What Are Lubricant Eye Drops?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 June 2019
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Lubricant eye drops are a product designed to relieve the symptoms associated with eyes that are somewhat dry due to some temporary issue, or even an ongoing health problem that prevents the eyes from producing an equitable level of moisture. These types of eye drops are often available as over the counter products, with stronger solutions for chronic dry eye also available by prescription. The purpose of lubricant eye drops is to replace the moisture that the body is not producing, promoting eye and vision health.

There are lubricant eye drops that are formulated to help with temporary situations that lead to drying out of the eyes. Drops of this type are helpful when the eyes are somewhat dry and irritated due to environmental factors such as a very arid climate. The lubricating eye drops may also be necessary if there are irritants in the air that tend to block natural tear production for a short period of time.

These milder drops can often be used several times each day without causing any unpleasant side effects. Typically, over the counter eye drops which include ingredients that help relieve dryness and irritation due to temporary situations will be sufficient for most users.


For people who suffer with some sort of chronic dry eye syndrome, prescription eye drops that help to replace and possibly even promote the natural production of fluids in the eyes may be necessary. These types of lubricant eye drops are only available after an examination by a medical professional, such as an ophthalmologist. The examination will include careful consideration of the condition of the eye as well as the tear ducts, making it possible to determine what type of condition is leading to the dryness. If the diagnosis is that an ongoing medical condition is affected the ability of the body to manufacture natural lubrication for the eyes, then a prescription for the product will be provided.

It is important to note that lubricant eye drops come in different strengths and may contain a variety of ingredients, depending on the underlying causes of the dry eyes. While many people find relief with the basic over the counter products, constant issues with dry eyes require professional medical attention, and may require the administration of a prescription strength formula once or twice each day. Should a particular formula or strength be inadequate to provide relief, other formulas are likely to be effective.



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