Lubricating Eye Drops for Dry Eyes: What Are Your Options?

Dry eyes can be a sign of various eye conditions. Do you stare at a digital screen for too long without blinking? Do you spend lots of time outdoors on windy days? These can cause your eyes to dry out. You may also experience dry eyes due to certain medications or a health condition. 

What Are Dry Eyes?

You experience this condition when your natural tears fail to lubricate your eyes adequately. Your eyes need constant lubrication and moisture to maintain comfort and vision. The presence of a tear film is necessary to provide constant lubrication and moisture. 

Inadequate moisture and lubrication may be due to insufficient production of tears. This problem may also stem from the production of poor-quality tears. 

Choosing the Right Lubricating Eye Drops

If you often experience the discomfort and symptoms of dry eyes, a little relief is all you want. Fortunately, you will find a wide variety of lubricating eye drops for dry eyes at your local drugstore. However, choosing the right eye drops for you may not be as simple as you might expect. You will probably find yourself looking at long shelves of options.

Prescription Eye Drops 

  • Restasis

Most prescription eye drops contain medications to help treat various eye conditions. Restasis, or cyclosporine, for example, is one of the most effective prescription eye drops for treating the inflammation that causes dry eyes. 

This type of inflammation usually results from a condition known as dry eye syndrome. You need to use these lubricating eye drops twice daily to help increase the production of tears. Eye doctors recommend Restasis, which is only available as a prescription, for long-term use.

  • Xiidra 

Xiidra is a five percent topical eye solution that is very effective for treating dry eye disease. No one knows exactly how it works. However, experts believe that it increases tear production and decreases inflammation. 

It does this by blocking two proteins, LFA-1 and ICAM-I, from interacting in the eyes. You need to administer this eye solution as one drop in each eye after every 12 hours. It can relieve eye dryness within two weeks. For some people, however, complete relief may take up to three months.  

Over-the-Counter Eye Drops

Most OTC lubricating eye drops contain electrolytes, lubricants, and elements that help retain moisture. Over-the-counter medications for dry eyes are available in traditional lubricating eye drops, as well as ointments and gels. 

If you are looking for medication that will stay in your eyes longer, ointments and gels are the way to go, which is why they are ideal for overnight use. Some of the commonly recommended OTC options for dry eyes include Refresh Celluvisc and GenTeal Severe Dry Eye.

Take Dry Eye Syndrome Seriously

Certain lubricating eye drops temporarily treat red eyes but do not treat the causes of dry eyes. If you want to find relief from eye dryness, you should avoid eye drops that promise to take the redness out of your eyes. 

Dry eyes can be a sign of a serious health condition. Thus, it is important to have your eyes examined yearly by an eye doctor. Also, your eye doctor can better determine the cause of dry eyes, helping you choose the most effective eye drops and/or treatment.

To learn more about lubricating eye drops for dry eyes, visit Tri-City Optometry at our office in Fremont, California. You can call (510) 602-2020 today to schedule an appointment.