Let’s talk about the confusion. Whenever you go into a pharmacy and look on the shelves there’s literally dozens and dozens of different dry eye drops. They all have very attractive packaging; they’ve all got magnificent claims on the front of the boxes. You may be wondering, “Which one’s the best one for me?” In fact, you might even be thinking this right now. “Come on cut to the chase just tell me the best drop.”
The drop we recommend most is Hylofresh.
However…. everyone’s quite different so you may need to try a few different drops to find one that suits you.
Here are a few tips; you are better off with non-preserved drops. The reason for this is that you don’t want any extra chemicals in your eyes and it so happens that some preservatives used in eye drops are, to say the least, not very good for people with dry eyes.
The way you can tell non-preserved drops is that they are in individual unit doses with little caps on the top that you actually physically have to break off and they work very well – so stick with those if they suit you! The Hylo brand is a little bit different as it is a single bottle with a delivery system that keeps the drops sterile for up to 6 months.The bottle contains 300 drops so that, drop for drop, it works out to be quite cost effective.
If you need something that lasts a little longer then you might want to try a thicker drop. The problem is that the thicker the drop, the more disturbing it is to your vision. So you’ll find that your vision will be blurry for a few minutes and sometimes that’s just not convenient.
If your eyes get dry at night while you sleep then gels can be used. Examples are Genteal Gel and VitA-Pos. They are put in last thing at night before you go to bed. This way the filmy vision isn’t going to be a drama because you’ll be asleep. One of the problems with gels is they do tend to produce quite a lot of crusting on your eyelids. So when you wake up in the morning you may find you have got crusty material on your eyelids which some people don’t really like.
Now what to avoid; surprisingly some eye drops for dry eyes actually contain a preservative that makes dry eyes worse. Now the preservative has been around for a long time, it’s called Benzalkonium Chloride. It’s used in all in all sorts of disinfectants but it’s also used in weak solution in eye drops as well. Have a quick look on the bottle and if you see Benzalkonium Chloride, avoid that one like the plague.
The other thing to avoid is eye whiteners. They sound promising as they say they will make your red, sore eyes look bright and white again.They are safe to use now and again, but they actually contain a chemical that constricts the blood vessels and that’s why your eyes look whiter. The only problem is if you use this on a continual basis then eventually you get a thing called “bounce back”. You will end up having to use the drops just to maintain how they used to look before you used drops and your eyes will look significantly worse when you’re not using them.
Another way to help stabilise your tear film is with lid sprays eg Tears Again. You spray them on your closed eyelids and they deposit micro globules of oils onto the skin. Then over a few minutes, the oil works its way into the tear film make the film more stable and less prone to evaporation. The great thing about these sprays is that they’re really easy to use. You can keep them in your pocket or your handbag, pull them out, a quick squirt and you’re done. Some people find this much more convenient than the drops. The spray last for months until you finish it up.
In summary then there is no best drop really, it is quite personal.
The best props are non-preserved. You need to avoid Benzalkonium Chloride which will actually make your dry eyes worse. The Systane range is sold widely and contains Sorbitol. About 10% of people are sensitive to this so I don’t recommend it.
Take the time to try different thickness of drops e.g. Hylofresh is thinner and Hyloforte is thicker. You need to find a regime that suits you. I’ve even known people who’ve found that one eye prefers one drop and the other eye prefers another kind of drop.