How necessary is using preservative free drops?

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How necessary is using preservative free drops?

Postby JPD » Tue Mar 27, 2007 3:25 pm

I do use preservative free drops, but because of their one time use nature, I go through them so quickly, I'm getting concerned regarding the finacial aspect. I'm wondering how necessary it is to use them all the time? Is it just considered better, but in end drops in a bottle will give the same results, or can using the bottled drops cause your eyes to heal slower and maybe not heal as well and cause regression, that sort of thing? If I was to alternate between the two in order to make the preservative free vials last longer, will this be okay and not cause any ill effects?

Thanks.
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Postby LasikExpert » Tue Mar 27, 2007 8:18 pm

The preservatives used in some artifical tears can cause an allergic reaction, dehydrate the cornea, cause eye irritation, and slow healing. Other than that...

For the first several weeks to a few months after Lasik or similar laser eye surgery, the preservative-free artifical tears are really important. After that, and with your doctor's okay, you may want to investigate the "preservative-free on contact" drops. They are less expensive and may be appropriate.

Switching between preservative and preservative-free means you are irritating the eye part-time. Still not the best thing to do during recovery from surgery.
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Postby Terabethia » Tue Mar 27, 2007 10:01 pm

Check with your doctor specially for advise, because I am sure it will greatly depend on your personal healing process and experiences with dry eyes. However, personally I was told to use the single vials for 2 weeks, and then he recommended the "preservative free in the eye" for the next couple of months. These are much cheaper than the single vials and at least where I am, about the same price as normal eye drops, so that's always helpful.
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Postby JPD » Wed Mar 28, 2007 12:29 am

LasikExpert wrote:The preservatives used in some artifical tears can cause an allergic reaction, dehydrate the cornea, cause eye irritation, and slow healing. Other than that...

For the first several weeks to a few months after Lasik or similar laser eye surgery, the preservative-free artifical tears are really important.


Okay, I'm going to continue with the preservative free vials. Curious though, would use of the regular preservative drops only cause healing to slow, or could it possibly cause your eyes to not heal fully or heal improperly?

LasikExpert wrote: After that, and with your doctor's okay, you may want to investigate the "preservative-free on contact" drops.


So you think it's never appropriate to use the preservative eye drops for anyone post refractive surgery?

Thanks Glenn.
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Postby LasikExpert » Wed Mar 28, 2007 2:24 am

The preservative in some artificial tears can be an irritant to the eye. This irritant can cause unpredictable healing after surgery. Another problem: If the patient is using artificial tears with preservative and has healing problems, it can be impossible to know if the problems relate to the artificial tears, or something else.

As a general rule, preservative-free artificial tears are the only appropriate artificial tear during the first stage of healing.

To put it another way, artificial tears with preservatives may possibly be acceptable to some doctors for some patients on rare occasion, but preservative-free artificial tears will virtually always be appropriate.
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The more I read........

Postby bathory313 » Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:31 am

the more I learn! I, too, was wondering about this issue. I am going through the individual ones like mad! Today was REALLY bad; my vision was so blurry I could barely read (gave up on it) and I took a short drive to the grocery store (bad idea :? ) I've gone through nearly 70 vials in 6 days. I probably used 20 or so just today alone.

I'm dreading going through another 3 weeks of this. My one-week follow-up is tomorrow, so I'll know better 'what's what' tomorrow.

I actually got a bit scared that my vision was so blurry today, but I kept telling myself "it's normal!!!!!!" It has leveled off a bit now and improved.
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Postby LasikExpert » Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:27 am

Fluctuation in vision after Lasik is normal. You may want to consider a lower viscosity artificial tear. The thicker the tear the longer it will last.

It appears that you are using artificial tears to change your refractive error, rather than to treat dry eye. That can be okay, but it is not what artificial tears are designed to do and you will have limited success.
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Postby DryEye » Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:53 pm

LasikExpert wrote:It appears that you are using artificial tears to change your refractive error, rather than to treat dry eye. That can be okay, but it is not what artificial tears are designed to do and you will have limited success.


I was going through tons of tears initially also and still use them (albeit not as much) probably in order change my refractive error. It has been that way since I had it.
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Postby yawny » Mon Jul 02, 2007 6:55 am

My doctor advises his patients to use the preservative free drops. but said that once open the individual vials could be used for 24 hours before discarding. Just be careful not to touch your eye or the tip with anything. This is what I have done, and have not had any trouble with them. I always recap them carefully between administrations.
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