Searching for an artificial tear drop to eliminate the grittiness, burning, and redness caused by the dry Colorado air is sometimes an overwhelming task with so many different products available. In our busy lifestyle, we need not only comfort, but convenience as well. The following are recommendations to narrow down your options.
One recommendation Optometrists will make is to look for an artificial tear that is “non-preserved”. Since preservatives are the most likely cause of allergic reaction or irritation, this will give a more natural drop to the eye. The other nice feature about a non-preserved drop is that they will come in individual dosage containers. This adds to the convenience of the drop as you can slip several into a pocket, purse, travel bag, etc.
Eye care professionals also recommend looking for the word “Lubricating” on the packaging. Lubricating drops do not have the sting or medication which constricts blood vessels found in the “get the red out” drop. This allows them to target dry eye versus a “get the red out” drop, which is only a temporary cosmetic fix and is not addressing the problem.
A heavy moisturizing drop labeled “Lubricating Gel” just before bed can give relief for those of us that find the daytime drop inconvenient, or are not getting enough relief from the thinner tear drop. The lubricating gel drop is thicker so it will coat the eye for longer period of time. Since most people feel it blurs their vision initially, applying before bedtime will eliminate this frustration.
If none of these options have given you the relief you need, see your Optometrist for a dry eye evaluation. This series of tests will determine the deficiency of your tears. Your doctor will then discuss the treatment plan needed to regain comfort and visual performance.
Author: Dr. Diana Moore