Most dry eye can be treated medically.
There are some simple things you can do to help dry eyes.
- Avoid conditions that encourage evaporation of the tears such as air conditioning and hot dry heat from heaters and hairdryers
- Wrap around sunglasses can stop the wind drying your eyes
Artificial Tear Supplements
Many people with dry eyes need to top up their natural tear production with artificial tears. You do not need a prescription to buy or use most artificial tears.
As you can see from the table below, there are many different types of artificial tears. Some artificial tears are very watery, others are very thick. Some drops have preservative, others do not. Some cannot be used by contact lens wearers. Everyone’s eyes are different and it may take a while to find the drop that is right for you.
Using Artificial Tear Drops
The table below contains the name, lubricant and preservative of all the artificial tear drops currently available in New Zealand. The table is designed to help patients take control of their dry eye treatment by making therapy logical.
Start with a ‘thin’ drop. If it doesn’t seem to work, try using it more frequently or try another thin drop with a different preservative. Use the drops regularly. Dry eye treatment often fails because treatment is inadequate.
If you don’t get relief, use a thicker drop. If you develop an allergy (redness, itch etc) try a product with a different preservative or a non-preserved drop. Use preservative-free drops if drops are required more than 6 times a day. Ointments are usually too thick to use during the day. They are best used just before bed to give lasting relief overnight.
The different drops
|Thin drops:||Aquify Comfort drops||Sodium hyaluronate||Sodium Perborate|
|Blink Tears||Polyethylene glycol / Hyaluronic acid||Ocupure|
|Blink Contacts||Sodium hyaluronate||Ocupure|
|Genteal||Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose||Sodium Perborate|
|Polytears||Hypromellose / Dextran||Polyquad|
|Refresh Optive||Carboxy methylcellulose Sodium / Glycerin / Erythritol / Levocarnitine||Purite|
|Refresh Tears||Carboxy methylcellulose||Purite|
|Systane||Polyethylene glycol / Propylene glycol / Hydroxypropyl Guar||Polyquad|
|Systane Ultra||Polyethylene glycol / Propylene glycol / Hydroxypropyl Guar||Polyquad|
|Systane Balance||Propylene glycol / Hydroxypropyl Guar / mineral oil||Polyquad|
|Tears Naturale II||Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose / Dextran / Glycerin||Polyquad|
|Visine||Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose||Benzalkonium Chloride|
|Thick drops||Blink GelTears||Polyethylene glycol||Ocupure|
|Refresh Liquigel||Carboxy methylcellulose||Purite|
|Vistil Forte||Polyvinyl alcohol||OXYD|
|Preservative free drops||Bion Tears||Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose||None|
|Blink Tears preservative free||Polyethylene glycol||None|
|Genteal single use||Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose||None|
|Polytears free||Hypromellose / Dextran||None|
|Refresh||Polyvinyl alcohol / povidone||None|
|Refresh Celluvisc||Carboxy methylcellulose||None|
|Refresh Plus Tears||Carboxy methylcellulose||None|
|Systane preservative free||Polyethylene glycol / Propylene glycol / Hydroxypropyl Guar||None|
|Systane Ultra preservative free||Polyethylene glycol / Propylene glycol / Hydroxypropyl Guar||None|
|Thera Tears non preserved||Carboxy methylcellulose (hypotonic)||None|
|Tears Naturale Free||Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose / Dextran / Glycerin||None|
|Ointment||Genteal Gel||Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose / Carbopol||Sodium Perborate|
|Polyvisc||Paraffin / Wool fat||None|
|Refresh Nightime||White petrolatum / Mineral oil||Chlorobutanol|