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EYE DROPS

Before and After Upneeq Eye Drop!

This patient arrived for a specialty contact lens fit consultation. As we were taking images of her eye she said, “My eyelids are so saggy, I wish there was an eye drop that could help to lift them up!”

Good news – there is a drop called Upneeq available in the United States which helps to lift your eyelids.

We inserted a drop and took a before photo (bottom image). Then, 15 minutes later, we took an after photo (top image) and she was thrilled at the difference.

She will only need to use Upneeq once per day in the morning to help keep her eyelids a bit more open.

We will send her for eyelid surgery at some point, but she wanted an alternative to lid surgery for now. This eye drop is a great way to offer patients another option besides surgery to help lift their eyelids.

Financial disclosures: I have no financial interest in the products or companies mentioned in this post.

senior eyelids after and before upneeq

What To Do if a Mosquito Bites Your Eyelid

Many of us spend the warm weather outdoors, barbecuing, camping, hiking, swimming. Although the itchy mosquito bites are typically associated with summer, mosquitos can be relentless and be a major pest, in the spring and even into the fall.

Why do Mosquitoes Bite?

Mosquitoes are small flying insects, but they don’t actually “bite”. They pierce the skin to reach a person’s blood vessels to access a source of protein for the female’s eggs. Male mosquitoes do not consume blood.

While most mosquitoes are harmless, others may carry dangerous diseases, such as malaria, in certain parts of the world. In rare cases, mosquito bites can cause other complications.  

What does a mosquito bite on the eyelid look like?

A mosquito bite on the eyelid typically causes redness and inflammation of the eyelid and the surrounding area. 

Since the tissue around the eye is loose, fluid accumulation and inflammation following an insect bite is common. In severe cases, it can even inhibit the eye from opening, especially after lying down, as the fluid gravitates to that area.

The skin around the eye is sensitive, so the itching and discomfort from a bite on the eyelid may feel particularly intense. Rest assured that most of the time the itchiness lasts only a few days, but try to avoid rubbing your eyes as it can exacerbate the swelling and irritation.

Are Mosquito Bites on the Eyelid Dangerous?

Usually not, but they can cause severe itching and swelling. 

Young children are at a higher risk for acute swelling from a mosquito bite, as they tend to have a stronger immune response than adults do. While your child’s eye may look concerning, the inflammation should naturally subside within a few days.

Signs of an infected mosquito bite

Although uncommon, there are instances when a mosquito bite can become infected and require medical attention. Here are some signs to look out for:

  • An eyelid that develops a deep red appearance
  • An eyelid that is hot and hard to the touch
  • Discharge from the eye
  • Intense pain around the eye
  • Swelling doesn’t subside after 2-3 days

Sometimes, if the bite becomes infected, the infection will spread to the second eye and symptoms will likely be apparent in both eyelids. 

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms or if your vision is affected by your swollen eyelid, contact us for an eye exam and to determine the best course of treatment. If the eyelid isn’t infected, the following home remedies may help. 

Home Remedies to Reduce Eyelid Discomfort and Swelling 

Try these tips to help relieve your discomfort and promote healing. 

  1. Cold Compresses. Place a cold, wet compress on your eye for around 20 minutes, 2-3 times per day to reduce the swelling and numb the itchiness. Be sure that the compress is not too cold as it can damage the skin around your eye.
  2. Allergy Medicine. Take an antihistamine, either in liquid or tablet form, to reduce itching and inflammation. Be sure to read the directions on the bottle for proper dosage information.
  3. Eye Drops. Eye drops can help further reduce inflammation and provide additional relief, especially if your vision is being affected. Vasoconstrictor eye drops are generally recommended to reduce the swelling of the blood vessels in the eyes. These drops should be used sparingly as they can cause a rebound effect – making the eyes red once they heal. It’s best to consult with your eye doctor before using any eye drops, just to be sure.

Most mosquito bites will heal on their own without any need for additional treatment. However, the eyelid is a sensitive area and may require special care to speed up the healing process.

Experiencing symptoms of an infected mosquito bite on the eye? Have any questions or concerns about your eye health or vision? We’re here to help! Simply contact The Contact Lens Institute of Nevada in Las Vegas and one of our professional eye care professionals will be happy to assist. 

Q&A

What is an eye infection?

An eye infection is a condition in which viruses, bacteria or other microbial agents attack the eye, causing itchy and red eyes. The infection can also affect the eyelid, cornea, and conjunctiva (the thin area that covers the inside of the eyelids and outer part of the eye). 

​​What are the typical symptoms of an eye infection?

Usually people with an eye infection experience at least one of the following:

Eye pain, persistent itching, grittiness, sensitivity to light, watery eyes, fluid discharge, blurred vision, irritation, swelling and dryness. These symptoms can often be confounded with dry eye disease. To determine the source of the issue and receive optimal treatment, contact  The Contact Lens Institute of Nevada today. 

Dr. Woos’ Top 10 Eye Drop Recommendations For Contact Lens Wearers

Many of our patients ask about eye drop recommendations. Some of the key things that I consider:

  • Eye Condition(s)
  • Contact Lens Wearer?
    • What type? soft? hard? hybrid?
  • Age
  • What problems are you having and how often?
  • What have you used before (if anything)?

If a patient has a medical eye condition such as sjogren’s syndrome, graft-vs-host disease, Stevens-Johnson, extreme dry eye, etc., I will always recommend a non-preserved eye drop. This is because the surface of the eye is compromised and I don’t want any unnecessary preservatives sticking around on the ocular surface. Over time, too much exposure to preservatives can lead to a toxic response on the ocular surface.

If a patient wears contact lenses, I also recommend preservative free drops. This is because the preservatives within the eye drops can stick to the contact lens material. Then, those preservatives can stay on the contact lens surface, making contact with the eye for many hours. This continued exposure can cause a sensitivity to the preservative, making your eye red, dry, and irritated. There are some eye drops that are labeled “for contacts” which might be safe for the type of contact lens that you wear. If you have any questions, ask your eye doctor for their recommendations.

Here are my top eye drops, in no particular order (I have no financial interest in any of these eye drops):

oasis

Oasis Tears. I like these because they are individual vials and preservative-free. Many of my patients use they on a routine basis every day. If you have scleral lenses, and suffer from scleral lens fogging, this can be incredibly helpful. Simply fill the bowl of your scleral lens with 1 or 2 drops of Oasis tears, and then fill the rest of the bowl with non-preserved saline. Many of our scleral lens patients who suffer from fogging find that if they use Oasis tears to fill the bowl of their lens, they can wear their lenses for a longer period of time without them fogging up.

blink

Blink for Contacts. This eye drop is made for contact lenses (soft and hard lenses). It is in one large bottle instead of vials, so it is NOT preservative free. This is important because if your eye doctor recommends a preservative-free artificial tear, this would not be a good option for you. You can find this eye drop at most local drugstores and grocery stores.

retaine

Retaine MGD. This eye drop is great for anyone who needs to replace the lipid layer of their tears. There are 3 layers of tears. The bottom layer is a mucous layer, which is closest to your eyeball. The middle layer is the aqueous layer, which is made of mostly water. The top layer is a lipid layer. Think of this top layer as an oil layer. It helps to prevent tears from evaporating off the surface of your eye. This is a great option if you have meibomian gland dysfunction.

celluvisc

Celluvisc. This is another more viscous preservative-free tear. It is similar to Oasis tears, but more readily found in local stores. Sometimes it is out of stock, so it can be frustrating for patients who rely on this product. This is another troubleshooting eye drop that I use for scleral lens patients when they have issues with fogging. Simply add 1 or 2 drops of Celluvisc to the bowl of your scleral lens and then fill the remainder of the bowl with your non-preserved saline. If you like this drop, stock up because stores quickly run out of it and it may take weeks or months for you to get it.

systane

Systane Preservative-Free. This is another product that is easy to find at most any store that you already shop. I have seen them at local drugstores and grocery stores. Be careful with this brand (Systane) because they have so many eye drop options, it can be hard to remember which one to use. They have many different eye drops that are very good to use without contacts (such as Systane Balance, Systane Ultra, etc), but if you are using the eye drops in conjunction with contact lenses, please choose the preservative free vials.

zaditor

Zaditor. This is another eye drop you can find over-the-counter at most stores. However, sometimes you have to ask the pharmacist because they keep it behind the counter or they keep it locked up. This is not because you need a prescription to purchase it. This is easily purchased at a store or online. This is a GREAT eye drop for anyone suffering from eye allergies. If you have itchy, runny, irritated eyes, this is a great product to try. This does have preservatives, so please use one eye drop in the morning when you wake up, then wait five minutes and then insert your contact lenses. At night, remove your contact lenses, and then place another drop of Zaditor. This is a great over-the-counter eye drop for eye allergies.

refresh

Refresh Relieva for Contacts. We give a sample of this to all of our patients during their contact lens training. Our Allergan rep gives us samples of these to pass onto patients. Again, this is one that you can easily find at most stores. The larger bottle indicates that it is not preservative free, however, many of our contact lens patients find this eye drop provides relief from dry eye during the day. There is also a preservative-free version which I have never actually seen at a store, but can be found online.

blink1

Blink Preservative-Free. This is another preservative-free product that I like recommending to patients. However, I have never found it at an actual store - all of my patients have to order this online. It is similar to Systane Preservative Free.

regen

Regener-Eyes. This is the first eye drop of its kind. It is a biologic eye drop, meaning that it is made of stem cells. Many of my patients find this eye drop soothing. If you suffer from dry eye, this is a wonderful product to try, especially if you experience minimal effects from traditional eye drops. I recommend this to any of my extreme dry eye patients. Sometimes the stem cells are very powerful and can heal the damage from an impaired ocular surface. You can’t order this online or find it at a store, it must be prescribed through an eye care professional. Please ask your eye doctor if this is something you want to try.

gel

Systane Gel. This is a great option for patients who suffer from extreme dry eye. You can’t use this during the day (because it is so thick that it will make your vision blurry). After your contacts are removed, you can squeeze a small amount into the lower eyelid cul-de-sac right before bed. This will coat your entire eye with a very thick layer of liquigel. It is much thicker than a traditional eye drop. This is great to use right before you go to bed. It is pretty expensive for such a small tube, but if it significantly helps with your dry eye, it is worth it.

I hope this list of eye drops was helpful to you! Wearing contact lenses can limit the type of eye drops you can use, but hopefully one of these on the list will work for you. As always, it is best to consult with your eye doctor if you don’t know which eye drop to select. They know your eyes the best, and they are true experts when it comes to eye drops.

Can I Use Eye Drops With Scleral Lenses?

Is it safe to use eye drops while wearing hard lenses or scleral lenses?

This is a question we get almost every single day.

In general, it is ok to use preservative free artificial tears while you are wearing contact lenses. In some cases, you can use eye drops that say “for contacts” on the label. The reason you can’t use regular eye drops is because most eye drops contact preservatives. This is normally not that much of an issue for the surface of the eye, because blinking and tearing will flush the preservatives off of your eye surface fairly quickly. However, when you wear contact lenses, the preservatives stick to the contact lens material and then that gets held onto the surface of your eye for many hours.

Your eye doctor will be able to recommend a safe eye drop specific to your unique eye and the type of contact lenses you wear. If you have a compromised ocular surface, it is very important to use preservative free products to limit the amount of BAK or other preservatives that make contact with your eye.

Keep in mind that 90% of eye drops that you see on the shelf of your locals stores are made to be used WITHOUT contacts.

If you have questions, talk to your eye doctor. Your eye doctor knows your eye the best and they are experts in eye drops!

Find out what eye drops Dr. Woo recommends here.