Eye drops for dry eyes:
First of all understand that the eye drops for dry eyes are not all made the same in fact they are specifically designed and formulated to treat different types of dry eye syndrome there are three major classifications of dry eye the first is called aqueous deficient dry eye which is where somebody doesn’t make enough of the water component to their tear film this is usually due to hormone changes or from autoimmune conditions such as sjogren’s syndrome the second classification is called evaporative forms of dry eye and this is really common this is usually because someone’s oil glands and their eyelids called the meibomian glands aren’t functioning properly and that causes poor tear film stability and then that eventually leads to their tear film just evaporating into the air and then the third classification is called mixed dry eye and that’s a combination of one of the two the aqueous deficient plus evaporative forms of dry eye and it’s found that somewhere between eighty and ninety percent of everybody with dry eye syndrome falls.
Somewhere in that mixed dry eye category but if you happen to be using an eye drop that’s specifically meant for aqueous deficient dry eye when in fact you have more of the evaporative form of dry eye then it’s just not going to work as well and if you’re not exactly sure which type of dry eye syndrome you have that’s okay i highly encourage that you do reach out to your local eye care professional so they can give you an evaluation and help you navigate what is going on and how they can help but now let’s go over the best eye drops for dry eyes that are out right now for each of these types of dry eye now because most people have some form of mixed dry eye my top two favorite picks are Systane Complete and Refresh Digital, Systane Complete has an active ingredient called propylene glycol which is seen across many different eye drops but propylene glycol works as an additive to your tears which helps spread across the eye evenly and protect the mucous membranes of the eye.
So if you’re somebody with aqueous deficient dry eye you’re actually getting a supplement that is going to protect and coat the eye so when your eyelid is coming down it’s not just dry tissue on dry tissue instead it’s going to have that protective coating over the eye but at that same time Systane Complete also has mineral oil in it which is commonly used as an oil base to help supplement the oils not being produced by the eyelids in the form of evaporative forms of dry eye so this is going to help protect and balance the tear film so that it doesn’t evaporate so quickly what really makes Systane Complete stand out against its other competitors is that they have nano droplet technology which helps make these active ingredients much much smaller which helps spread the artificial tear over the surface of the eye creating kind of this tight-knit web of these active molecules to help really coat the eye and give it complete protection.
My other favorite for the mixed forms of dry eye is that of Refresh Digital refresh digital is a newer drop to the market but contains a unique triad of active ingredients such as carboxymethylcellulose glycerin and polysorbate which all act again to cover the surface of the eye improve viscosity and protect the mucous membranes of the eye so that when you’re blinking you have this nice coating to protect as the eye blinks they also included castor oil in this formulation which again acts as an oil base to help prevent the tears from evaporating from the surface so again you have the combination of both treating the aqueous and the evaporative forms and that’s exactly why it’s so ideal for the mixed forms of dry eye and that’s why i say for most people even if you don’t know what type of dry eye you have these two are probably the best two middle grounds to kind of start off with for relieving your dry eye symptoms now outside of mixed forms of dry eye.
The next most prevalent is that of evaporative dry eye and that’s what i struggle from my tear film is not stable because my oil glands on my eyelids don’t produce well enough and then the tear film is unstable and it evaporates too quickly so my favorite eye drop for patients who have this type of dry eye is that of Refresh Mega three, Refresh mega three not only contains castor oil to help stabilize the tear film but they also contain flaxseed oil so you have two different oil bases to help stop those tears from evaporating in addition it also has an ingredient called trehalose which is often not seen in many eye drops but trehalos has been found to help stabilize cell membranes on the surface of the eye against osmolarity or salt concentration changes.
Because usually as your tears evaporate the salt in those tears stays behind and that can cause damage to the surface of the eye on the surface of the cornea which can therefore lead to more dryness issues and symptoms but also to blurred vision just some other brands that i’ve used with success in the past are that of Systane Balance, Soothe xp as well as Retain mgd all of these are fitting into that evaporative dry eye component now if you’re somebody with aqueous deficient dry eye either because you have sjogren’s syndrome or maybe you had lasik eye surgery and your cornea isn’t sending the signals to your brain and your lacrimal gland to make more tears then reaching for something such as Systane Hydration or Refresh Relieva may be your best choice both of these eye drops contain a naturally occurring ingredient called sodium hyaluronate which acts to make the tears of the eye drop stick to the surface of the eye better so the drop is not just hitting the eye and sliding and draining out instead it’s hitting the eye and sticking there which i personally find very comforting however it can blink a few times and you can tell that it’s just a little bit sticky on your eyes.
But for those having aqueous deficient dry eye that’s basically exactly what you need now next up i want to share with you a money saving hack that you can use for eye drop medications but i also want to go over preservatives and how important preservatives can be for the surface of the eye before we do that drop a comment in the section below which part of this video is your favorite which one of these eye drops have you tried and had the most success with or if you’ve used other types of eye drops and had great success with those let us know in the comments because i hopefully your comments will help other people in this community learn more about dry eye and what’s going to help them the best now the way you can save money with your eye drops whether it be for dry eye drops or for eye drops for glaucoma and things like that you can look into nano dropper this is a new topper that screws on to most standard eye drops and then it changes the size of the droplet that’s coming out so instead of this large eye drop and then dribbles down the side often wasting much of that teardrop instead it makes it smalle.
The final tip i want to share is that of preservatives versus preservative-free formulations now most of the eye drop bottles that you’ll find out there whether it be dry eye or medications for a glaucoma or antibiotics they’re usually preserved with what’s called BAK Benzalkonium chloride now this medication or this preservative is very potent at what it does however it can cause some surface issues to the eye it is known to cause nerve damage it’s known to delay wound healing and it can even cause a toxic reaction to the surface of the eye so if you’re using eye drops repeatedly over and over throughout the day it could cause more irritation and damage to the eye than good which is why all the new drops that i mentioned none of them contain bak instead they contain either polyquad or ocupure which are preservatives which are known to not cause so much irritation to the surface of the eye but still many eye doctors like myself will recommend patients to use or look for non-preserved formulations for their eye drops and you can often find these in these small little plastic tubes that have a twist off top that you use for multiple drops into each eye and then you’re supposed to discard it and those type of drops you can use as many times throughout the day even with contact lenses or with other eye drops on the eye and they’re not going to have that preservative to cause any problems and i think this is good to know because if you are also shopping for generic eye drops these generics often replace these good preservatives for bak because it’s much cheaper so in fact even though the active ingredients may be the same as some of these other drops i mentioned often times the preservative has changed and could cause more toxic reactions to the surface of the eye i just want you to be informed and be aware of what you’re putting in your eye.