Eye drops are a very popular treatment for dry eye. But which eye drops are best for you?
When it comes to managing dry eye symptoms, our optometrists often recommend eye drops as a primary solution. At Amplify EyeCare, we understand the need for the best eye drops for dry eye that keep your eyes moist and lubricated. While these eye drops aren’t designed to treat the underlying causes of dry eye, they can provide immense relief from discomfort caused by fatigue or environmental factors.
Typically available over the counter, the best eye drops for dry eye are carefully formulated with ingredients similar to those found in natural tears, such as electrolytes. This resemblance provides them with an enhanced ability to protect the surface of your eyes, making them the optimal solution for those dealing with dry eye symptoms.
Learn more about dry eye syndrome.
An important thing to note about eye drops is that many contain preservatives designed to prevent bacteria growth in the liquid once it’s opened. While these preservatives are generally harmless for most people, they can irritate the eyes of those with severe dry eye. This means that if you suffer from moderate to severe dry eye and have to use eye drops multiple times per day, you may want to consider preservative-free drops, which could be the best eye drops for dry eye in your case. Many eye drops contain preservatives meant to prevent bacteria growth in the liquid once it’s opened.
Common preservatives found in eye drop solutions include:
If you suffer from moderate or severe dry eye and have to use dry eye drops multiple times per day, you might be better off with preservative-free drops (they will be labeled as such).
Lipid-based eye drops are a category of eye drops designed to help individuals suffering from evaporative dry eye. These types of eye drops can offer significant relief by improving the tear film and keeping your eyes moist. So, if you're dealing with dry eyes due to rapid evaporation of your natural tears, lipid-based eye drops could be the best eye drops for dry eye in your situation.
Ingredients in lipid-based eye drops include
Not all over the counter eye drops are artificial tears. There are some types of drops you should avoid unless a doctor recommends them to you.
Allergy Eye Drops: Eye drops meant to alleviate allergy symptoms are not meant for standard dry eye, and should not be used for that purpose. Examples of allergy eye drops include ketotifen fumarate and olopatadine hydrochloride.
Redness-Relieving Eye Drops: Redness-relieving drops are used to reduce eye redness caused by things like allergies, contact lenses, or smoke inhalation. If they are used too often, these drops can cause rebound redness, which makes the eyes even redder. These drops should only be used for red eyes and only for short periods of time. For many people ,preservative-free drops may be more helpful for reducing redness.
Redness-relieving drops can include naphazoline or tetrahydrozoline.
Antibiotic Eye Drops: Eye drops designed to treat eye infections are prescription-only, and should only be used for that purpose. Common antibiotic eye drops include azithromycin and tobramycin.
If you wear contact lenses and experience dry eye, you might be wondering about the best eye drops for dry eye in your case. Artificial tears can provide relief from dry eye caused by wearing contact lenses. However, it's essential to ensure that the eye drops you use are safe for contact lens wearers.
Rewetting drops can also be a viable option for contact lens wearers looking for the best eye drops for dry eye. Remember to follow the instructions when using these.
If you’re considering using eye drops for contact lens discomfort, it's crucial to consult with your eye care professional. They are qualified to recommend the best eye drops for dry eye depending on your specific needs, ensuring that you find the most comfortable and effective solution.
Eye drops can be an effective way to treat dry eye symptoms. However, be aware of what type of eye drops you buy, so that you purchase a product that will be effective for your needs. If you have additional questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, you can reach out to your nearest Amplify EyeCare practice either via a call or in-person visit. Our team of eye care professionals is ready and equipped to provide you with the care you need.