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USING SOME EYEDROPS REGULARLY CAN LEAD TO CONJUNCTIVITIS.

Regular use of over-the-counter eyedrops can lead to the eye infection conjunctivitis, according to a study conducted at the Cullen Eye Institute at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Symptoms of conjunctivitis, which affects the white part of the eye, include redness, swelling without pain and thick discharge.

Researchers studied 70 patients who developed conjunctivitis and had been daily users of over-the-counter eyedrops for an average of three years.

The drops, commonly used to treat redness and discomfort of the eyes, all contained vasoconstrictors, substances that cause blood vessels to narrow.

A month after discontinuing use of the drops, symptoms improved, according to the study, published in the January issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology.

The researchers concluded that most of the infections resulted from the eyedrops. One explanation is that people had adverse reactions to various ingredients in the drops, they said.

Although it is not known what percentage of people are susceptible to infections from eyedrops, ``the number of patients suffering reactions may be substantial because more than 15 million bottles of these eyedrops are sold each year in the United States,'' the researchers reported.

Arthritis in children: Children complaining of achy or swollen joints often are ignored, but they could be suffering from juvenile chronic arthritis, a serious condition that often is undiagnosed.

A study of 2,241 12-year-old children uncovered a juvenile arthritis rate of 4.0 per 1,000, considerably higher than the 0.6 to 1.1 per 1,000 that previously was thought to be the prevalence rate, said Dr. Prudence J. Manners of the University of Western Australia.

``It is possible throughout the world that the numbers of undiagnosed cases of JCA significantly exceed the numbers of known cases, with the true prevalence being significantly higher than the levels currently accepted,'' she reported in the journal Pediatrics.

Sticky situation: Clearer warning labels and child-proof containers could prevent eye injuries caused by super glue, British researchers report.

Eye doctors at the North Middlesex Hospital in London studied 14 patients who had eye injuries resulting from super glue.

The group included several children who accidentally placed super glue in their eyes, as well as adults who splashed their eyes with glue while opening the container. Two patients mistook the container for eye drops.

Since super glue tends to stick only to dry surfaces, doctors found that most of the glue collected in the corners of the eyes, according to the study, published in the current issue of the Journal of Accident and Emergency Medicine.

In addition to losing eyelashes and being unable to open their eyelids, patients experienced severe eye pain and inflammation. But no patients experienced any permanent eye damage, according to the study.

The researchers called for labels warning consumers of the potential eye hazards of super glue. In addition, they recommended child-proof containers, which would prevent children from opening the glue and reduce the chance of adults mistaking super glue for eye drops.
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Copyright 1997, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:L.A. LIFE
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Feb 10, 1997
Words:493
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