How To Choose The Best Eye Drops for You

Do you need eye drops, but are unsure of which one to buy? You’ve come to the perfect place to learn about the various types of eye drops out there.

Why Are There So Many Eye Drops?

Walking down most store pharmaceutical aisles, you can probably find more than a dozen different types of eye drops to relieve almost any symptom or condition of the eyes. There are eye drops for red eyes, dry eyes, and even pink eye.  Why are there so many? And with so many eye drops available, how do you choose? This article will help you determine which eye drops are best for your condition, so you can feel confident that you’re choosing the best eye drops.

What to Consider Before Choosing Your Eye Drops

The first thing to take into consideration before choosing over-the-counter eye drops is why you need them in the first place. Are you suffering from allergies? Has the redness lasted for more than three days?  Do you just need more lubrication in your eyes? Although chances are good you will find what you are looking for on the shelf, you may want to visit your eye doctor to have the problem diagnosed. He or she may have a better solution than what is available over the counter.  Your eye doctor can advise you on the proper administration of the drops, and how often you should be using them. If you feel your eyes are constantly dry, irritated, or tired, you may want to try lubricating gels or ointments. Daily use of these types of drops should be approached with caution, as they can cause occasional blurry vision. Most people use these drops before bed and wake up feeling refreshed. Artificial tears are the most common eye drops sold over the counter. They contain no chemicals that cause your blood vessels to constrict or dilate. If you are unsure which eye drops to choose, talk with your eye care professional.

Eye Drops for Dry, Red, and Itchy Eyes

Dry or red eyes are the most common reason why people use eye drops. Factors such as the environment, prolonged computer use, and prolonged eyestrain can cause the eyes to dry out. There are plenty of drops designed for relief of dry eyes, made by Visine, Bausch and Lomb, and Theratears.

For chronic dry eyes, there’s Rx’d Xiidra and Restasis.  Other than that, artificial tears come in handy.  For itchy or red eyes caused by allergic reactions or late nights, there are plenty of eye drops with antihistamines and other relief elements available over the counter or with a prescription.  These eye drops not only relieve the redness, but also can prevent itchy and watery eyes from pollen or pet dander. Useful brands include  Bausch & Lomb’s Alaway and Alcon/Novartis’s Zaditor.  Both contain Ketotifen which used to be a prescription antihistamine eye drop.

Eye Drops for Serious Eye Conditions

Conjunctivitis, or pink eye, is a serious, contagious eye condition that needs immediate treatment. Many people are prescribed eye drops to treat pink eye, while others seek immediate and more cost-effective over-the-counter treatment.  Beware of Similasan’s Pink Eye Relief eye drops, which are currently available in stores without a prescription. They are homeopathic eye drops which means that they contain tiny amounts of natural substances that don’t really help. . For pink eye that will not go away, a prescription eye drop may be more useful so you’ll need to visit us for an Rx.

For serious eye conditions, there are prescription eye drops designed to relieve signs and symptoms. For glaucoma for example, the prescription eye drop Lumigan is designed to help decrease the pressure in the eyes.  For other conditions such as uveitis, there are Rx’d eye drops such as Prednisolone Forte that can help reduce inflammation. It is important for people who use eye drops to know how to apply them correctly. Caution should be used so the expensive drops are not wasted.

Talking to Your Eye Doctor

If over-the-counter eye drops are not relieving your symptoms, you may want to talk with your eye doctor. Here are some questions to ask him or her about eye drops:

  • What is causing my eye problems?
  • Which over-the-counter eye drops do you recommend for people with my eye problem?
  • Do you think I would benefit more from prescription eye drops?
  • How much should I expect to pay for eye drops?
  • Can you show me how to properly administer my eye drops?
  • I wear contact lenses; which eye drops would benefit me most?
  • What options do I have when it comes to eye drops?