CET and skills guides

Study and gain CET points through OT’s online CET exams, and access archived CET, CPD articles and skills guides in our education library

Find out more

Science and vision

News and features about the latest scientific developments and advances in optometry, ophthalmology and eye medicine

Find out more

Professional support

News and features about the latest developments relating to professional support from across optics. This includes updates from optical organisations such as the AOP and the GOC

Find out more

In practice

News and in-depth features about business management and career development in optics

Find out more


Explore the latest UK and global jobs in the optical sector for optometrists, dispensing opticians and more

Find out more

Packaging eye medication

A new molecular technique ensures the medicine in eye drops doesn’t wash away

Eye drops

Canadian scientists have created a ‘better’ eye drop – one that hides the medication in the tear film so it is not washed away.

The drug is put into microscopic packets in order to lodge in the base of the tear film, which enables the technique to overcome the common problem with eye drops – that 95% of the medication is washed away by the eye’s defences before it has a chance to take effect.

Speaking about the issue, McMaster University chemist, Professor Heather Sheardown, emphasised that conventional drops are frustratingly inefficient.

She added: “It’s a lousy delivery system. If you can deliver drops to the front of the eye at lower concentrations that work over a longer period, it could be huge.”

A study, published in the journal Biomacromolecules, looking at the molecular packets show such results. These packets dissolve slowly, and could enable patients with dry eye and glaucoma to switch from a daily drop to a weekly drop, Professor Sheardown said.

The research team, funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council and The Boris Family Foundation, has been conducting trials evaluating the safety and efficiency of the drops. This work should be completed shortly.

Professor Sheardown said that she hoped the new technique would be utilised in eye drops and available on the market “in the near future.”

Image credit: Lynn Greyling