Whether they are a product of the changing weather or a symptom of a larger issue, most of us have probably experienced dry eyes at some point in our lives. Dry eye is a common condition that has left many folks around the world feeling annoyed, restless, and irritated.
Eye drops have long been the go-to method of combating dry eyes, as both prescription and over-the-counter eye drops have the power to alleviate the symptoms of dry eyes in a fast and painless manner. But, with all the different varieties of eye drops circulating around your local pharmacy today, how do you know which eye drops are right for you?
Before you end up choosing the wrong eye drops, here are some of the most common types of eye drops on the market:
Artificial Tears. These are the most common types of eye drops currently available. Artificial tears are used simply to lubricate the eyes when they are dry. They provide an alternative source of moisture for the outer surface of the eye. These eye drops can be used to treat dry eyes from a variety of different causes; aging, medication, post-surgery, or even the occasional windy day. Their ease of use and versatility has made artificial tears a safe bet when it comes to clearing up dry eyes.
Allergy Drops. Over-the-counter and prescription allergy eye drops like Visine, Alaway, and Opcon are, as you may have guessed, used to treat dry eye symptoms as a result of allergies. These antihistamine eye drops work to alleviate symptoms associated with dry eyes like itchiness, redness, and watery eyes that you may be experiencing from sources like pollen, dander, or pet hair.
Contact Drops. Brands like Proclear, SofLens, and Acuvue make eye drops specifically for those that wear contacts. One of the biggest complications that contact wearers face while using their contacts is that often times the contacts can leave their eyes dry and irritated. Specialty contact drops aim to alleviate that irritation without damaging the contact lens, or harming the wearer’s vision. It is important to note that contact wearers should not use any other kinds of eye drops without their doctor’s approval.
Cyclosporine. This prescription-only eye drop is used to treat infections like chronic dry eyes, and similar conditions caused by inflammation. Typically administered twice a day, cyclosporine enhances your eyes’ natural ability to produce tears.
Eye Drops for Infections. Infections like Pink Eye and Conjunctivitis require special, prescription eye drops to treat. While most over-the-counter eye drops can help to alleviate the symptoms of both infectious and viral eye diseases, only prescription eye drops can help effectively combat the disease.
While there are many more types of eye drops that were not covered on this list, these are the most common types that one may encounter on a day-to-day basis. The eyes, as important as they are, are sensitive things, and eye drops can be incredibly useful in our never-ending defense against the damage that dry eyes can cause. If you feel like you can never get rid of those dry or itchy eyes, or you are overwhelmed by all the different choices of eye drops, talk to your eye doctor today!