Reddening of the eyes

In the past 25 years that I have been active in ophthalmology, I have been hearing from experts from other specialisations about how the prescription restrictions for eye drops should be eased up more. There are two opposing opinions here. Ophthalmologists always argue that without proper examination of the eye using special equipment, it is not possible to determine the right diagnosis and so also not indicate the right treatment, and so they are more often against easing up prescription restrictions for eye installations.

Other specialists, on the other hand, argue that they would like to see the range of treatment options extended, especially in the case of milder progression of eye diseases. If the patient has serious difficulties, they send them to an eye doctor. In recent years the situation has been improving, also thanks to the greater choice of eye drops available over-the-counter at pharmacies. We could say that the majority of complaints that colleagues from other fields are faced with their from their patients concerning eyes, are mild conditions, being more or less “red eye”, which are nevertheless very uncomfortable for the patient. Many of these conditions are a “burden for both patient and doctor” alike. In such cases, there is no threat of loss of sight or serious damage to the eyes.

“Red eye” (surface injection of the eye) can be due to several causes. In practice, they are mostly as follows:
  1. inflammation of the conjunctiva
  2. local allergic reaction
  3. stenopeic difficulties (reddening of the eye caused by a combination of strained vision – e.g. in the car, when watching TV or working with a PC, together with an incorrectly aligned refraction defect).
  4. reactive hyperaemia (fatigue, weeping, contact lenses, being in smoky places and so on)
  5. post-injury conditions
  6. dry eye syndrome (disrupted composition of the tear film, which leads to discomfort and eye irritation).

Ophthalmologists are right when they say that determining the right diagnosis without the right equipment among these most common of causes is almost impossible. However, people do not run to their doctor about each banal condition or feeling of discomfort in the eyes. This would call for some “clever eye drops” that people can have “at hand” any time. At home, in the car, etc. The kind of drops that would cure the majority of the mentioned conditions, or at least mitigate them. Of course, this provided they will not damage the eye under any circumstances, whatever is going on in the eye. Drops that a non-ophthalmologist or pharmacist, for instance, could recommend with a clear conscience for any “red eye”, to anyone, adult, child or newborn baby. They can also rest assured that the drops will help and not harm, and that there are no interactions with other drugs. Drops that can be kept at home to be used whenever someone has difficulties, for flushing if something gets into the the eye, and also for easing discomfort in the eyes, whatever the cause. These rather “clever eye installation” would have to have several concurrent effects:

  1. with disinfectant and antibiotic effect
  2. astringent effect
  3. anti-inflammatory effect.

For a long time it seemed that something like that would not be possible, but the reverse is true. There is such a product, and nothing new has been invented. It uses the same thing that has been used for centuries successfully for treating eye diseases – extract from Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis). This extract has been incorporated to the sterile, isotonic eye drop substance called OCUflash. Eyebright acts as a disinfectant, antibiotic, astringent and anti-inflammatory preparation. OCUflash satisfies all of the above, and can even be administered to children from birth.
From experience and by listening to parents we know that irritations of the eye are most common when children are playing in a sandpit or when in nature. In order to avoid these unpleasant situations in the case of children, you can use OCUflash for flushing the eyes even several times a day. Recommend OCUflash, because it is soft on children’s eyes. What’s more, it has an anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial effect and can stop an infection or inflammation that is starting. It helps greatly in five out of the six mentioned red eye conditions. The only thing it does not completely resolve is dry eye syndrome, as that requires also artificial tears.

To date Ophthalmo-Septonex has been used most often for treating “red eye”, but it only acts like a disinfectant. If you use Ocuflash, you will see that the results of treatment will be much better. What’s more, you don’t strain your limit. Ocuflash eye drops have no prescription restrictions, and are available over-the-counter at pharmacies at a reasonable price. Patients pay for them themselves. You should recommend Ocuflash to your patients.

Dr. Jaroslav Karhan, eye doctor,
Eye Clinic of Medical Faculty of UK Olomouc

Source: publication Detský lekár 1/2007, page 22