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What kinds of eye drops should I avoid for my dry eyes?

If you have dry eyes you should avoid artificial tears that contain preservatives and drops that clear the red out. Dry eyes can be made worse by artificial tears that contain preservatives. Occasional use is unlikely to have a side effect from the preservatives. With frequent use, the preservative can cause some irritation. Also, drops that clear the red out frequently cause the dryness to get worse.

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

People with dry eyes should not use eyedrops that are made to treat red or itchy eyes. These products contain chemicals that tighten blood vessels in the eye, such as naphazoline or tetrahydrozoline. They have been shown to reduce tear volume and can make dry eye problems worse.

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.