Eye Conditions

There are two problems with the eyes that can successfully be treated with products from a chemist. These are conjunctivitis and tired eyes. Take care with all eye conditions if you are a contact lens wearer. Also remember you only have one pair of eyes for life - take care of them!


Conjunctivitis is a condition where the conjunctiva (or surface of the eye) becomes inflamed. This will make the white part of the eye appear reddened due to an increase in blood supply. There is usually an over production of tears during conjunctivitis often described as watering of the eye. There may also be some discomfort which can be itchiness or a gritty feeling.
The symptoms above are common to the two types of conjunctivitis, they are allergic and infective. The difference between these two types is the cause and one extra symptom. Infective conjunctivitis has the extra symptom which is a yellowish coloured discharge from the eye, this usually encrusts the eye making it difficult to open the eyes in the morning after sleep.
  • Allergic conjunctivitis is caused when the sufferer of an allergy comes into contact with the cause of their allergy. For example, hay fever sufferers and pollen. If pollen gets in their eyes it may cause an allergic reaction and this will show as conjunctivitis.
    For treatment of allergic conjunctivis see the hayfever page.
  • Infective conjunctivitis is an infection of the eye by either a virus or more commonly a bacteria. The treatment of this condition involves the use of antibacterial preparations for use in the eye. These preparations will kill the bacteria, the cause of the condition, allowing the eyes to recover. The preparations are available from the Pharmacy as drops or ointments and they are equally effective. The drops usually require four times daily admisistration whereas the ointment is usually applied twice daily. This is because the ointment, being of a thicker consistency, stays in the eye for longer.

    If you have never used an eye preperation see the How to use eye drops page.

If there is no improvement within a few days of using these preparations you should consult your doctor.

Tired Eyes

Tired eyes are often experienced after prolonged use of the eyes, for example after using a computer or driving. In this case eye drops or lotions can be used to refresh the eyes. They usually contain witch hazel which acts to revive the surface of the eye.
If you suffer from this problem often, it may be to your benefit if you visit your optician as you may need glasses.

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