OTC Artificial Tears vs. Prescription Eye Drops

Which Eye Drops Are Best for Dry Eye?

OTC Artificial Tears vs. Prescription Eye DropsNowadays, dry eyes are relatively common. Chances are that besides yourself, you also know others who suffer from the irritating symptoms of dry eye syndrome. However, the cause of dry eye varies widely. It can be due to aging, environment, side effects of medication (such as antihistamines), or the symptoms of a different disease altogether.

If you experience bothersome dry eye, our optometrist is knowledgeable about effective ways to relieve the pain of this condition. We will personalize your dry eye treatment to address your individual problem. We have years of experience serving Tampa, Trinity, and New Port Richey patients with comfortable, healthy vision.

The first line of defense against dry eye is typically eye drops. A variety of types are on the market, including many over-the-counter eye drops and prescription eye drops that your eye doctor may recommend. What’s the difference between these types?

Artificial Tears – OTC Eye Drops

These are the most common treatment, and many brands that provide temporary symptomatic relief are available. Be prepared that it may take a bit of trial and error until you find the artificial tears that work best for you.

Most over-the-counter brands contain substances that help your eyes maintain moisture. However, the ingredients of artificial tears differ, and some drops contain preservatives while others do not. Many people find that the preservatives cause stinging and further irritation, so they need to use a preservative-free version.

When choosing nonprescription eye drops, our Tampa and New Port Richey eye doctors warn patients to avoid eye drops that are just intended to remove redness from the eye. Generally, these drops are not designed to treat dry eye and can cause additional problems. Also, if you have glaucoma or another ocular disease, it is critical to check with your eye doctor before using any OTC eye drops.

Prescription Eye Drops

If you are using artificial tears daily and very frequently, you may have a case of dry eye that could benefit from prescription medication. Prescription eye drops help to treat the underlying cause of dry eye syndrome, in addition to relieving the uncomfortable symptoms.

  • Restasis is one of the most commonly prescribed drugs for dry eye. It works by reducing inflammation and helping to increase tear production. This type of cyclosporine eye drop is recommended for long-term use, and is associated with some side effects.
  • Xiidra is another dry eye treatment that helps to treat the symptoms and signs of this condition. It can heal your eyes from the damage of dry eye syndrome, as well as protect eyes from developing the painful symptoms.

Dry Eye? Ask Your Tampa, New Port Richey and Trinity Eye Doctor for Help

When it comes to figuring out which eye drop is best for your dry eye, self-selection of medication isn’t wise. You need an eye exam and professional guidance. If you are in the Tampa, Trinity or Port Richey area, we invite you to visit our eye doctors for a consultation. Asking advice from your eye doctor is the best action you can take towards restoring your comfortable vision.