Dry eye products, also called artificial tears, can contain a variety of ingredients. The compounds in the ingredients that increase viscosity and prolong the lubrication of the surface of the eye are essential. Products with these properties are particularly suitable for the hyposecretory dry eye where there is an aqueous tear layer deficiency. Discomforts such as dryness, the sensation of sand in the eyes, and redness are more pronounced in the evening. More viscous preparations are especially suitable for people with severe dry eye disorders or for people who, for various reasons, can’t use the product more often.
In case of excessive tear evaporation, we recommend using products rich in lipid components because they reduce tear evaporation by restoring the lipid layer of the tear film. With the evaporative form of dry eye, you may notice that problems such as eye irritation and redness are more pronounced in the morning. Then, after several hours of working at the computer, increased tearing (epiphora) occurs, which may also be present when the eyes are exposed to wind and cold air. In the pharmacy, it is difficult to identify the form of dry eye based on the description from the patient, especially because the symptoms appear in different proportions in different people. Products in the form of drops dominate the market, there are fewer gels and sprays. Eye gels allow longer eye lubrication, so they are more suitable for the night. However, it’s important to keep in mind that gels can cause blurred vision, especially after prolonged use. Dry eye preparations can be single- dose or multi-dose. Usually, single-dose preparations are the ones that are preservative- free. They are suitable for frequent and long-term use, for contact lens wearers and, of course, for people with hypersensitivity to preservatives. Multi-dose preparations with preservatives are more durable, but have some limitations due to the added preservative. There are many different preservatives, but they are still commonly not recommended for contact lens wearers because they can cause irritation and blurring when they accumulate on the contact lenses. As a rule, they are recommended for short-term use — preservatives, especially after long-term use, can worsen the symptoms of dry eyes further and cause irritation and damage the cells of the eye surface. Because of this, they are not the most suitable for people with moderate to severe dry eye disorder who need to use the product frequently.
Preservative multi-dose preparations have similar properties, but must be handled with care to avoid contaminating the container. Some users prefer softer plastic containers, while others prefer those that have dosing caps. The decision between the two kinds of preparations may be influenced by the expiry date after first opening, and the price can also not be ignored.