The etymology of eye drops refers us to the Latin word collyrĭum, which in turn comes from the Greek kollýrion. An eye drop is an eye medicine that consists of one or more substances mixed, sprayed, diluted or dissolved in a liquid.
Eye drops, therefore, are suspensions or solutions of chemical substances in a fluid that are instilled in the eye: that is, they are applied by drops for a therapeutic or diagnostic purpose.
It is important to establish that there is a general classification of the different types of eye drops that is made up of the following: –
Eye drops without a prescription. As their name suggests, they can be purchased by the person directly at the pharmacy, without having to go to your doctor’s office beforehand. These eye drops, in turn, are divided into two groups: artificial tears, which help to hydrate the eyes, and eye drops for red eyes, which seek to eliminate that irritation.
– Eye drops with a prescription, which are those that require a doctor’s prescription and are antibiotics. Within this group there are the following types: bacteriostatic, which prevent the spread of bacteria; bactericides, which help eliminate bacteria; and combined antibiotics. The aim of the latter is to achieve the highest possible efficacy of the treatment that is being carried out.
An active principle (a substance with pharmacological properties) is used to make eye drops, accompanied by agents that regulate pH and tonicity and prevent the appearance of microbes. These components are combined into a liquid known as a carrier or base solution. Sometimes the eye drops include other additional agents, such as moisturizers or antioxidants.
According to its purpose, it is possible to differentiate between wetting eye drops, the anti – inflammatory eye drops and antibiotic eye drops. There are also diagnostic eye drops, used by ophthalmologists in order to visualize the optic nerve and the retina.
In addition to all the above, we cannot ignore the existence of what is known as cycloplegic eye drops that are used for different purposes:
-There are those whose mission is to reduce or eliminate inflammation of the cornea due to some kind bacteria or virus.
-There are also eye drops that are responsible for dilating the pupils and that are used in ophthalmologists’ offices.
-Also, we must not forget those that proceed to eliminate the irritation that the iris area may feel.
The glaucoma, the uveitis and conjunctivitis are some of the disorders that can be treated with the use of eyedrops. The usefulness of the remedy will depend on the active principle and the composition of the eye drops in question.
It is important to mention that, to guarantee the sterility of the eye drops, these products include certain substances that prevent the growth of microbes once the container is opened. In recent years, however, they began to be presented in single-dose containers.