Most patients using Visine (original formula) are either experiencing dry eyes or red eyes, both of which could be helped using better products. Visine has an active ingredient called Tetrahydrozoline; this actively works to constrict the blood vessels in the eye. However the adverse effects that are caused from prolong use can create symptoms that never existed originally.
The constriction of blood vessels will give the eye a quieter, white appearance. This will help to mask any underlining infection or irritation, still within 15 minutes the redness will return. Most patients will re-instill the drops throughout the day and days that follow. This effect will cause the blood vessel some confusion; the blood vessel will constrict for a short time then immediately dilate again to a larger posture (looks redder then before using the drops). This is called a rebound effect, after long-term use the rebound effect will be permanent and the eye will remain irreversibly red. A scary reality for a patient and a doctor to experience. Therefore if the eyes are red from a simple encounter with a cat, simply use a cold compress (cold, wet towel) over the eyes for about five minutes. If the eyes are red for more then one day, a consultation with an eye care professional is warranted.
The other inactive ingredients in this product are not meant to help with dryness either. Most times they exacerbate the dryness to the point the drops are dehydrating the eye. We will have patients simply discontinue the use of Visine and their dry eye symptoms will disappear. Visine has reformulated their brand to create better options for dry eyes, therefore read the label and it's function before choosing the traditional formula.
Contact lens wearer be aware that using the original Visine formula may cause dilation of your pupil. The lighter your pupil the more likely this will occur. The patient will experience near vision blur and light sensitivity with this combination. My best advice is to visit us or any eye care professional to further investigate the discomfort your red eye may be causing.
See and Be Seen! at Eyed LA Optometry in Brentwood, West Los Angeles