In this piece of article, I’ll show you three different over-the-counter eye
that I would not use to treat dry eye disease. I will tell you about one
lesser know eye drop you may also want to look out for.

4 Eye Drops are Not Recommended

1. Soothe lubricant eye drops

soothe maximum hydration lubricant eye drops by Bausch & Lomb. The main
reason I do not recommend this eye drop is the preservative they use in it.
The preservative contained in this eye drop is benzalkonium chloride or


There are three different types of preservatives that are commonly used in
Detergent type, Oxidative type, and Ionic buffering systems.

The detergent type of preservative is the most toxic type to the surface of
the eye, and BAK is the most toxic of the detergent type preservatives. BAK
is also commonly used in many different types of medication eye drops such
as antibiotic eye drops. Where its toxicity can actually be an advantage for
short-term use.

BAK can interfere with the connections between the cells on the surface of
the eye and reduce the number of cells on the outer layer of the eye called
epithelial cells.

Therefore it can be quite harmful to the eye surface when used frequently
or over a long period of time. If you really like the family of soothing eye
drops, you would be better off using the soothe XP lubricant eye drops from
the same company as they contain polyquad as the preservative.

Although polyquad is also a detergent type of preservative. It is less
toxic than BAK. Because the cells on the surface of the eye tend to repel
polyquad making it less toxic to the eye surface. 
Even better among the soothe family of the eye drops are the
preservative-free eye drops.

2. Clear Eyes Drops

Clear eyes natural tears eye drops by prestige consumer healthcare. There
are two reasons that I do not recommend using clear eyes natural tears for
treating dry eyes.

The first is that this eye drop also uses benzalkonium chloride or BAK as
its preservative and there is no preservative-free version of this eye

The second reason is that this eye drop contains polyvinyl alcohol or PVA
which is a demulcent that lowers the viscosity or thickness of the eye drop.
PVA is found in many older types of artificial tear eye drops.

There are more effective newer compounds that are available as a demulcent
in eye drops such as propylene glycol and polyethylene glycol which are used
in some newer artificial tears eye drops.

3. Visine Eye Drops

Visine dry eye relief, Visine red-eye hydrating comfort, and Visine red-eye
total comfort by Johnson & Johnson. Visine red-eye hydrating comfort and
Visine red-eye total comfort contain tetrahydrozoline to reduce eye

Tetrahydrozoline is a chemical that temporarily constricts the blood
vessels on the eye surface to reduce the appearance of eye redness. Frequent
and long-term use of tetrahydrozoline can cause rebound dilation of the
blood vessels on the eye surface when the eye drop is discontinued.

This means the eye will appear red if the eye drop is discontinued. Now
unlike Visine red-eye total comfort, some other Visine eye drops like Visine
dry eye relief do not contain tetrahydrozoline.

However, all three Visine eye drops I mentioned use BAK as their
preservative, and as always, I recommend avoiding long-term use of any
over-the-counter eye drops that contain BAK due to its toxicity to the
surface of the eye.

If you really would like to choose an eye drop from the Visine family to
treat dry eyes. You would be better off choosing Visine dry relief tired eye
lubricant eye drops or Visine dry eye relief all-day comfort, as the
preservative used in those two drops is polyquad which is less toxic than

4. Rohto Cooling Eye Drops

It is less well known than the other over-the-counter eye drops. Rohto
cooling Digi eye contains both tetrahydrozoline and BAK which as we already
talked about can be toxic to your eyes.

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Ruman Amjad

Hello, I am Dr. Ruman Amjad, an Ophthalmologist specializing in the field of eye care, particularly focused on helping individuals with swollen eyelids. I am thrilled to welcome you to, a comprehensive resource dedicated to providing accurate and reliable information on eyelid inflammation.


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