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It gets the drop in and the red out

Those who have accidentally painted their face trying to use an eyedropper, be advised:

A start-up company in Palm Beach Gardens has come up with a new dropper that's supposed to take the gymnastics out of what can be a messy business.

Ocurest Laboratories Inc. invented the egg-shaped dispenser for its two new non-prescription eye care products: Redness Reliever and Tears Formula Lubricant. The solutions for both are made by Bausch & Lomb Pharmaceuticals Inc. in Tampa.

Old pointy-tip droppers require a steady hand and some nerve. At close range even a tiny drop can look like a bowling ball hanging over your eye. No wonder they fail many people's blink test.

The newfangled dispenser props against the bridge of your nose for support. Angle it toward your eye, then pull back your head and squeeze off a drop. Even up close a transparent eye drop is less visible against the Ocurest's white plastic backdrop, the company claims.

"The drop just sort of sneaks into your eye," said Jodi Paradise, an Ocurest spokeswoman.

The new products are available only in Florida at Eckerd Drugs, Walgreen's, Rite Aid and Publix, Ocurest plans nationwide distribution next. Then the company will market the dispenser to makers of other eye care products.

_ MARK ALBRIGHT

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