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In today’s context, there exists a large variety of over-the-counter eye drops to choose from, most of which seemingly do the same job. Here is a breakdown of symptoms, and a guide to the appropriate over-the-counter eye drops you can get to relieve them.
Are you experiencing Dry Eyes: You need Artificial Tears
Artificial tears are lubricating eye drops used to treat moderate to severe forms of dry eyes. They contain almost the same composition as natural tears, sans proteins.
Certain artificial eye drops contain hyaluronic acid, a naturally occurring substance found in our eyes that provide natural relief for those suffering from slight to moderate dry eye. If you suffer from moderate to severe dry eye, consider using eye drops with a higher concentration of hyaluronic acid in a liquid-gel form. Such eye drops replenish your tear film each time you blink, and help bring long-lasting relief from irritated dry-feeling eyes. The eye drops in liquid-gel form are recommended for night use whilst the eye drops in liquid form are recommended for day use.
Lid cleansing wipes can also be used to clean and moisturise eye lids, and reduce the symptoms of dry eyes. Some eye lid wipes contain camomile that help to soothe, and remove debris as well other secretions from your eye lids.
For contact lens users experiencing Dry Eyes: We recommend Rewetting Drops
If you suffer from dry eyes due to frequent or prolonged contact lenses wearing, rewetting drops should be used instead of artificial tears. Also known as “in-eye contact lens solutions”, rewetting drops contain electrolytes that human tears consist of, and other chemicals that moisturize your eyes, and in turn, contact lenses. This results in a comfortable and refreshing feeling even after long hours of contact lens wearing.
Several over-the-counter eye drops which also contain hyaluronic acid are also specifically formulated for contact lens wearers. Such eye drops are fortified with essential electrolytes found in natural tears and proven to give long-lasting comfort to contact lens wearer’s eyes with less blurred vision due to eye dryness. This is best used when the dry eye sensation is caused by the dryness of the lens itself.
There are other eye drops with a cleaning component that are more suitable for monthly or fortnight contact lens wearers. Such lenses are more prone to “dirtiness” in a sense that there has been a heavy build-up of protein deposits.
For Red Eye Sufferers: Decongestant/Lubricating/Antihistamine; depending on cause
The term “red eye” is used to describes red, irritated and bloodshot eyes. This could be a symptom of several causes, thus it is best to consult a doctor when you experience these symptoms. Causes include a broken blood vessel in the eye, blepharitis or inflamed eyelids, conjunctivitis, dry eyes and allergies.
Decongestant eye drops are used to treat eye redness whilst lubricating drops are for treating red eyes caused by dryness, and antihistamine eye drops are used to alleviate symptoms of eye allergies which includes redness coupled with tearing and itching.
If redness persists, be sure to contact your eye doctor for a possible diagnosis as it can sometimes signal a more serious disease!
Suspect you have an eye infection? Look for Antibacterial Eye Drops
If you are experiencing swelling, soreness and discharge, you are likely to have an eye infection which may be caused by bacteria or viruses. Minor infections may be treated with antibacterial eye drops, while major ones might require steroid eye drops.
The above stated eye care products can help provide relief to redness, irritation, puffiness and swelling in the eyes. However if the problems persist, please consult an eye doctor for further treatment.