Madison
61° F
Mostly Cloudy
Mostly Cloudy
Advertisement

How to select artificial tears for dry eyes

Published On: Jul 29 2013 04:13:04 PM CDT   Updated On: Aug 14 2013 03:55:18 PM CDT
smile

istock

By Mayo Clinic News Network

Artificial tears are eyedrops used to lubricate dry eyes and help maintain moisture on the outer surface of your eyes. Artificial tears may be used to treat dry eyes that result from aging, certain medications, a medical condition, eye surgery or environmental factors, such as smoky or windy conditions.

Artificial tears are available without a prescription. No single brand of artificial tears works best for every form of dry eyes.

Besides lubricating your eyes, some artificial tears contain electrolytes. These additives may promote healing of the surface of the eyes. Artificial tears may also contain thickening agents, which keep the solution on the surface of your eyes longer.

There are two categories of artificial tears:

  • Eyedrops with preservatives. These artificial tears often come in multidose bottles and contain chemicals (preservatives) that discourage growth of bacteria once the bottle has been opened. The preservatives may irritate your eyes, especially if you have moderate or severe dry eyes.
  • Preservative-free eyedrops. These artificial tears have fewer additives and are generally recommended if you apply artificial tears more than four times a day, or if you have moderate or severe dry eyes. Preservative-free products may come in single-dose vials.

In addition to over-the-counter artificial tears, you may also get relief from gels, gel inserts and ointments. Artificial tear ointments may offer longer lasting relief but may cause blurred vision and, as such, may work best just before bedtime.

If artificial tears don't relieve your dry eyes, make an appointment with an eye doctor (ophthalmologist or optometrist). He or she may be able to offer another treatment.

Source: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/artificial-tears/AN02129/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=housecall&pubDate=07/24/2013

Advertisement
  • PHOTOS: Spring in Wisconsin!

    Spring has finally arrived in Wisconsin, and you've got the photos to prove it! Take a look at these pretty wildlife snaps shared by #News3 viewers. Share your spring pics via tips@channel3000.com.

  • 7 pains - chest pain

    Getty Images

    7 pains men should never ignore

    Men's Health has a list of seven pains that may signify something serious for men.

  • Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Mosul, Iraq

    Al Hayat Media/CNN

    Who is ISIS?

    ISIS forces have extended their control around the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra. The capture of Syria's ancient city, about 150 miles northeast of Damascus, threatens a UNESCO World Heritage Site described as having "stood at the crossroads of several civilizations," Learn more about the group.

Advertisement