Best Eye Drops for Dry Eyes

By Walter Choate on June 28, 2019

A patient administering eye dropsIf your eyes constantly feel dry and irritated or cause a burning or gritty sensation, you may have dry eye syndrome. Dry eye syndrome can be caused by physical problems, such as blocked tear ducts; or environmental factors, such as staring at a computer screen all day.

No matter the cause, patients want to find effective treatment. One of the first ways to relieve dry eyes is with eye drops. Here, Dr. Walter Choate and the team at Choate Eye Associates near Hendersonville, TN, discuss the best eye drops for dry eyes.

1. Artificial Tears

The first thing that most people do when they experience a dry or gritty sensation in their eyes is purchase over-the-counter artificial tears. These products lubricate the surface of the eyes and provide immediate relief.

The best artificial tear product for each patient really depends on his or her response to the many different types of drops available. One factor that you may want to consider is whether to use preservative or preservative-free eye drops.

  • Eye drops with preservatives: Eye drops with preservatives cost less than preservative-free eye drops. This is because they contain preservatives to prevent bacterial growth once the bottle is opened. However, for some patients with more severe dry eye, the preservatives can further irritate the eyes.
  • Preservative-free eye drops: Preservative-free eye drops are more expensive because they typically come in one-time use dosages. However, they are typically gentler on the eyes.

When it comes to artificial tears, it is best to try different options for yourself to see which products work most effectively. Some popular artificial tear products include Bausch & Lomb Soothe, Clear Eyes Pure Relief Multi-Symptom Eye Drops, and Blink Tears.

2. Restasis®

Restasis is a prescription eye drop that can help your body produce more tears. This option may be recommended to patients with more severe dry eyes that have not responded to fish oil supplements or artificial tears.

Restasis takes several weeks of regular use before patients experience results. During this time, patients can continue to use artificial tear drops as needed, as long as they wait at least 15 minutes after they have administered the Restasis drops.

To find out if you are a good candidate for Restasis, contact our Hendersonville-area practice to schedule an appointment with us.

3. Steroidal Eye Drops

Steroidal eye drops are typically a last resort, short-term eye drop option for dry eyes. They may be used temporarily to reduce inflammation, which can contribute to dry eyes.

When steroid eye drops are used for prolonged periods of time, they can increase the risk of cataracts and high eye pressure. For this reason, it is important to work with an eye doctor that has experience with dry eye syndrome treatment.

Contact Our Practice

The best eye drops for dry eyes really depends on the severity of the condition and the patient response to different artificial tear products. For more advice and information on treating your dry eyes, contact Choate Eye Associates online or call us at (615) 851-7575. We see patients from Hendersonville, Nashville, and surrounding areas.

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