Artificial tears are a saline solution with medications that are used to lubricate dry eyes (keratoconjunctivitis sicca) and help in retaining moisture in the surface of the eyes.
Lubricants in artificial tears help in keeping the eye moist, shield from injuries and infections and reduce symptoms of dry eyes such as burning, and itching.
Artificial tears are over the counter medications that are used to treat dry eyes caused due to ageing, use of certain medications, after eye surgery and during extreme environmental conditions.
Two Types Of Artificial Tears
Preservative Eye drops
Preservative eye drops are usually advised if you suffer from moderate or severe dry eyes. This comes in multidose vials.
Preservative-Free Eye drops
Preservative-free eye drops have mild additives and are usually advised to use for more than four times a day or if you have severe dry eyes. This comes in single-dose vials.
Artificial tears are also available as nonprescription gels and gel inserts.
How To Use
Always consult your ophthalmologist if you have any queries or follow the instructions on the product package. Discard the solution if you can see a colour change or it looks cloudy. Shake the product before using.
Artificial tears are generally used very often as and when needed.
To use eye drops, wash hands first. To prevent contamination do not touch the tip of the bottle. Always replace the cap tightly after use.
Incline your head back, look up and lower eyelid to make a pouch. Place the dropper directly over the eye and squeeze out 1 or 2 drops as required. Gently close your eye for 1 or 2 minutes. Place one finger at the corner of the eye and apply gentle pressure to prevent drops from draining away.
For applying ointment, hold the tube directly over the eye and gently squeeze a small strip of ointment into the pouch. Release the eyelid, close the eye, and slowly roll your eye in all directions to spread the medication.
Consult your ophthalmologist if your condition persists or worsens after 3 days.