Ciprofloxacin eye drops are used to treat a variety of different eye infections. The drops are administered directly into the eyes, which allows them to target the source of the bacterial infection, such as those that cause conjunctivitis, blepharitis, and styes. Each of these infections can be caused by a variety of different bacteria or by other irritants. Ciprofloxacin is only effective against infections caused by bacteria.
The most common eye condition that ciprofloxacin eye drops are used to treat is bacterial conjunctivitis, also called pink eye, which affects the lining around the white of the eye. This condition occurs when bacteria is introduced into the eye. The infection can occur in both eyes at once or can start in one eye and then spread to the other within a few days, though it may be more severe in one of the eyes.
Bacterial conjunctivitis can be caused by a number of different bacteria. Some of the more common bacteria involved are Streptococcus and Staphylococcus, which may also spread to or from other parts of the body. A highly contagious condition, bacterial conjunctivitis can easily spread from person to person. Ciprofloxacin eye drops are effective against both of these bacteria.
Blepharitis is a condition in which the eyelash follicles become inflamed due to an infection or dermatitis. Treatment with ciprofloxacin is relatively new for this condition, though it has been shown to be a safe and effective treatment.
Another type of infection that can affect the eye originates in one of the oil glands on the edge of the eyelid. These infections, called styes, usually only affect one gland at any time. A persistent stye that does not go away on its own may require treatment with an antibiotic.
Ciprofloxacin eye drops deliver antibiotic medication to the source of the infection. They may be given if an infection is localized only in the eyes or as a secondary treatment for a bacterial infection that affects more than one part of the body. The medication can treat a number of different types of bacteria but cannot be used to treat viral infections or eye irritation caused by damage or exposure to irritants.