Self-medicating can lead to further complications when an infection is present in the eye. Usually the dosing precedes the visit; patients have already used old medications by the time they arrive the chair. This can make diagnosing and treating quite challenging for your eye care professional.
Let's discuss that medication sitting in your medicine cabinet. In most cases it's an expired prescription but let's say it's not, we still worry about contamination. Droppers have a tendency to pick up lots of bacteria when in use. Most people fear eye drops and will get the dropper as close to their lashes or eyelids to ensure the drops enters the eye. I usually instruct patients to hold the dropper at least one inch from the eye and let it drop. If you miss your eye don't worry there are many drops in those tiny containers. Once the dropper touches any surface contamination may happen. Infection gets worse!
Now let's say your drops are totally contamination free, would they help? It depends if you have the same exact infection as last time. It might look the same, feel the same and act the same but more often then not it's a completely different bug. Self-medicating can build a resistance and the infecting agent will become immune to that medication in the future. In no way is reusing medication ever recommended, call your doctor and make an appointment.
See and Be Seen! at Eyed LA Optometry in Brentwood, West Los Angeles