Artificial tears are a lifesaver if you are struggling with dry or scratchy eyes. But when you go to the pharmacy, the different options can be overwhelming.
So which over-the-counter eye drops should you choose?
The short answer…
If you are using them several times throughout the day, you want to choose artificial tears that are preservative free. Artificial tears with preservatives have been shown to irritate the eyes if used several times a day and are not meant for long term use.
The only con to preservative free drops? They typically come in single dose packets, which can be annoying for some. If you struggle with the occasional dry eye episode and only need drops here and there, multi-dose artificial tears are a great option (and cheaper).
Our optometrists tell our patients that it is more important to be consistent when using your artificial tears than to worry about buying a specific brand. That being said, there are several brands that we deem to be high quality and recommend to our patients.
Top Artificial Tear Products
You can’t go wrong with Ocusoft Retaine. Many of our patients who struggle with chronic dry eye use these drops. These drops are Dr. Davis’s personal favorite preservative-free artificial tears.
If you want the most bang for your buck the Refresh Optive Mega 3 artificial tears are a great choice. They are great quality, and a little bit cheaper than the Retaine drops. Interesting fact- they include flaxseed oil in the formula!
We are big fans of both the preservative free and multi-dose drops from Refresh. You will notice that multi-dose artificial tears tend to be less expensive than preservative free.
Dr. Davis’s personal favorite multi-dose drops. The Systane Complete multi-dose drops are one of the most popular artificial tear products for a reason.
If artificial tears are not helping to adequately relieve your dry eye symptoms, don’t worry, you have additional options. Our licensed optometrists can help to create a personalized treatment plan to further treat your condition.