Occasional eye dryness is one thing, but dry eye syndrome is a chronic and usually progressive condition. It may not even be curable depending on the cause and severity of your condition. Sometimes, however, you can manage dry eyes successfully, experiencing fewer dry eye symptoms and sometimes even achieving sharper vision. To get started, you may wonder what eye drops are best for your dry eyes.
Dry eye disease can have several causes, so a variety of treatment approaches may be necessary. Eye drops can help manage your symptoms and bring temporary relief. Your eye doctor may recommend drops to you, as well.
Here, we have researched and found the best eye drops for dry eyes.
1. What Are The Best Eye Drops For Dry Eyes?
Also referred to as artificial tears, eye drops are products designed to help people who suffer from dry eye syndrome. These drops are available over-the-counter, otherwise noted as OTC. There are so many brands, however, that it can feel overwhelming in selecting which drops are best suited for your condition.
Truth is, most people try quite a few brands (and spend the money to do so) before they find the one that works for them. It is important that you have a comprehensive examination to identify whether there is an underlying medical reason for your dry eyes before you go through the expense and effort to try a variety of artificial tears in search of relief.
2. What Causes Dry Eye?
The cause of dry eyes is one of the most important things you should discuss with your examining eye doctor. Dry eyes can have many causes.
The condition could be because of an underlying medical problem or even the result of taking a medication or living in certain environmental conditions. Dry air, dust, prolonged periods of staring at a screen and other irritants can cause dry eye. If environmental factors are causing the dry eyes, you can treat them with an OTC eye drop or prescription drops.
Some people's dry eyes are caused by an infection. In these cases, they will need to manage their underlying disease. The addition of eye drops would be to reduce symptoms.
Medications can also cause dry eyes. If you are suffering symptoms severe enough, then discuss discontinuing the medication with your doctor. If that option is not a possibility, then eye drops can help reduce dry eyes.
3. How Do Eye Drops Work?
Eye drops interact with the tears already in your eyes. Closing your eyelids spreads the drops/medication. As the eye drops spread, they moisten and lubricate the eye’s surface. That’s only part of it.
When you open your eyelids, a solution is formed by the drops and your natural tears. The solution releases every time you blink your eyes. This is how eye drops provide that instant "Aaah!" feeling in relief of dry eyes..
There are several eye drop choices to consider when treating dry eyes. These include artificial tears, the most common treatment method that purchased over-the-counter or online. They are — just as the name implies — drops that mimic the composition of real tears. These work by lubricating your eye the way your own tears would.
Another option, cyclosporine, is a prescription eye drop that heals the infection causing your eyes to run dry. This medication also assists the eyes in making more tears.
4. Where Can You Buy The Best Eye Drops For Dry Eyes?
Eye drops sought for reducing dry eye symptoms can be found at many retailers, including drug stores, discount stores, grocery stores and online.
5. What Other Considerations Are There?
People considering eye drops for dry eyes should consult with a doctor before trying over-the-counter eye drops. You should avoid eye drops that remove redness from your eyes, as those were not designed to treat dry eyes.
If you have glaucoma or another eye disease, OTC medication, such as eye drops, should be recommended by a doctor before trying. These eye drops have different ingredients. Some drops might work well for you and some may not. There are two types of artificial tear drops: regular and preservative-free. (Preservatives can irritate sometimes.) Our list of top eye drops contains both options.
How We Reviewed
When reviewing the best eye drops for dry eyes, we took into consideration several factors. Product effectiveness, availability and cost all came into play. All the eye drops listed are available over-the-counter and easily obtained.
Overall Price Range Of The Best Eye Drops For Dry Eyes
All the eye drops we picked are priced similarly. The range for more of the items on our list was from $7 to $12. The only outlier was the Oasis TEARS Lubricant Eye Drops. They contain an ingredient not found in many eye drops in the United States. It’s considered a high-end product and retails for around $30.
What We Reviewed
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NanoTears MXP Forte provides instant relief of severe dry eye and Computer Vision Syndrome. Its preservative-free formula relieves burning, irritation and discomfort due to dry eye syndrome or temporary dry eyes from the wind and sun. We love that they package the drops in single-use vials. The product retails for around $11.
NanoTears uses patented nano-lipid technology to create a clear colloidal lipid solution. This works to restore and revitalize the lipid layer of your eye. When the surface lipid layer is restored, this reduces tear evaporation and works to keep the surface of the eye moist.
Systane Ultra Lubricant Eye Drops deliver extended protection and dry eye symptom relief that lasts. In 10 ml bottles and a “Home and Away” pack that has one 10 ml bottle and one 5 ml bottle. You can take Systane Ultra with you wherever you go.
Reviews report that 76 percent of patients using it reported being able to watch TV or use a computer for longer periods of time. It retails for around $8 a bottle, but often is sold in multipacks.
- EXTRA DRY EYE RELIEF: Use TheraTears EXTRA Dry Eye Therapy Lubricant Eye Drops to rehydrate dry eyes, protect against...
- RESTORE EYES NATURAL BALANCE: TheraTears electrolyte formula corrects the salt imbalance that can cause dry eye symptoms
- UNIQUE SOLUTION: Utilizes a one of a kind hypotonic and electrolyte balanced formula that replicates healthy tears
The next item on the best eye drops for dry eyes list is Thera Tears Lubricant Eye Drops. Thera Tears becomes preservative-free once they contact the eye. They are sterile and provide the eye with lubrication. Pharmaceutical manufacturers based the product on 18 years of research by ophthalmologist Jeffrey P. Gilbard, MD.
The drops seem to be most effective for people with mild-to-moderate dry eye syndrome. Every $11 purchase of one fluid ounce of Thera Tears product supports the Schepens Eye Research Institute.
- Clinically proven to relieve dry, burning, irritated eyes due to dry eye
- Triple-action formula works on all three layers of the tear film
- Protects your natural tears from evaporating
These are the best eye drops for dry eyes due to dryness following LASIK surgery. The preservative-free formula soothes and protects eyes from dryness and irritation. It’s clinically proven to relieve your dry, burning and irritated eyes. The drops retail for about $10 for .33 fluid ounces.
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Soothe lubricant eye drops are preservative-free and provide fast, but also long-lasting relief. It’s gentle enough to use as often as needed. This formula helps restore the moisture balance in your eyes and to relieve dry, irritated eyes. It retails for about $12 for half a fluid ounce.
This revolutionary advance in dry eye therapy restores moisture balance in your eyes and soothes and comforts them. Keeping your eyes feeling fresh throughout the day, this is one of the best eye drops for dry eyes available because you can use it as often as you would like.
These are the best eye drops for dry eyes caused by dry eye syndrome. Created by pharmaceutical giant Novartis, the drops lubricate the eyes and provide hydration for long-lasting, fast relief.
They differ from the other eye drops on our list because of the ingredient genaqua. The drops are preservative-free, so they are safe for long-term, frequent use. The brand retails for about $12 a bottle.
- Moisturizing eye drops provide great relief to strained eyes
- Fast, effective formula for mild-to-moderate dry eyes
- Small, portable size is perfect for on-the-go relief
This is a water-based drop designed to resemble natural tears. It’s available in standard and preservative-free formulas. Blink Tears Lubricating Eye Drops bring you dry-eye relief with every blink.
This OTC product is formulated to stay in the eye longer, so you get longer-lasting relief. You won’t need to dose as frequently as with other lubricating dry-eye drops. Patients reported at least a 50 percent decline in the average number of reported dry-eye symptoms after a month of using Blink. The brand retails for about $11 a bottle.
- Retained mgd is a revolutionary preservative-free ophthalmic emulsion that moisturizes, lubricates and protects moderate...
- Provides long-lasting relief utilizing nova orb,
- Proprietary cationic oil emulsion technology that effectively delivers ingredients through electrostatic attraction...
This product is one of the best eye drops for dry eyes. Using lipid emulsions, which are considered the latest generation of artificial tears, this product has a proprietary cationic oil emulsion technology that effectively delivers ingredients through electrostatic attraction between positively charged droplets and the negatively charged surface of your eye. It was named an Amazon's Choice product and retails for about $22.
This is a new line of preservative-free eye drops in a multi-dose bottle. It was the first preservative-free multi-dose eye drop available over-the-counter in United States retailers. We love that the bottle has a built-in purifying filter that keeps the bacteria out.
You also get more value with 220 drops for less than the price of a pack of 60 single-use vials. The product retails for around $11.
Oasis TEARS PLUS are a glycerin-based drop containing sodium hyaluronate. Customers call these the best eye drops for dry eye if you're looking for a high-end, preservative-free drop with sodium hyaluronate. Oasis Tears has 0.15% concentration of high-molecular-weight sodium hyaluronate and Tears Plus has 0.3% concentration.
Oasis TEARS Lubricant Eye Drops moisten delicate eye tissue. With every blink, a special ingredient in Oasis TEARS combines with the active ingredient, glycerin. This action keeps tears on the eye surface for a long time. That unique combination in its formulary coats and re-coats the surface of your eyes for prolonged relief of dry, irritated eyes. The brand retails for about $30.
It is estimated that more than 50 million Americans suffer from occasional or chronic dry eye symptoms. Eye drops, or artificial tears, can provide short-term relief for suffers of dry eyes. You may experience the ill effects of dry eyes when you sit in front of the computer for too long or when you’re out in windy conditions. Even tiredness can make your eyes feel dry and irritated.
The drops on our list varied by usage. Some you can use for occasional dryness, while other drops are meant for chronic dry eye disease patients.
Most OTC lubricating eye drops work by supplementing various elements that your eyes already produce. For that reason, we like the preservative-free drops. Our top pick for occasional dry eye is Clear Eyes Pure Relief for Dry Eyes. We chose this brand due to the value it offers and the filtering tip that works to keep bacteria out of your eyes.
If you suffer chronic dry eye disease, however, our top choice is the Thera Tears Lubricant Eye Drops. They are relatively affordable, widely available and were developed by an opthamologist. Dry eyes also can also be a sign that you're simply getting older. As you age, your eyes produce fewer and lower-quality tears. If you have these symptoms including sandy or scratchy feeling, burning or stinging, redness, heavy eyelids, stringy discharge, or changes in vision, you may have dry eye disease. Consult your doctor if you have concerns about your eye health.
Now that you understand how eye drops work, we hope you’ll find relief from those burning, irritated, dry eyes. Remember that some eye conditions can get worse over time.