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Which Eyedrops Work Best for Dry Eyes? By Daniel J Tepper on April 08, 2020

Person with dry eyes places a moisturizing drop on her left eye Dry eyes occur when there is insufficient lubrication for your eyes. The resulting symptoms can leave the eyes feeling irritated, itchy, and inflamed. The eye doctors of Wicker Park Eye Center can treat your symptoms using minimally invasive procedures.

Many of our Chicago, IL, patients come to our office after trying numerous non-prescription eye drops. Many of these at-home dry eye treatments can be effective, but navigating the eye drop options can seem overwhelming at times. Here, we discuss the best eye drop options for dry eyes.

OTC vs. Prescription Eye Drops

The first thing our patients should understand is the difference between over-the-counter (OTC) eye drops and prescription eyedrops.

OTC Eye Drops

OTC eyedrops contain various types of lubricants, moisturizers, and electrolytes that are all designed to retain moisture. The thickness of the drops is generally classified as drops, gels, and ointments. Gels and ointments do a better job of staying on the eye longer and are recommended for individuals with significant dry eye symptoms.

Prescription Eye Drops

Prescription eye drops contain medications that can only be prescribed by a doctor. While OTC eye drops help retain tears, prescription eyedrops can actually promote tear production. Prescription eye drops are often the first treatment options our doctors explore when treating dry eye.

With or Without Preservatives

Preservatives prevent the growth and spread of bacteria, which can be good for your eye health. But some people find that preservatives irritate their eyes. Drops without preservatives often come in single-use containers and generally cost more per use. If you suffer from severe dry eye symptoms, you will likely find better results from products that do not contain preservatives.

What Are My Options?

No one type of eyedrop will work great on everyone. Some level of experimentation is recommended, but these products are proven to be effective in many cases.

TheraTears Dry Eye Therapy

TheraTears Dry Eye Therapy contains sodium carboxymethylcellulose, which is not found in most eye drops. If other lubricants aren’t working, this one may just do the trick.

Blink Tears

Blink tears work well for periodic dryness. The eye drops use sodium chlorite as a preservative. Most people will not experience an adverse reaction to sodium chlorite.

Clear Eyes Pure Relief Multi-Symptom

This product is very popular, largely because it is a fix-all for a wide range of symptoms.

Oasis Tears Plus

This highly effective glycerin comes in single-use vials, so it may be costly if used every day. That being said, the product delivers consistent and significant lubrication and hydration.

Zaditor Antihistamine Eye Drops

If itchy eyes are your biggest symptom, this product provides relief from allergens. The active ingredient, ketotifen, reduces the body’s inflammatory reaction against allergens.

What If OTC Eyedrops Don’t Work for Me?

There is a limit to what OTC eyedrops can deliver. If you have tried numerous eye drops but still cannot find relief, the doctors of Wicker Park Eye Center in Chicago can help you find relief from dry eyes through conservative treatments. If prescription eye drops are ineffective, our doctors can gently insert special plugs slow tear drainage.

Schedule Your Prescription Eye Drop Consultation Today

OTC eyedrops work great for many people who suffer periodic dry eye symptoms. If you often experience dry or itchy eyes, it may be due to an underlying cause that cannot be addressed through OTC products. After one visit to our eye center, you can begin enjoying relief from dry eyes.

To schedule your next visit to our Chicago office, please contact our team online or by calling (773) 823-4763.

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Wicker Park Eye Center

At Wicker Park Eye Center in Chicago, IL, Dr. Daniel J. Tepper, a board-certified ophthalmologist and Parisha Shah, fellowship-trained optometrists, provide patient-centric eye care. We are affiliated with the American Academy of Ophthalmology, and our popular services include:

To schedule an appointment at our eye clinic, please contact us online or call (773) 376-2020.

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"I have visited Wicker Eye Park Center a few times, with each visit I have received excellent service. Dr. Tepper is the best ophthalmologist that I have seen in many years. He, like his staff, is also courteous respectful and very professional." Juan B.

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