The 5 Best Eye Drops for Dry Eye

A man drops eye drops into his eye

Why are my eyes uncomfortable? This straightforward question can be puzzling if you are not evaluated by an eye doctor. 

There are two main forms of dry eye disease: aqueous deficient and evaporative. Finding an effective treatment option depends on which type you suffer from. An eye doctor will identify the type of dry eye and any other factors that may be aggravating your tear production or quality of tears and recommend the appropriate treatment options to help you find relief. 

Eye drops can be one of the first lines of defense against dry eye disease. Our Dry Eye Expert, Dr. Kimberly Riordan, created a list of 5 highly effective eye drops for dry eye. No single brand works best for all forms of dry eye. It is fairly common to try a few different brands before finding one that works best for you. Ask your doctor if these eye drops are suitable for your dry eye treatment plan. 

Types of Eye Drops

There are many types of eye drops on the market to help combat dry eye symptoms. Aside from brand names, it’s important to understand the difference between types of eye drops to discover what will work best for your dry eye. The most common eye drop treatments for dry eye include artificial tears, gels, and ointments.

Artificial tears are the most common form of eye drops used for treating dry eye. These eye drops, made of lubricants, electrolytes, and guar gum, work to keep the surface of your eyes moist. 

If you suffer from allergies, you are probably also familiar with allergy drops. These drops are used when people need relief from itchy, watery, red eyes caused by pet dander, pollens, molds, and other allergens. 

No single brand works best for all forms of dry eye. It is fairly common to try a few different brands before finding one that works best for you. See below for five of the best brands of eye drops for dry eye disease.

Systane Ultra (Preservative Free) 

Why We Love It: These single-use eye drops feature extended protection for long-lasting dry eye relief. Systane Ultra is preservative-free, making these a good option for those with sensitive corneas. 

Systane Complete

Why We Love It: Systane Complete is a lubricating eye drop with a thinner consistency than regular eye drops. These drops are recommended for those with mild dry eye. Systane Complete soothes the eye with fast-acting hydration and provides long-lasting relief. 

Refresh Optive (Preservative Free) 

Why We Love It: Refresh Optive is another preservative-free option. The dual-action formula lubricates and hydrates to relieve mild symptoms of dry eye. 

Soothe XP 

Why We Love It: Soothe XP offers temporary relief from the burning and itching caused by dry eyes. This particular eye drop promises protection against tear loss and restores the lipid layer of tears. 

GenTeal Tears Lubricant Eye Gel 

Why We Love It: GenTeal Tears offers a thicker and more moisturizing eye drop to coat the surface of the eye. This formula can be used as a nighttime gel to help your eyes feel moisturized and refreshed in the morning. 

Finding the right eye drops can drastically improve your eye discomfort. The key to dry eye treatment is breaking the cycle of irritation and inflammation by determining the cause of your dry eye. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Kimberly Riordan at our Dry Eye Center in Jacksonville, Fla. to begin creating a treatment plan that best suits your type of dry eye. 

About Florida Eye Specialists

Florida Eye Specialists is one of the largest multi-specialty ophthalmology private practices in Northeast Florida, with offices in Fernandina Beach, Gate Parkway/295, Mandarin, Northside, Ponte Vedra Beach, Riverside, San Marco, Southpoint, and St. Augustine. Schedule an appointment at one of our nine locations.