Madison
41° 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
  • jack-o-lantern Halloween pumpkin

    Juliet James/SXC

    Halloween

    Games, recipes, trick-or-treating, scary movies and everything else you need to make your Halloween extra spooky.

  • Politician, politics, debate, election

    iStock / bns124

    Election Coverage

    Get up-to-date on political stories, Reality Check the latest political ads, learn about the candidates and find election results in our special section.

  • Ebola virus pink

    CDC

    Ebola special coverage

    Get the latest news on the Ebola outbreak and resources to help you learn more about the deadly virus.

Advertisement