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Lubricating Eye Drops

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Lubricating Eye Drops

Lubricating Eye Drops

Having irritated eyes from low or poor natural lubrication is a common experience worldwide. Treatment starts simple and can become more complex depending upon the severity of the condition and how each patient responds to treatment.

Our doctors have put together a list of recommendations for first-line artificial tear therapy.  They are available without a prescription online and at the major pharmacies and grocery stores.  The key to success is to use them consistently everyday!

In the second half of 2023 several store brands of artificial tears that were manufactured overseas were recalled. Thankfully, the name brands made domestically continue to have an excellent safety record.


Lipid Based – helpful when the oily component of our natural tears is low

Gel Drops – Last longer but temporarily blur vision

Preservative Free – A good choice for those who need drops more than 4 times a day

For those who wake up with symptoms, a thicker lubricant before sleep can be helpful.  

Other Advice

The oils that provide quality tears are produced in the eyelids. Applying 10 minutes of sustained heat to the eyelids daily can significantly improve the condition of the natural tears. The best results are obtained from a microwavable mask. A warm washcloth tends to lose the heat too quickly; traditional methods including rice in a sock and tea bags risk overheating. 

Other helpful ideas:

  • 20/20/20 When staring at screens, every 20 min look 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Modify your environment. Add a humidifier. Turn fans and vents away from the face.
  • Clean the eyelids. Use a warm washcloth and gently rub the eyelashes.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking greatly increases symptoms.

Remember, dry eye disease is a long term battle and has many causes. No one treatment is a cure-all. Continue to stay positive and be sure to call our office if symptoms worsen 770.926.2858