Is it safe to ingest eye drops?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the question, “is it safe to ingest eye drops?”. As well, we will discuss what are eye drops, what are eye drops used for, what is the level of toxicity of orally ingesting eye drops, and other concerns about ingesting eye drops.  

Is it safe to ingest eye drops?

No, it is not safe to eat eye drops, because eye drops are not produced to eat. Ingesting eye drops can be dangerous because they may result in serious toxicity, and can cause death. 

What can happen if I orally ingest red-eye drops?

You can be sick if you eat eye drops. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, if you drink eye drops for redness, you can conduct toxic blood levels because the compound tetrahydrozoline is not properly absorbed and can result in toxicity.

What is the level of toxicity of orally ingesting eye drops?

The level of toxicity will change conforming to the medications present in the eye drops, as there are many of them, the level of toxicity will change according to the type of eye drops.

What are the symptoms of toxicity of orally ingesting red-eye drops?

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, when the red-eye drops are orally ingested you may develop several symptoms related to an overdose of tetrahydrozoline, which is listed below.

  • Sleepness;    
  • Slow breathing or breathlessness;
  • Slow heart beating;
  • Low body temperature;
  • Coma.

What should I do if I orally ingest red-eye drops?

You should immediately call Poison Control or Poison Help and inform them what happens, and also your age, your weight, the amount ingested, and the name of the compound. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, you should not try to vomit.

Can I die if I orally ingest Visine eye drops?

Yes, you can be sick if you ingest Visine eye drops and in fact, Forbes reported 2 cases of deaths from ingesting them, but in those two cases, it was for criminal intent. The compound present in the Visine eye drops is also tetrahydrozoline. 

What age can be more sensitive to eye drops?

In general, children are more sensitive than adults, so can be more dangerous with a high risk of entering a coma. Children have a smaller size and the same amount of ingestion as an adult which can be fatal for children. Click here to know more about it.   

What are eye drops?

Eyes drops are any liquid substance used to apply directly to the eyes, which can be used with one drop, or more. Almost all eye drops are made with a saline level because the eye has it. The eye drop can be indicated by many things.

What are eye drops used for? 

Eye drops can be used for many things, such as just a lubricant for the eyes, but can also contain medications for treating different dysfunctions in the eyes. Below are listed some medications that can contain in the eye drops, which will change depending on the indication.

  • Topical anesthetics;
  • Antihistamines;
  • Steroids;
  • Antifungals;
  • Parasympatholytics;
  • Parasympathomimetics;
  • Sympathomimetics;
  • Prostaglandins;
  • Beta receptor blockers;
  • Antibiotics;
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

What precautions should I need before applying eye drops to the eyes?

According to the National Eye Institute, before the application of the eye drops you need to do some things to avoid infections in the eyes, which are listed below.

  • Wash your hand properly with soap and abundant water;
  • Avoid touching the tip of the bottle of eye drops with your fingers;
  • Avoid touching your eyelid or eye with the tip of the bottle of eye drops. 

What precautions should I need when applying eye drops to the eyes?

According to the National Eye Institute, to apply the eye drops correctly you need some precautions, which are listed below. 

  • Stay in a comfortable position and put your head back and look up;
  • When applying it’s better to do a “pocket” for the drops, by pulling the lower eyelid away and down with 1 hand;
  • Use the other hand to hold the bottle of eye drop upside down with the tip positioned above the pocket;
  • Instill the number of drops that your doctor recommends into the pocket. 

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have discussed the question, “is it safe to ingest eye drops?”. As well, we have discussed what are eye drops, what are eye drops used for, what is the level of toxicity of orally ingesting eye drops, and other concerns about ingesting eye drops.  

References

https://www.aao.org/eye-health/treatments/red-eye-drops-safe-if-used-correctly Accessed: 05/07/2022   

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2020/01/18/how-visine-eye-drops-in-the-mouth-can-kill-here-are-two-cases/?sh=41b03ae1eae1 Accessed: 05/07/2022  

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eye_drop Accessed: 05/07/2022  

https://www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/eye-conditions-and-diseases/glaucoma/glaucoma-medicines/how-put-eye-drops Accessed: 05/07/2022  

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