By BR Kellie
I was kicking back watching the ol' YouTube the other day and one of my newly discovered (though been around forever) beauty YouTuber's happened to mention that she uses red-reducing eye drops. Fair enough, I thought. If I were on the YouTube and had a case of the red eyes (which, fun fact, I do - on the daily. The joy of working in front of a computer screen and having a brain that rejects sleep... good times!) then I'd throw a couple of red-reducing drops in before filming.
Then she said she uses them every day, and I had myself a wee conniption.
You see, the one thing you should NOT do is use red-reducing eye drops often (and that direction comes from my pharmacist's mouth). Why? Well... read on...
What do red-reducing eye drops do?
Quite simply, they constrict the blood vessels in your eyes by using what is called a 'vasoconstrictor' such as tetrahydrozoline or naphazoline.
How often should I use them?
Redness-reducing eye drops are meant to be used for the VERY short term. We're talking one or two days maximum.
What if I use them a lot?
While your average redness-relieving eye drops will make your eyes look whiter in the short term, in the long run they can make your eyes look worse, as once the drops wear off the vessels dilate even more, creating enhanced redness... which will see you reaching for the drops, and so the vicious circle begins. Use redness-reducing eye drops too often and your eyes' default position could, over time, well become redness.
If regular use of redness-reducing eye drops is out, how can I reduce redness in my eyes?
First things first, if you're looking for a quick-fix, give lubricating/artifical tear eye drops a go. While I find they don't give me that spring lamb wide and white-eyed look, they definitely reduce redness to a decent degree.
Other methods to help reduce redness in your eyes include staying hydrated, getting more sleep, or placing a warm or cold compress over your eyelids. If you're on the computer a lot, try and blink more or take regular breaks away from the screen.
Of course, if eye redness is an ongoing issue that you're concerned about, the best thing you can do is consult a health professional. And if you do find yourself picking up over-the-counter medication from your pharmacy, talk to the pharmacist first and be sure to follow the product instructions.
So there you have it. The one beauty guru tip you should ignore. So are you a fellow red-eye sufferer? What tips and tricks do you use to keep them at bay? Sharing is caring!