Best Eye Drops for Red Eyes:
1) Lumify Eye Drops (Lumiflores):
The most popular eye drops for red eyes are called lumiflores. They have been used since the 1970’s and they are still widely available today.
These eye drops contain a mixture of various ingredients which include tannins, salicylic acid, green tea extract, menthol etc. The main ingredient in these eye drops is tannin which helps to reduce inflammation. Tannins are found naturally in many plants such as oak tree bark, holly leaf, mint plant etc. They are known to have anti inflammatory properties and help reduce redness caused by irritation or damage.
2) Topical Salicylic Acid Cream:
Salicylic acid cream is one of the most effective eye drops for red eyes. It contains a combination of salicylic acid and glycolic acid which work together to reduce inflammation.
It works very well on irritated eyes due to its ability to relieve itching and swelling. Salicylic acid is also helpful in reducing pain associated with red eyes.
3) Refresh PM Ointment:
It is an over-the-counter eye drop containing a combination of vitamins and anti inflammatory drugs such as naphazoline and pheniramine. The main ingredient is naphazoline which helps to constrict the blood vessels and reduces redness caused by dilation of blood vessels.
It also contains an antihistamine which blocks the release of histamine that causes watery eyes. These drugs are useful in treating allergic conjunctivitis. It is not effective in treating dry eyes and it should be used with caution in patients with high blood pressure.
4) Travatan Z (Brimonidine) Ophthalmic Solution:
It is a prescription only eye drop which helps to relieve redness caused by spasm of blood vessels. It is available as 0.2% and 0.1% concentration.
It works by preventing the action of substance P which is a chemical that causes narrowing of blood vessels and thus limits redness caused by dilation. It is very effective in treating red eyes due to allergies or colds. It can also be used to prevent blood vessel dilation during medical procedures such as laser surgery or needle biopsy. It is not useful in treating red eyes caused by dryness and it can cause blurred vision and sensitivity to light.
5) Clear Eyes (Benzalkonium chloride Ophthalmic Solution):
It is an over-the-counter eye drop which contains active ingredient of benzalkonium chloride that constricts blood vessels and helps to relieve redness caused by dilation. It is not very effective in treating red eyes caused by allergic reactions or irritation.
Sources & references used in this article:
Use of chloramphenicol as topical eye medication: time to cry halt? by M Doona, JB Walsh – 1995 – bmj.com
Topical dexamethasone-cyclodextrin microparticle eye drops for diabetic macular edema by M Tanito, K Hara, Y Takai, Y Matsuoka… – … & visual science, 2011 – iovs.arvojournals.org
When the whites of the eyes are red: a uniquely human cue by RR Provine, MO Cabrera, NW Brocato… – Ethology, 2011 – Wiley Online Library