Patients with conjunctivitis or eye allergies should wash their eyes with a small amount of tearless shampoo and rinse well with water before applying any prescribed ointment or eye-drops. Follow the same procedure each time the medication is applied. I also advise these patients to wash their eyes once pr twice a month during the winter and once a week during the summer.
—Lucy Yee, RPAC, Westborough, Mass.
I am not sure this is such a good idea. Washing out the eyes does more than remove pus or water; it removes the thin layer of oil that floats on top of the tear film and prevents its evaporation. This is why overuse of aqueous eyedrops is a bad idea as well— the drops flush out the native liquid film, leading to rapid evaporation of the artificial tears and dry, inflamed eyes. A better strategy would be to apply hot compresses with the eyrs tightly shut. The heat enhances blood flow to the area, helping to fight infection, and melts the inspissated meibomian secretions, leading to better lubrication and faster resolution of symptoms.
—Reuben W. Zimmerman, PA-C (100-27)