Artificial tears: A refreshing relief for dry eyes

Sjögren’s syndrome Tears and dry eye disease

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Have you ever experienced the discomfort of dry, itchy, and irritated eyes? In todays fast-paced digital world, where screens dominate our lives, it is no wonder that many of us suffer from dry eye syndrome. Dry eyes can significantly impact our daily lives due to factors such as prolonged screen time, environmental factors, or other underlying conditions, like Sjogren Syndrome. For this, a simple yet effective solution exists – artificial tears. In this blog, we will explore the importance of artificial tears, how they work, and why they are an essential part of eye care. 

Understanding dry eye syndrome 

Dry eye syndrome is a prevalent condition caused by either inadequate tear production or an imbalance in tear composition. Tears play a vital role in maintaining the health of the eyes, as they keep the ocular surface lubricated, wash away debris, and protect against infections. When the tear film is insufficient or unstable, the eyes become vulnerable to dryness, irritation, and even vision disturbances. 

The role of artificial tears 

Artificial tears, also known as lubricating eye drops, are a widely used over-the-counter (OTC) remedy for dry eyes with demulcents as the primary active ingredient. These eye drops imitate the composition of natural tears, providing relief and comfort to those suffering from dry eye syndrome. While they cannot treat the underlying cause of dry eyes, artificial tears can effectively alleviate the symptoms and improve the overall quality of life for the affected individuals.  

Types of artificial tears 

  • Preservative-free tears: These are suitable for individuals with sensitive eyes or those who require frequent use of eye drops. Preservative-free tears are usually available in single-dose vials and are free from chemicals that could cause irritation or allergies. 
  • Lubricant drops: These artificial tears are designed to lubricate the ocular surface and provide immediate relief from dryness and discomfort. 
  • Gel drops: Gel-based tears have a thicker consistency and are recommended for individuals with severe dry eye symptoms. They provide longer-lasting relief since the gel adheres to the eyes surface for a prolonged period. 
  • Hydrating ointments: These ointments are best used before bedtime, as they provide extended relief throughout the night. However, they may cause temporary blurred vision upon application. 
  • Prescription eye drops: For severe cases of dry eyes, an eye care professional may prescribe medicated eye drops to reduce inflammation or increase tear production. 

 How to use artificial tears? 

Correct use of artificial tears is crucial to maximize their benefits. Here are some essential tips for proper application: 

  • Clean hands: Always ensure that the hands are clean before touching the eyes or handling eye drops. 
  • Follow the instructions: It is always recommended to read and follow the instructions provided with the artificial tears carefully. 
  • Tilt the head back: An individual should gently tilt the head backward, look up, and use one hand to pull down the lower eyelid and apply artificial tears. 
  • Instill the drops: Hold the bottle close to the eye without touching it and squeeze the recommended number of drops into the eye. 
  • Blink and close your eyes: Blink a few times after applying the drops to distribute them evenly over the eyes surface. Then, close the eyes gently for a moment to allow the tears to spread. 
  • Avoid touching the eyes: Refrain from touching or rubbing the eyes after applying the drops. 


Dry eyes can be bothersome, affecting our productivity and overall well-being. Artificial tears offer a convenient and soothing remedy for those experiencing dry eye syndrome. By providing the necessary lubrication and relief, these eye drops help alleviate discomfort and improve the health of our eyes. 

However, if the symptoms persist or worsen, it is essential to consult an eye care professional. They can diagnose any underlying issues and recommend appropriate treatments, ensuring that the eyes remain healthy and comfortable in the long run. In the meantime, keep those artificial tears handy and give the eyes the refreshment they deserve.