Dry Eyes and Lubrication Drops, Which Drop is Best for You?
Dry eye season is upon us. Your eyes may be burning, gritty, watering, or irritated. You head to the local drug store only to find the eye drop section is overwhelming with hundreds of choices! Which do you choose?!
Before making a choice of lubrication drops, your best plan of action should be to schedule an appointment with Dr. Steve or Dr. Sarah to determine the exact cause or combination of causes for your dry eye. We will also need to eliminate any sort of infectious or inflammatory cause which may require medical attention.
Dry Eye and Lubrication Drops in a Nutshell…
Dry eye is a condition in which your eyes don’t produce enough of the quality tears needed to stay properly hydrated. Artificial tears are eyedrops used to lubricate the eyes and help maintain moisture on the surface of your eyes.
When searching for artificial tears, seek out key words such as lubricant and/or preservative -free. Preservative free eye drops are especially important if you will be using the drops consistently as drops in bottles with preservatives (chemicals that discourage growth of bacteria) can irritate your eyes further over time. Artificial tears also come in gel/ointment form which are usually for nighttime use. They are great for keeping the moisture on the eye for longer periods but are known to cause blurry vision due to the thick consistency.
Drops to avoid for dryness are Visine eye drops or any of the products that market themselves as “Get the Red Out”. These drops are loaded with preservatives and chemicals and are recommended only for cosmetic purposes to make the eyes appear less red for special occasions but often cause the eyes to become more dry, making your issue worse. Lumify is a brand of eye “brightening” drops (which we stock in the clinic) which is the least irritating of cosmetic drops but is also for occasional use only and should be used only in conjunction with quality lubrication eyedrops.
For an effective and cost efficient option, Dr. Steve and Dr. Sarah collectively choose Retaine Preservative Free Eye Drops as our drop of choice for dry eye. If you would like to try this product, we stock this drop in the clinic and would be happy to discuss it with you.
Other solutions for severe dryness caused by inflammatory conditions include steroid eye drops or cyclosporine drops such as Restasis or Xiidra, which are prescription eye drops that would require monitoring from your eye doctor and can be expensive.
Once again, if you are having dry eye problems or symptoms, seek the help of the eye care professionals at Complete Family Eyecare to help determine you best course of action.
Thanks for reading!
Dr. Steve and Dr. Sarah