This is an anesthetic drop using during an eye exam. This drop numbs the corneal nerves and makes it easier to perform applanation tonometry (pressure checking). We also use this drop before any procedures near the eye, such as foreign body removal.  Another drop we use is tetracaine, though we prefer proparacaine in the office as it stings less going in. There aren’t really any home applications with this medication … while it does help with pain, the duration is short (10-20 minutes).  Repeated applications of anesthetic are toxic to the cornea and will keep a wound (such as a corneal abrasion) from healing.

Dr. Timothy Root is a practicing ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Daytona Beach, Florida. His books, video lectures, and training resources can be found at:


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