Artificial tears, rewetting drops, natural tears…What’s the Difference?

It can be overwhelming when standing in the eyecare aisle at the pharmacy trying to choose an eyedrop.  There are so many different types.  Tears, liquigels, gels and ointments!  What’s the Difference?

Tears are the thinnest drop available but with the shortest length of duration.  The drops get thicker from liquigel to gel to ointments.  The thicker the drop the longer it lasts.  Ointments are reserved for severe dry eye patients and are used mainly at night due to blurry vision.  Tears, rewetting drops and natural tears are just different names for moisture drops and are used interchangeably. 

Watch preparations that have vasoconstrictors that claim to relieve redness as they shouldn’t be used more than a few days.  If the problem you are trying to treat persists or recurs then contact your doctor for more specific recommendations.