When you find yourself dealing with the burning sensation of dry eyes, all you want is a little relief. That’s why there are medicated eye drops to restore your dry eyes.
Dry eyes can be a symptom of a variety of conditions. You may experience the discomfort of dry eyes due to a health problem or a new medication you’re using. When you find yourself dealing with the burning sensation of dry eyes, all you want is a little relief. That’s why there are medicated eye drops to restore your dry eyes.
There are a variety of eye drops that can provide instant help, and there are those you should avoid in favor of those that are safer and more effective.
There are several causes that can lead to dry eyes.
- Hormone replacement therapy
- Decongestants, antihistamines, blood pressure medications and other meds which include dry eyes as side effect
- Contact lenses
- Laser eye surgery, such as LASIK
- Eye strain caused by insufficient blinking
- Seasonal allergies
The suitable medicated eye drops for you varies on the cause.
OTC and Prescription Eye Drops
Most over-the-counter (OTC) eye drops contain humectants, lubricants, and electrolytes, such as potassium. OTC options for dry eyes are available in traditional eye drops, as well as gels and ointments. Gels and ointments tend to stay in the eyes longer, so they’re recommended for overnight use.
Prescription eye drops may also include medications to help treat chronic eye problems. Cyclosporine is a prescription eye drop that treats inflammation that causes eye dryness. The drops are usually used twice a day to help increase tear production. Cyclosporine is recommended for long-term use.
With and Without Preservatives
Drops come in two forms — those with preservatives and those without. Preservatives are added to eye drops to help prevent bacterial growth. Some people find drops with preservatives irritating to their eyes. They’re generally not recommended for people with more serious eye dryness.
Drops without preservatives are recommended for people with moderate to severe dry eyes. They’re sometimes packaged in single-use containers. As you might expect, they’re also more expensive.
If your eye dryness is the result of diminished oil layer in your tears, your doctor may recommend drops that contain oil. Rosacea in the eyelids, for example, can reduce your eye’s oil supply. Some effective eye drops with oil include Systane Balance, Sooth XP, and Refresh Optive Advanced.
Take dry eyes seriously
Certain products temporarily take the red out of your eyes, but they don’t treat the causes of eye dryness. If your goal is to treat dry eyes, you will want to avoid drops that promise to remove redness, such as Visine and Clear Eyes.
Many causes of mild eye dryness can be treated with OTC eye drops, gels, and ointments. But as mentioned above, dry eyes can be the result of serious health problems. You should have your eye health evaluated annually.
In addition to having your vision checked, tell your doctor if you experience dry eyes. Knowing the cause of the dryness will help you and your doctor make the best choice of eye drops and other treatments.
There are many products available to treat dryness, but getting the advice of an eye doctor is the best step you can take toward more comfortable eyes.