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Why should you watch out for preservatives in artificial tears relative to eye drops?

ANSWER

Watch out for preservatives. Artificial tears with them can be great because they're often cheaper. But for some people, they can make dry eyes worse. Some people are allergic to preservatives, and others may find that they irritate their eyes.

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: "Which Drops Are Best for Your Itchy, Red or Dry Eyes?"

American Academy of Ophthalmology: "Eye Allergy Treatment," "Dry Eye Treatment."

Mayo Clinic: "Dry Eyes," "Important Things to Know About Contact Lenses."

University of Iowa Health Care: "Artificial Tears: A Primer."

NHS: "Dry Eye Syndrome."

FamilyDoctor.org: "Antihistamines: Understanding Your OTC Options."

Reviewed by Alan Kozarsky on June 06, 2019

SOURCES:

Cleveland Clinic: "Which Drops Are Best for Your Itchy, Red or Dry Eyes?"

American Academy of Ophthalmology: "Eye Allergy Treatment," "Dry Eye Treatment."

Mayo Clinic: "Dry Eyes," "Important Things to Know About Contact Lenses."

University of Iowa Health Care: "Artificial Tears: A Primer."

NHS: "Dry Eye Syndrome."

FamilyDoctor.org: "Antihistamines: Understanding Your OTC Options."

Reviewed by Alan Kozarsky on June 06, 2019

NEXT QUESTION:

How can I find preservative-free eye drops?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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