Over-the-counter treatments for eyes and ears

March 15, 2010

Eye and ear-care products are important to patients ranging from children with earaches to aging baby boomers with dry eyes.

Key Points

Eye and ear-care products are important to patients ranging from children with earaches to aging baby boomers with dry eyes. Whether the issues are minor or more serious, they have many products from which to choose.

Eyes to see

March is national "Save Your Vision" month – a good time to introduce customers to new eye-care products.

Also from Alcon are Systane Ultra Lubricant Eye Drops, formulated to deliver extended protection that will make the eyes feel comfortable longer, resulting in fewer interruptions to daily life. They're available in a 10-mL bottle and a "Home and Away" pack consisting of a 10-mL bottle and a 5-mL bottle. Systane Ultra is also available in a preservative-free formula packaged in 24 single-use vials for patients who have sensitive eyes or who use eye drops regularly.

Schering-Plough has expanded its Claritin line with Claritin Eye, an antihistamine eye drop that relieves itchy eyes resulting from pollen, ragweed, grass, animal hair, and dander. A single drop works for up to 12 hours. Along with adults, children 3 years and older may safely use Claritin Eye.

In August 2009, Visine introduced three new eye-care products. Visine Totality Multi-System Relief relieves symptoms of eye irritation, including red, burning, watery, itchy, gritty, dry, and irritated eyes. According to a company statement, no other OTC eye drop relieves more symptoms. Visine Total Eye Soothing Wipes are said to offer a new way to cleanse and soothe the eyes. The soft, moist pads remove debris, irritants, and eye makeup (including waterproof mascara). The pads contain a cleanser, eight moisturizers, and a cooling ingredient. Visine All Day Eye Itch Relief works within minutes to relieve itchy eyes reacting to pollen, ragweed, grass, animal hair, and dander; it can last for up to 12 hours.

McNeil Consumer Healthcare has introduced its first vision product, adding Zyrtec Itchy Eye Drops to its Zyrtec line of allergy products. The antihistamine eye product for individuals ages 3 years and older provides relief to itchy allergic eyes for up to 12 hours.

Bausch+Lomb Vision Care has rejuvenated its original ReNu lens-care brand. ReNu Fresh Lens Comfort (formerly ReNu MultiPlus) is designed to keep contact lenses feeling like a fresh pair every day. The formula contains hydranate, which removes protein deposits that accumulate during wear. In addition, ReNu Multi-Purpose Solution has been repositioned as ReNuSensitive Eyes, designed specifically for lens wearers who want to use a gentle formula.

In a brand realignment, Allergan's Optive is now part of its Refresh brand of products and can be found in new packaging. Refresh Optive Lubricant Eye Drops offer dual action, lubricating eyes while hydrating and protecting cells on the surface of the eyes from the damage caused by dry eye. The companion product, Refresh Optive Sensitive Preservative-Free Lubricant Eye Drops, targets patients with sensitive eyes and patients who experience post-LASIK dryness.

Abbott Medical Optics is promoting two new Blink eye drops to treat symptoms of dry eye. Blink Tears Lubricating Eye Drops replenish the tear film with each eye blink. In addition, the company promises significantly less blurring than is found with other lubricating eye drops. Blink Gel Tears Lubricating Eye Drops have a more viscous formula that is intended to enhance comfort in patients with moderate-to-severe dry eye. It is also longer-lasting and is intended for both daytime and nighttime use.

From Health Enterprises comes an upgraded Eye Patch fitted with foam padding for more comfort and an adjustable strap for a more secure fit. One size fits all.