Nov 11, 2022

Making artificial tears less artificial

Mile Brujic, OD, FAAO

Optometry Times JournalOctober digital edition 2022, Volume 14, Issue 10

Preservative-free eye drops offer benefits for ocular health.

A patient consults you for relief from dry, scratchy eyes, and you recommend artificial tears. Weeks later, the patient presents with worsened redness and irritation.

Artificial tears stabilized by preservatives have been around for decades and work well in some patients. The challenge is that the antimicrobial activity that so effectively keeps eye drops bacteria-free can also cause conjunctival and corneal irritation in the very patients these solutions are designed to help. In particular, numerous studies have demonstrated an association between eye irritation and benzalkonium chlorides, a type of preservative widely used in store-brand dry eye drops.1,2

In recent years, I’ve avoided this problem by directing patients toward options that minimize exposure to preservatives: preservative-free artificial tears. Current estimates are that preservative-free solutions represent more than 40% of the global market for artificial tears.3 Now offered in the United States by several companies, these OTC products are often conveniently packaged in multiuse bottles rather than individual-dose vials.

They can fill the needs of patients with a variety of conditions that cause eye discomfort, either taken alone or as an adjunct to other treatments. These drops can be beneficial to patients in the following situations:

» Environmentally induced eye dryness arising from movement between moist and dry environments, such as outdoor settings and air-conditioned buildings, or from staring at computer screens for extended periods without breaks. Preservative-free artificial tears can help by safely supplementing the natural lubrication of the ocular surface……

Read more: https://www.optometrytimes.com/view/making-artificial-tears-less-artificial?fbclid=IwAR3kRfvUuWFe9cTKubROBWVi_q_GQvgrpVKn1DWamniCUacA9pRrjldt3wI

Source: Optometry Times

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