How do I Choose the Best Eye Drop for Dry Eyes?

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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2019
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One of the most basic ways to get rid of dry eyes is to use an eye drop meant for this purpose. There are many on the market, but not all of them work equally well for this condition. The first type of eye drop for dry eyes to try is the kind that is free of preservatives, which will likely just irritate your eyes more; also avoid drops intended for other afflictions, such as allergies. If this kind does not work for you, the next step is to try drops that stay in the eye a bit longer than traditional drops, such as the kind in gel form. Finally, you may need to get a prescription for a quality eye drop for dry eyes, especially if your case is severe enough to include inflammation.


Most eye drops on the market that work best are free of preservatives, since this type of substance tends to cause eye irritation. Preservatives are typically used to lend drops a longer shelf life, as they inhibit the growth of bacteria over time. In most cases, though, you can get the same benefit by using single-use drops, which usually come in tiny plastic tubes that fit into a purse or pocket. These single-use tubes are usually the best way to prevent bacterial growth in an eye drop for dry eyes that lacks preservatives. On the other hand, you can also typically use drops that come in a regular bottle as long as you keep the cap on it, and also avoid touching the tip to your eye.

You will probably find that most drops relieve dryness for a few minutes, but the liquid seems to disappear quickly. If you want a soothing feeling that lasts a bit longer, you should try out gel drops. These can be squeezed into the eye like drops, but since they are more viscous, they stay in the eye longer, therefore providing extended relief. Of course, since these drops tend to sit on the surface of the eye and make it blurry for a few minutes, they should not be used while driving. Instead, consider using this type of eye drop for dry eyes at night before bed.

If none of these drops work for you, your case might be severe enough to warrant going to the eye doctor to get a prescription eye drop for dry eyes. There are some that not only add moisture to the eye, but help it create its own tears so that you eventually do not need to use artificial eye drops. Some kinds of prescription drops also help reduce inflammation, which can relieve the pain associated with eyes so dry that they are red and irritated most of the time.



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