Read more about Eye Drops for Dry Eye

Dry eyes can be more than just a minor annoyance; they can significantly affect your quality of life. That's why it's important to understand the variety of treatment options available to you. In this detailed guide, we'll explore different types of eye drops that can offer relief from dry eyes, from over-the-counter options to specialized prescription medications.

Over-the-Counter Solutions: Artificial Tears

When you first experience mild symptoms of dry eyes, artificial tears are generally the first line of treatment your eye doctor may recommend. These are available over the counter and come in various brands and types. Consult with your eye doctor to determine the most suitable choice for you.

Preserved vs. Preservative-Free

Artificial tears come in two main types: those with preservatives and those without. If you use eye drops infrequently, then the type with preservatives may be sufficient for you. However, if you find yourself using them more than three to four times a day, preservative-free options are more advisable. These often come in vials that you use once and then discard, reducing the risk of irritation from preservatives.

Beyond Mild Cases: Gels and Ointments

If you're dealing with moderate to severe dry eyes, you may require eye drops with a more viscous or lipid base. Gel drops are one such option. For more severe cases, ointments may be necessary. These are generally thicker than standard artificial tears and provide longer-lasting relief.

Prescription Eye Drops: When Over-the-Counter Isn't Enough

Sometimes, over-the-counter treatments may not provide adequate relief. In such cases, your eye doctor may prescribe specific medications tailored to address your symptoms.

Anti-Inflammatory Options

A key issue with dry eyes is the inflammation of the front surface of your eyes. To target this, there are specialized medications like Restasis, Xiidra, or Cequa. These medications come in vials and are generally administered twice a day. They aim to alleviate the inflammation, thus providing relief from dry eye symptoms.

Seek Professional Help: The Importance of a Dry Eye Evaluation

If you're experiencing symptoms of dry eyes, it's crucial to consult your eye doctor for a comprehensive dry eye evaluation. This will help in identifying the root cause and determining the most effective treatment for your specific needs.


Dry eyes can range from a minor inconvenience to a significant issue requiring medical intervention. Depending on the severity, different types of eye drops—be it over-the-counter or prescription—may be advised. Regardless, a consultation with your eye doctor is essential for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Thank you for taking the time to read this guide, and don't hesitate to reach out to us for a thorough dry eye evaluation.

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