Pharmacy advice and treatments alleviate painful symptoms as well as GP’s time
Eye health costs the UK economy around £28 billion each year and accounts for 4.5 million GP consultations across already stretched clinics1.
With approximately 133 million eyes2 across the UK, optical conditions are not uncommon. And with that, uncomfortable and painful symptoms can persist so it’s easy to see why sufferers seek credible medical advice in order to treat the irritant. But whilst there are many serious issues that should be addressed by a GP, minor eye-complaint sufferers could seek a more convenient and cost-effective treatment, available through their local pharmacist – elevating pressure from their GP.
Complaints that may be considered medically minor, such as conjunctivitis, blepharitis and styes can feel major for suffers, causing pain and discomfort, as well as appearing unsightly.
Pharmacist, Sid Dajani and advisor to Golden Eye® - makers of a range of drops and ointments to treat conjunctivitis, styes and blepharitis says: “Minor complaints, such as conjunctivitis, blepharitis and styes can be uncomfortable, unsightly and painful, so I can understand the distress that some of my patients can go through. Thankfully, on the other hand, they are also very common and easily treatable, so it doesn’t have to be such a pain.”
Sid Dajani continues: “A formulation containing Propamidine Isetionate is advisable to seek as it is a disinfectant and also has antifungal properties.
Golden Eye®, which contains propamidine Isetionate is a pharmacy-only brand for eyes, which is available without prescription and has several different products to help get your eyes feeling healthy again.”
Propamidine works by stopping bacteria from growing and multiplying, which controls the numbers of bacteria causing an infection.3 Propamidine is considered to be the first-line alternative to topical antibiotic treatments. A comment from a GP in a 2010 issue of British
Journal of General Practice suggested a preference for propamidine isetionate in some circumstances.4
As well as a proven topical treatment, management of these eye conditions also involves good eye hygiene and avoiding contact lenses and eye make- up whilst the condition persists.
Of course, there are also other more serious types of eye conditions, and a good rule of thumb is that if eye pain and change in vision are significant features, the person should seek the advice of a healthcare professional – a pharmacist, general practitioner or nurse.
GP, Dr Gill Jenkins says: “Whilst pharmacists can and should certainly be a first point of call for minor ailments, I would recommend that patients should see their GP in more serious cases or worrying symptoms. This includes disturbed vision, severe pain within the eye, photophobia, eye inflammation associated with a rash on the scalp or face, if the eye looks cloudy, the pupil looks unusual, suspected foreign body in the eye, suspected injury to the eye and during pregnancy or breastfeeding.”