Ramadan: Don't stop eye drop medication

 

Ramadan and when to take eye drop medicationThe Muslim Council of Britain working with the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) strongly recommends not to stop glaucoma eye drop medication during Ramadan.

 Stopping drops even for a short period of time can cause permanent loss of vision

MCB’s Deputy Secretary General, Dr Omer El-Hamdoon has confirmed that all Islamic Schools Of Thought agree that taking eye drops does not invalidate the fast unless the eye drops reach the throat, which is unlikely. More so, Islam advocates that people take care of their bodies.

 The IGA noted: “Eye specialists have raised concerns that some people stop their glaucoma drops during Ramadan, leading to irreversible sight loss. This is unnecessary since the religious injunctions do not forbid taking eye treatment during fasting.”

 “If people are still doubtful about taking eye drops during fasting, we advise that morning drops can be taken during dawn meal (Suhoor) and evening drops can be taken during sunset (Iftar) - this is much better than stopping drops.

 “In addition, to prevent drops from reaching the throat, put finger pressure at the corner of the eye next to the nose (punctual occlusion) immediately after instilling drops.”

 

In summary:

 

  1. Do not stop eye drops during Ramadan- all Schools of Thought support this

  2. If you are still doubtful, use morning drops at Suhoor and evening drops at Iftar

  3. Try practicing punctual occlusion following instillation of drops

     

The IGA is working with religious community leaders and with hospital eye departments to raise awareness of this issue.

 The IGA works with all professionals involved in glaucoma management to educate about the need for good eye drop use and compliance. We help to set up local patient support groups within hospitals and have some simple tips and films available on our website.