Can a patient use too many eye drops or are they harmful to the eye when used in the excess?
This needs to be answered from the perspective of which eye drop we are considering. Most eye drops can be very harmful to the eyes when used in excess. However, ocular lubricants are not a problem at all when used in excess. There is always a chance that if the patient is using an ocular lubricant eye drop which has a preservative in it, they can become allergic to the preservative.
This sometimes happens with glaucoma drops that patients must take on a very consistent basis every day and sometimes multiple times per day.
The only other potential problem of using too many eye care lubricants is that the patient may have excessive buildup or wake up in the morning with excessive discharge from the eye which needs to be cleaned out.
Beyond this, ocular lubricants are fine to use as often as the patient needs.
With our moderate to severe dry eye patients, the most common complaint is that the ocular lubricants only provide relief for 5 to 10 minutes. They often feel that they need more. If this is the case, we will initiate alternative treatments beyond ocular lubricants.