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Drop addiction: can eye drops really be addictive?


Heroin was a popular drug until it turned out to be addictive. And eye drops? Many users think they are dependent on it. Is that correct?

Famous “addicts”?
Jennifer Aniston publicized the “drop addiction”. The Hollywood diva suffers from eyes that are too dry, itchy and irritable when the actress reads outdoors.

Against the "chronically dry eye" she took eye drops continuously and described herself as addicted to it.

Help or addiction?
Did she mean that her eyes hurt constantly without the drops? Or did she feel addicted in a clinical sense - like an alcoholic?

No scientific studies
Research does not allow itself to be judged. Because nobody has scientifically tested the addictive potential of the drops that help us when the eyes hurt and swell. However, doctors believe that psychological dependence is conceivable.

No impact on tear flow
Eye drops help when the body does not produce enough tears. But they do not affect the underlying disease. In the long run, the eye does not produce more or less tears because we take eye drops.

That's what the doctors say
If you suffer from a lack of tears, doctors recommend using eye drops five to seven times a day.

The tear system
The anatomy and physiology of the tear system determine how eye drops work. The eye usually holds 7 ml of tear fluid; a sixth of it is exchanged. There is a reserve on the side of the draining tear ducts, so that even a larger volume can drain away without problems. Eye drops usually contain at least 50 ml and far exceed the capacity of the tear apparatus, the excess fluid then runs outwards or into the tear ducts.

The tear film
The tear fluid holds the horn. like conjunctiva moist and supplies them with oxygen. It fights off bacteria and viruses and rinses foreign objects out of the eye. It consists of several layers with different structures and a different fat and water content. If too little tears flow, this composition changes or the glands of the eyelid margins are blocked. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information



Video: Addicted to EPIX (November 2021).