Dry Eye Drops | Choosing The Best Eye Drops for You

dry eye drops

It is downright impossible for me to achieve that “I can do this” attitude whenever I have dry, itchy eyes. That’s why I’m never without dry eye drops in my handbag!

Related: Best Natural Eye Cleanser and Cream For Dry Eyes

It doesn’t matter how perfect your diet is or how much exercise you get, if you have dry, itchy eyes, all you want to do is crawl back into bed and sleep. Don’t let your eye health keep you from taking on the world, especially when there is such an easy fix to help your eyes. While there are a lot of different eye drops for dry eyes on the market, read on to determine the best dry eye drops and remedies for you.  


Our Favorite Dry Eye Drops: The best remedies for dry eyes

1. Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleanser

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While this product doesn’t technically fall into the ‘dry eye drops’ category, it is an eyelid and lash cleanser that helps soothe the skin around the eyes. This hypochlorous acid solution comes in a spray bottle and can be sprayed directly on the eyelids or sprayed on a cotton cloth and wiped over the surface of the eyelid.

Why would you want to do this? The Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleanser soothes dry eyes caused by blepharitis, styes, meibomian gland dysfunction, rosacea, and other eye irritants. This can also relieve other skin inflammations caused by acne, sunburns, and eczema. Use this product to fight against eyelash mites, to increase your contact lens comfort, or before or after eye surgery. In addition, you may use this product also if you have scrapes or cuts around the eye, or if you would like to reduce scarring or wrinkles in the area. If the skin around your eye is inflamed or irritated for any reason, this is the product you need to use.

How does it work? The active ingredient in this product kills microorganisms with a broad-spectrum microbial effect. It also neutralizes inflammation and prevents biofilm formation.

While it may cause concern to spray the hypochlorous acid solution onto your eyelid, you shouldn’t be alarmed. This product is 100% organic, vegan, and is an all-natural solution for problems occurring on the sensitive skin around your eyeballs. It is alcohol-free, fragrance-free; has no parabens, sulfates, or preservatives. The hypoallergenic substance should not irritate your skin.

Plus, Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleanser is easy to use. Clean the area of any makeup or debris and then simply close your eyes and spray the solution directly on your eyelid. If spraying your own eyelid with your eyes closed proves tricky, spray the substance on a disposable cotton pad. Clean one eye with the pad, starting with the inside corner and working toward your ears. Repeat the process on the other eye with a clean pad. There is no need to remove the solution. Just allow the product to dry naturally on your eyelid. Use it in the morning and evening. I know some people who use this product as a make-up remover, although it’s recommended to remove your makeup beforehand if you wear a decent amount.

The Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleaner is a product of Eye Love. Eye Love was started in May of 2015. Every purchase you make of one of their products enables them to provide eye care or a pair of glasses or sunglasses for individuals in need.  

The Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleaner can be purchased through Amazon in either a one or four-ounce spray bottle. You can also save money on your purchase if you buy a one-month savings bundle. The savings bundle includes the lid and lash cleaner as well as a one-month supply of Omega 3 supplements. The Omega 3 supplements are dosed three per day and may be taken separately or together.

Other ingredients for the lid and lash cleaner include electrolyzed water and sodium chloride (besides the hypochlorous acid.)

This product can be used on lash extensions as well!

2. Systane Ultra Lubricant Eye Drops


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Unlike the previous product, Systane is a traditional dry eye drop that can be used directly on the eyeball. There are many Systane products on the market. This particular product, the Ultra Lubricant Eye Drop is designed to provide soothing comfort to your eyes by adding moisture. It leaves the eyes feeling refreshed. This specific product is designed to provide high-performance and extended relief for hours.

Systane Ultra is one of the best eye drops for dry eyes if you are experiencing irritation. It can also be used on burning or stinging eyes, scratchy eyes, or gritty eyes. Do you have fluctuating or blurry vision? Perhaps your eyes aren’t hydrated enough. Try the Systane Ultra drops to see if your vision issues go away. Ironically, you may also use this product if your eyes are teary.

Both active ingredients for this product work as lubricants for the eyes. They are polyethylene glycol 400 and propylene glycol 0.3%.

Systane Ultra is easy to use. Just put a drop in each eye when they are starting to feel a little irritated. Do not touch the tip of the container to any surface and replace the cap immediately after each use.

Do not use this product if it causes eye pain, eye redness or irritation, or adverse changes in your vision occur.

Systane Ultra is available through Amazon in nine different options, including those that are preservative free.

3. TheraTears Eye Drops for Dry Eyes


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TheraTears is another of the best eye drops for dry eyes to try if you need to obtain relief from eye irritation.

TheraTears restores your eyes natural balance by providing immediate, long-lasting relief of dry eye symptoms. Like Systane, there is a wide variety of TheraTears options available. This particular product is value sized and provides immediate and long-lasting relief. It does this by combining a hypotonic and electrolyte-balanced formula that replicates healthy tears. The active ingredient for TheraTears is sodium carboxymethylcellulose, 0.25%. TheraTears is preservative free.

These dry eye drops can be used to relieve the dryness of the eyes and as a protectant against further irritation of the eye. It can also give relief for burning, irritation, and discomfort caused by the sun or wind.

Use one or two drops in the affected eye as needed. Do not touch the tip of the bottle to any other surface.

This product is available on Amazon in either the 0.5 fluid ounces bottle or the bottle holding one fluid ounce. Customers can also subscribe to receive this product regularly and save money on each transaction.


4. Systane Balance Lubricant Eye Drops


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Systane is back with yet another option on our list for the best dry eye drops. Systane Balance drops are similar to some of the other Systane products because they provide soothing comfort for extended relief. They also provide what is called “high-performance” relief for its users. These differ from the other Systane products because they provide clinical-strength intensive therapy. They also support your own natural tears be restoring the lipid layer. This particular product is not preservative-free. It is also not recommended to use this version if you have sensitive eyes.

How does Systane Balance work? Tears are made up of three layers. Systane Balance works on all three layers of the tear film, but it specifically targets the outermost lipid layer. This gives your eyes a long-lasting lubricated feeling.

Like the other eye drops, use Systane Balance if your eyes feel dry or irritated or if they burn or sting. You may also use this product if your eyes are scratchy or gritty.

Shake the product well before using. Squeeze one or two drops at a time into each eye.

The active ingredient for this product is Propylene Glycol 0.6%. The purpose of this active ingredient is that it provides lubrication to your eyes to alleviate dry-eye symptoms.

5. Refresh Optive Lubricant Eye Drops


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This particular listing of Refresh Optive Lubricant Eye Drops comes in a single-use container. While this causes a great deal of waste, it does keep your product as sterile as possible. You no longer have to worry about what bacteria, virus, or germs are sitting on the applicator tip of your dry eye drops because each dose is wrapped separately.

There are many varieties of Refresh dry eye drops on the market. This particular formula offers long-lasting hydration, but it does not nourish, repair, or protect your eyes. The Refresh Optive is preservative-free and has been formulated to lubricate and hydrate the eye’s surface. This drop is particularly recommended for those who have undergone LASIK.

To use the Refresh drops, twist and pull the tab on each individual applicator. Drip one or two drops in the affected eyes and discard the container when you are finished.

The active ingredients in Refresh drops work to lubricate the eyes. They are carboxymethylcellulose sodium 0.5% and glycerin 0.9%. Although the names of the ingredients look intimidating, you are free to use this product as often as you feel it is needed.

Refresh drops are available on Amazon. Purchase three packages of 60 single-use vials, each containing 0.01 fluid ounces or a single 60-pack version. You can subscribe to this product and save.

Refresh produces several other formulas of dry eye drops as well. While some refresh and repair, others nourish and protect.

6. Rohto Dry-Aid Eye Relief Lubricant Eye Drops


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Rohto makes the next product on our list of the best dry eye drops on the market.

Rohto Dry-Aid Eye Relief claims to provide longer-lasting dry eye relief than the leading brand. It helps relieve dryness, irritation, grittiness, burning, and stinging for up to 12 hours. The formula promises to be fast-acting and to provide some relief immediately after use.

Rohto works on all three tear layers to help restore moisture. It enhances tear adhesion to the surface of the eye in the mucin layer. It provides moisture to the eye and flushes out the irritants in the aqueous layer. Rohto dry eye drops slow down tear evaporation and help tears remain on the eyes.

Rohto uses two active ingredients to provide lubrication to the eyes. The first is povidone 0.68% and the second is propylene glycol 0.3%.

As always, remember not to touch the tip of the applicator to any surface. Replace the cap after each use and do not use if you are wearing contact lenses.

Stop using this product if you feel eye pain or if your vision negatively changes. Quit using this product if the redness or irritation lasts or worsens. Put one or two drops in each affected eye as needed. Do not freeze this product.

There are other versions of Rohto that are designed to help get rid of eye redness. All of the Rohto products are described as providing a cooling and refreshing feeling. In addition, they all last up to eight hours.


7. TheraTears Eye Drops for Dry Eyes, 32 Count Single-Use Vials


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Did you want to purchase TheraTears, but you only want to buy single-use dry eye drops? You are in luck!

This version of TheraTears is preservative free. It provides immediate and long-lasting relief for irritated eyes. Its formula is hypotonic and electrolyte-balanced to create the best formula for even sensitive eyes. TheraTears’s active ingredient is sodium carboxymethylcellulose 0.25%. This active ingredient provides lubrication for the eyes, mainly from temporary irritants such as the sun and wind.

Because this product contains no preservatives, some people with sensitive eyes may be more likely able to use this product over one that contains preservatives. It is important to remember that since there are no preservatives after the vial is opened, it should not be left open until all the solution is gone. Discard the vial immediately after use. Only use this product if the foil pouch is sealed.

Even though this product comes in a single-use vial, do not touch the applicator tip to your eye. To use, simply twist the tab completely off and drip one or two drops onto the eye’s surface. The recommended dosage is splitting the entire contents of one container between both eyes within five minutes after opening. Do this at least four times a day.

8. Visine Dry Eye Relief Lubricant Eye Drops


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A household name is next on the list of the best eye drops for dry eyes. Visine has been a go-to household name for eye-care for 60 years. Their Dry Eye Relief Lubricating Eye Drops are formulated to provide moisture while soothing dry and gritty eyes. Whether your dry eyes are caused by riding on an airplane, sitting in air conditioning, or staring at a computer screen, Visine could be the product for you.

Visine uses ingredients found in natural tears to lubricate your eyes. The active ingredients include glycerin, hypromellose, and polyethylene glycol 400. Inactive ingredients include ascorbic acid, benzalkonium chloride, boric acid, dextrose, disodium phosphate, glycine, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, purified water, sodium borate, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, and sodium lactate.

Put one or two drops of Visine in your affected eye. This product is only for use in people age six and up. If your baby or toddler seems to have dry eyes, seek the advice of your pediatrician before trying any dry eye drops.

Do not use Visine while wearing contacts. Also, do not apply if the solution changes color or becomes cloudy. Always replace the cap immediately after handling and do not touch the tip of the container to any surface, including your eyeball. Store your Visine in a room that is between 59 and 77 degrees.

Visine can be purchased through Amazon in a two or four pack. Each bottle holds .5 fluid ounces.

There are different formulas of Visine available. Some provide relief for allergy eyes while others help relieve tired eyes. You can also purchase the maximum strength version of Visine through the website.


9. Ocusoft Retaine MGD Ophthalmic Emulsion


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While most of the other products have active ingredients that promote lubrication, the Ocusoft Retaine MGD Ophthalmic dry eye drops work as emollients. It contains a proprietary cationic oil emulsion technology that delivers ingredients through electrostatic attraction between positively charged droplets and the negatively charged ocular surface. Unless you have a degree in chemistry, you may not understand what this means. To put it simply, this product adds moisture to the eye by lowering the salt concentration of your tears. In addition, the lipid part of the formula lubricates and protects the surface of your eye. 

The two active ingredients of this Ocusoft product are light mineral oil (0.5%) and mineral oil (0.5%). These ingredients work to protect your eyes from further irritation while at the same time relieving the dryness of the eyes as well.

Customers are encouraged to shake the product well before use and drop one or two doses into each eye as needed.

Do not use if the product changes color. Stop using if you feel additional eye pain or your vision negatively changes. Stop using if you have additional redness or irritation in the eyes or if your current condition doesn’t get better after 72 hours of use. Do not swallow this product.

Since this Ocusoft product comes in a single-use container, discard the vial after use. Do not leave an open vial sitting around to try to finish the product. The product can become contaminated.

Amazon customers can purchase Ocusoft in a box of 30 single-use vials. Ocusoft also sells eyelid scrub pads and nighttime eye ointment. You can also buy Ocusoft’s Retaine in a regular 10 mL bottle.

10. Bausch and Lomb Soothe XP Dry Eye Drops, Xtra Protection Lubricant Eye Drop


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Bausch and Lomb is no stranger to the dry eye drops scene. Ordinary eye drops provide moisture that can evaporate quickly from the eye’s surface. That’s why Soothe XP goes further. It provides moisture and protects against tear loss because it contains Restoryl mineral oils, which restore the lipids in your tears.

It doesn’t matter why your eyes are irritated. Whether they are exposed to wind or sun or other irritants that cause your eyes to be itchy and uncomfortable, SootheXP provides the moisture to give your eyes immediate relief.

Besides restoring the lipid layer of tears, this Bausch and Lomb product also protects against tear loss.

The active ingredients of this product are similar to the Ocusoft product. It contains light mineral oil (1.0%) and mineral oil (4.5%). Inactive ingredients include boric acid, edetate disodium, octoxynol-40, polyquaternium-1, polysorbate 80, purified water, and sodium borate decahydrate.

To use Soothe XP, remove your contact lenses. Shake the product well, and instill one or two drops into each eye. You can repeat this process as needed or as directed by your doctor.

It is important to note that your vision may become temporarily blurred upon application. This will go away. It is also important to note that this product, as well as the previous product, appear as a milky-white solution. Store this product at room temperature, which is between 59 and 77 degrees.

Which is the Best Eye Drops for Your Dry Eyes?

That depends.

If you have extremely sensitive eyes, you might want to first pay attention to which products contain preservatives in the formula and which do not. Preservatives are not horrible. In fact, they are often needed to discourage the growth of bacteria once your bottle of eye drops is opened. Although, some people may find these preservatives to be irritating to the eyes.

Preservative-free eye drops have fewer additives and are recommended if you apply drops more than four times a day or if you have severe symptoms. Many times, preservative-free drops are available in single-dose vials.

Also, pay attention to what the product promises to do for you. If the product says it will reduce redness, but you don’t suffer from that, do not use that product. Sometimes eye drops that eliminate redness will actually irritate the eyes of someone just seeking artificial tears. We recommend you generally avoid redness relieving products.

Some drops are designed for those suffering from allergies. If your eye irritation comes from seasonal allergies or allergies to household pollutants, consider using these types of dry eye drops.


Related: Dry Eye Treatment

Everyone else with irritated eyes can use artificial tear products.

Some drops require you to dose more often. Certain artificial tears include thickening agents, which keep the solution on your eyes longer. Some dry eye drops include electrolytes, which promote healing on the surface of the eyes. Electrolytes include sodium and potassium.

Since different products affect people differently, it is a good idea for first-time purchasers to buy a small amount of the product. After you are sure this is the product that works best for you, then it is a good idea to buy in bulk or subscribe to the product and receive a discount.

If you suffer from chronic dry eye issues, it is best to consult with your medical doctor or ophthalmologist. Eye health is important and consulting with a professional is the best way to find the right solution for your eyes.

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