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Old 05-05-2003, 03:47 PM
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 822
Are eye-numbing drops (Rx. Only type) bad?

I recently came across a small bottle of those wonderful Rx Only eye-numbing drops the ophthalmologists use in their office. Now, I have no intention of using it every day, but i have horrible allergies and sometimes my eyes are so darn itchy that I can barely tolerate it, especially when pollen-counts are high. So, I figure, when absolutely necessary, a drop or two shall be employed to make those days a little more bearable (until they run out, that is). But, are there any adverse affects to these drops? They sure feel good when your eyes are itchy and scratchy (no simpsons comments, please). There must be some reason they're not sold OTC, right? I know for a fact I'm not allergic to them.
Old 05-05-2003, 05:28 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 26,816
If you're that miserable (and, having allergies, I can sympathize) why don't you go to a doctor and ask for a prescription? If you do so the doctor will be able to prescribe drops that will not interact badly with anything else you may be taking, are appropriate for your problem, and can advise you about adverse effects.

For allergies a low dose of steroid-based drops may be more appropriate than an anesthetic. Or maybe what you have is OK, but an inappropriate dose.

Really, if you feel a need for this sort of thing you need to talk to a doctor, not people on a message board.
Old 05-05-2003, 06:01 PM
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Location: Slithering on the hull
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I'm serious. Use anesthetic eye drops improperly and they will cause your corneas to disintegrate!!! You'll be on a waiting list for corneal transplant.

There's a reason some medications are prescription only!

Ask your doc about antihistamine/decongestant drops instead.

Old 05-05-2003, 07:13 PM
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 822

First, thank you for the response, I really appreciate it.

Can you define "improperly"? I've used every allergy/redness/itchyness drop out there, and when my allergies are horrible NONE come close to working. Also all the claritins and allegras and benadrys don't do squat. Is "improperly" using them once a month or so, on those really, really horrible days? Surely they're not habit forming (I don't get high from them). If I had something stuck in my eye, I would go to the doctor rather than just saying "screw it i'll just use these drops."

Anyway, I have to use them quite sparingly b/c I only have a teeny lil' bottle of the stuff and probably won't be able to easily acquire more. If they were really *that* dangerous, you'd think they'd be at least a Schedule IV CS.
Old 05-05-2003, 07:58 PM
occ occ is offline
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 1,414
Scheduling isn't done because drugs are dangerous; plenty of unscheduled drugs can kill you right quick. Drugs that are scheduled are considered to have potential for abuse (of varying degrees), and all but Schedule I have some medical usage.

But yeah, see a doctor. Why risk it?
Old 05-05-2003, 08:07 PM
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Basically the anesthetic drops numb up the nerve fibers in the cornea. But they also disrupt the oxygen-diffusing capacity in the corneal cells, which get most of their oxygen from direct diffusion from the environment (if they had red cells running thru them via blood vessels they'd be hard to see thru). So more than 2 or 3 times a week use of said drops can cause oxygen depletion, and death of the corneal cells.

Another danger with these drops is that the resultant numbness of the eye surface means the eyes can be rubbed quite heavily without causing pain, while said rubbing damages the corneas.

If you've got that much trouble with eye symptoms from your allergies, see an opthalmologist &/or allergist.
Old 05-05-2003, 10:07 PM
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: New York, New York!
Posts: 2,461
I also get very itchy eyes during allergy season (ie now). I had tried all of the prescription drops out there a while ago, and given up as they did nothing for me. Patanol is relatively new, however, and when I first tried it last year (a bad allergy year for me) it made the difference between occasionally-mildly-itchy and wanting-to-rip-my-eyes-out-of-my-head, especially when I took Allegra at the same time. If you haven't tried drops within the last couple of years, try the stuff that's come out since then - it really is better.
Old 05-05-2003, 10:29 PM
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 822
occ: yeah but "potential for abuse" is somewhat correlated to instantaneous relief of painful/uncomfortable symptoms. Society requires a certain degree of suffering to function (or so the theory goes).

Qadgop: hmm... ok that's a good enough answer for me. Thanks. Of course i wouldn't consider using them 2-3 times a week. Maybe once or twice a month during the worst days of allergy season.

GilaB: Patanol is greek for placebo.
Old 05-06-2003, 12:18 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: B.G.Wa.
Posts: 101
Once my cat scratched me right across the middle of my eye. After a day or so, when I couldn't take it any more, I went to the doc who imediately applied a drop of this stuff. It stung for about 1/2 second and the pain went away. He then put in another drop of something orange so he could take a good look. When he left the room, I figgered this stuff is good enough to steal, so I did. It turned out to be a very small bottle, maybe 2 cc of "Opthetic Solution." Not knowing the side effects, I used it very sparingly when the pain was too much. Maybe every other day or so. When the eyeball finally became well enough that I didn't need it any more, there was still about 1/4 left. (started with 1/2 bottle.)
Finally fessed up to the doc who said as above that it shouldn't be used regularly, but I probably hadn't caused much damage to my eyeball. The remainder in the bottle began to discolor so I discarded it.
IAINODOC, but I know that what they use, I can use, but without their education I need to be a little more careful. Besides I don't carry malpractice insurance and can't imagine suing myself anyway.
I'd say IAINOTHIEF, but the above proves otherwise. Spontaneous thing I guess. I'd probably do it again and raise everybody's insurance rates. Mathematicians figger out how much for a $2 bottle once in a lifetime. (NO! I didn't go to the priest and confess!)
Old 05-06-2003, 11:35 AM
Join Date: May 1999
Posts: 822
MajorTom, i have a strong intuition you're not the only one who has liberated a bottle of that stuff when the doc wasn't looking
Old 05-06-2003, 02:10 PM
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Location: Slithering on the hull
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If your eyes are that bad during allergy season and don't respond to the basic meds, ask your eye doc about the possibility of cortico-steroid drop usage. Less dangerous, IMH professional O.
Old 05-06-2003, 02:47 PM
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Montpelier, VT
Posts: 1,203
Kalt, my eyes get horridly itchy and wattery during allergy season (both Spring and Fall, lucky me...) I also get scratchy, dry throat, sneezing and runny nose. My doc prescribed Allegra for me. Bam, I'm fine.

So, you might not even need an eye-drop thing, just normal oral allergy medicine. Probably something to talk to him about.
Old 05-06-2003, 09:44 PM
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: South of Toronto, Canada
Posts: 3,731
Qadgop is right. It would be appropriate to try something safe first, like 2% sodium cromoglycate drops. They usually do the job. If they do not, maybe a steroid, used sparingly. But if you had pain in your wrist, you wouldn't keep injecting local anesthetic into the nerves. It doesn't last long enough, local anesthetics are poisonous at fairly low dosages, it can damage the nerves if used chronically and having sensation in the eye is important to prevent damage from foreign bodies. Steroids do have a place in severe cases and you would be wise to see an eye doctor before getting them.
Old 05-07-2003, 02:33 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Southampton
Posts: 1,003
if eye numbing drops can do that to your eye and are legal, what does cocaine do to your nose?
Old 05-07-2003, 08:00 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Slithering on the hull
Posts: 26,298
Originally posted by WILLASS
if eye numbing drops can do that to your eye and are legal, what does cocaine do to your nose?
Overuse will cause the nasal tissue to die. Holes appear in the nasal septum in many cases, and many people can go on to have a uni-nostril.

I see it a lot in my patient population.

And no, I am not a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, but that's a good guess.

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