Hypromellose eye drops are an ocular lubricant, also known as artificial tears. These eye drops are often used by patients who have a reduced ability to produce natural tears. Dry eye conditions can also be caused by air pollution, air conditioning, and other environmental factors, such as strong sunlight or wind. Certain medical conditions can also contribute to the need for artificial tears, as well as infrequent blinking. Hypromellose eye drops can be used to alleviate irritation or dryness of the eye, in addition to being used to lubricate contact lenses.
An eye doctor may recommend that the patient use this product, or the patient may find it available in a pharmacy. Before using hypromellose eye drops, the patient should talk to his doctor or pharmacist if he has any allergies, if he takes any other medicines, or if he wears contact lenses. Patients should be particularly cautious if they use any other topical eye medicines, including ointments and drops. If so, the different products may need to be applied at different times.
The patient should always wash his hands thoroughly with soap and hot water before using hypromellose eye drops. He may then remove the outer cap of the product, holding the container by his thumb and middle finger. The head should be tilted back and a finger used to draw down the lower eyelid slightly. One drop should be carefully squeezed out of the eye drop container and into the pocket formed by the lower eyelid.
After applying the eye drop, the patient should close his eyes gently for at least one minute. He should avoid placing any pressure on the closed eyelid. Keeping the eyes closed will help prevent the medicine from leaking out. The outer cap of the product should be replaced promptly and the patient should again wash his hands thoroughly. It is essential that the applicator tip of the hypromellose eye drops does not touch any surface, or it may become contaminated.
Most patients may apply these eye drops three to four times daily. It may be used in only one eye or in both of them. If a patient has extremely dry eyes, his doctor may instruct him to apply the drops once every hour. Patients should be aware of possible side effects of hypromellose eye drops, which may include a temporary stinging sensation or blurry vision. Those who experience eye pain or a headache should discontinue use and contact their doctors.