Dry eyes can have various causes. They can be triggered by an allergy or can be caused by contact lenses. But also a reduced tear production of the eye can be responsible for a feeling of dryness. Normally, the tear glands constantly produce tear fluid, which covers the eye like a thin film. If this is not the case, the eyes feel dry and there is often a foreign body sensation in the eye.
Eye drops help
In the case of dry eyes, underlying diseases should first be ruled out by an ophthalmologist. It is therefore recommended to consult a doctor if dry eyes persist for several days. If it is a matter of reduced tear production, eye drops can help to remedy the dry eyes. If permanent eye drops do not help, an alternative surgical procedure should be considered, for example by closing the tear drainage channel so that the tear fluid in the eye is dammed. Eye drops are not only used for dry eyes.
What is the difference between eye drops with or without preservatives?
Eye drops are usually composed similarly to our tear fluid. They are therefore also called tear substitutes and are supposed to help against dry eyes. You have probably noticed that some eye drops are marked with “O K”, “SINE”, “SE”, “EDO” and others.
These are eye drops without preservatives. What is the difference between eye drops with or without preservatives? By using preservatives eye drops have a longer shelf life.
At the same time the preservatives protect against an accumulation of bacteria and other pathogens in the eye drop liquid. Although this may sound positive at first, it is also accompanied by side effects when used for a longer period of time. The preservatives can cause allergic reactions, irritations and corneal damage.
Especially the preservative benzalkonium chloride is known for this. That is why you should prefer eye drops without preservatives especially when using them daily or for a longer period of time. These are more similar to our own tear fluid and are better tolerated in the long run.
Eye drops with hyaluron
Hyaluronic acid is contained in many eye drops. This is a substance which is produced naturally in the body and which binds more water. This makes the tear film adhere better to the eye and the eye is kept moist. The stable tear film also protects the eye and lasts for a long time, so that less dripping is necessary. It is therefore highly recommended to prefer eye drops with hyaluronic acid.
Artelac (Hypromellose) eye drops
Artelac eye drops contain hypromellose as active ingredient. This belongs to the artificially created ingredients that have been used in eye drops for a long time. Hypromellose improves the adhesion of the tear fluid to the cornea by increasing its viscosity.
This ensures that the eye is sufficiently moistened and wetted. Artelac additionally contains the preservative cetrimide. However, this usually does not pose a major problem, as the application of Artelac has proven to be effective only for in-between times and only in cases of slight dryness of the eye. Furthermore, Artelac eye drops are often used for hard contact lenses as they can wet or moisten the contact lens.
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