Eye ointments whose active ingredient is an antibiotic are used for bacterial infections of the front part of the eye. As a rule, antibiotic eye ointments are prescribed by the ophthalmologist. There are several manufacturers with different locally acting broad-spectrum antibiotics.
Effect of antibiotic eye ointments
Antibiotics have an inhibitory effect on bacteria by either interfering with their reproduction or their formation to such an extent that the bacterial cells die. In this way a bacterial infection can be fought. In eye ointments, active ingredients such as aminoglycoside antibiotics, such as tobramycin or gentamicin, and azithromycin are used.
The very effective fluoroquinolones such as ciprofloxacin and ofloxacin are only prescribed in cases of extremely severe disease progression. If the inflammation of the eye is caused by a chlamydia infection, tetracycline may be used for treatment. Eye ointments containing a combination of antibiotic and cortisone require strict medical supervision, as serious side effects such as corneal perforation or increased intraocular pressure may occur.
In the case of glaucoma and fungal infections or herpes of the eye, the use of eye ointments with antibiotic and cortisone must not be used at the same time. They are prescribed by the ophthalmologist in case of bacterial conjunctivitis and after serious infections after injuries to the eye and if there is also an allergic reaction to the eye. The addition of the glucocorticoid cortisone has an anti-inflammatory effect on the eye by locally suppressing the immune system. An example of an eye ointment with antibiotic and cortisone is Dexa-Gentamicin eye ointment with the active ingredients dexamethasone 0.3 mg/g and gentamicin sulphate 5.0 mg/g.
Indications for eye ointments with antibiotic
In principle, antibiotics only work against bacterial pathogens and not against viruses. In general, the use of antibiotics should be strictly monitored to prevent the formation of resistant germs. But even then, in the case of simple conjunctivitis, therapy should not immediately begin with antibiotic-containing eye ointments.
In most cases conjunctivitis can also be cured with non-prescription, non-antibiotic eye drops or ointments. However, if the symptoms worsen or last longer than 5 – 7 days, a visit to the ophthalmologist is recommended. However, if there is a Chlamydia infection, an eye ointment with antibiotics is necessary immediately.
A barleycorn is a small abscess on the edge of the eyelid, which is usually caused by staphylococcus bacteria. Although it is usually very painful, it heals by itself. For stubborn barley grains, however, the use of local antibiotics may be necessary.
Typically, the active ingredients gentamycin or erythromycin are used. Under no circumstances should the barleycin be pricked or squeezed out, as this can lead to injuries to the eye and to the spread of the pathogens. Conjunctivitis is one of the most common inflammations of the eye.
It is not always caused by bacterial pathogens, but by a lack of tear fluid. In this case, an antibiotic is not appropriate for treatment. Instead, one should resort to tear substitutes. Cortisone containing preparations are also of little use in non-bacterial conjunctivitis as they have an immunosuppressive and additionally drying effect. However, if there is a bacterial infection or a very pronounced conjunctivitis, the use of an eye ointment with the appropriate antibiotic is recommended, which is prescribed by the ophthalmologist.