on ALL over-the-counter vasoconstrictor products. Excerpts:

    ...avoid overuse, which may produce increased redness of the eye...
    ...Stop use and ask a doctor if...
    - symptoms persists for more than 72 hours
    - redness or irritation of the eye continues...
    I am not a doctor. But in my LAY opinion, even just based on the labelling, vasoconstrictors are not products which ANYONE should be using daily for a long period under any circumstances. 8 years... yikes!!! May I ask, were you under medical care and did they know you were using this drop all that time?

    Anyway, again, welcome, please have a look around here and on our main site for some general orientation to dry eye symptoms and treatments and let us know how we can help!
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Zone

  3. #3
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    Thumbs up A clarification

    Jeff, just in case you aren't up on all the lingo, "Redness relief" = vasoconstrictor. A vasoconstrictor is a product that constricts (reduces flow through) blood vessels. Since redness in eyes is caused by prominent blood vessels, all you have to do is reduce the blood flow, and like magic, redness is gone.

    Of course, oxygenation of eye tissues is reduced, too, but that's a minor detail that the Visine folks somehow forgot to include in their advertising. Inadvertent, I'm sure. The really nasty thing about vasoconstrictors is this: if your eyes are red, it's because the blood vessels are dilated (enlarged) so that more oxygen is delivered to the eye. It is safe to assume that the blood vessels are dilated for good reason. Artificially constricting the blood vessels is tantamount to overriding the body's self-repair & maintenance systems.

    (On a side note, using fever-reducers is generally bad, for the same reason. If you've got a fever, it generally means your body is trying to kill off bacteria or a virus that is harming your body. Higher body temperature also speeds up actions by your immune system. So fever-reducers actually slow down the healing process.)

    Anyway, if there are ever any terms that are unfamiliar to you, check out the Dry Eye Encyclopedia. (There's also a link to it in the green bar near the top of this page.) It contains a huge amount of reference material, including a page on the Visine product family. And if you haven't explored beyond the bulletin board yet, check out the main DryEyeZone site.

    Perhaps Rebecca should add a "Vasoconstrictor" page to the encyclopedia, eh?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by DEZadmin
    JPerhaps Rebecca should add a "Vasoconstrictor" page to the encyclopedia, eh?
    Done. A bit slapdash but it'll do for the moment. Good suggestion, thanks.
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Zone

  5. #5
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    WOW...Thanks to you both for giving me some guidance. Unfortunatley, I was so frustrated with the way I was "hereded" through Wills Eye on two seperate ocassions some years ago, I simply never went back and of course never was relived of my orginal symptoms eight years ago which was chronic redness. Anyway, I am more educated thanks to you and this site and am hopefull I can find some answers and relife

  6. #6

    Vasoconstrictor overuse..I did it too..

    Hey everybody ..

    Iīve been suffering from severely dry eyes for almost two years now.

    Being very foolish, I started to use whitening drops because I noticed my eyes were getting itchy, red and irritated quite easily.. and now I have big veins all over in the sclera and the conjunctiva, that are permanently dilated, and these are are definitely a result of these drops.
    I donīt think that time alone will make it better, because I think thereīs permanment damage..even though I didnīt use any whitening drops for two years now, the redness and dryness have gotten worse.. I notice more and more tiny blood vessels appearing on the surface of the sclera and in the conjunctiva as well. If it had stopped or gotten better with stopping Visine etc, I would not worry that much. Iīm afraid!
    Now I have constant pain in my eyes, sometimes I cannot even keep my eyes open because everything just hurts !

    Can anybody explain how this permanent damage (e.g. chronic dry eyes) is done by these vasoconstrictor drops ??
    I searched the net and asked so many doctors, but I didnīt find an answear.. I thought, if you stop and wait, with time the eyes will heal.. I know I did this to myself, I know I deprived my poor eyes from oxygen..NOW I know.. but it was never mentioned anywhere on the bottles or in the package insert..

    Iīm so frustrated and angry..I thought so many times, if anything can be done to stop those companies from manufacturing that poison ! But I know, it probably canīt.. At least, something should be done to stop these drops being sold over the counter.. Iīve been living in the Netherlands and wanted to buy some lubricating drops in a pharmacy for dry eye relief.. there I was told that in Holland you cannot buy any eye drops without a doctorīs prescription.. The dutch are clever.. No kid (as do so many in so many countries, after having smoked weed) can just go and get this stuff to make the eyes appear white (so the parents wonīt notice)!
    I think this is so dangerous, because you can get addicted to these drops (as so many get on nose sprays, which I think works on the same principle) !
    No young person thinks about the consequenses of long term use of vasoconstrictors ! And pharmacies and drug stores keep selling this drug !

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by beeemaya
    Iīm so frustrated and angry..I thought so many times, if anything can be done to stop those companies from manufacturing that poison ! But I know, it probably canīt.. At least, something should be done to stop these drops being sold over the counter.. No young person thinks about the consequenses of long term use of vasoconstrictors !
    Hi beeemaya! I understand your frustration. Personally I am against over-the-counter sales of eyedrops containing benzalkonium chloride. The labels specifically say that continued use can be harmful, but the thing is, most people have no context to put that in compared to warning labels on other products. There are so many warning labels on everything these days that we have no way to determine what risks are more or less serious than others.

    For example: Lubricant eye drops are required to carry the following language: "Stop use and ask a doctor if you experience eye pain, changes in vision, continued redness or irritation of the eye, or if the condition worsens or persist for more than 72 hours." (For anyone wondering, this is also on the labels of unpreserved monodose packaging.)

    Pretty much by definition people with chronic dry eye have to use some kind of artificial tear regularly, and pretty much all doctors will advise them to do so. My point is just that if even products that we are all told to use regularly carry warnings like this, how is the average uninformed consumer to know that one of those myriad of products with a 72 hour warning may pose far, far greater risks than any artificial tear?

    This really does need to be changed. We get quite a few former vasoconstrictor "addicts" on this board and it's disturbing to me how easily it can happen.
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Zone

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