Eye drops for dry eye

Eye drops, also known as artificial tears, are a common, popular treatment for dry eye symptoms. They work by replenishing the moisture in the eyes, providing relief from discomfort and irritation often associated with dry eye syndrome.

Eye drops for dry eye in Bellflower

Amplify Eyecare of Greater Long Beach

When Are Eye Drops Useful?

  • Dryness or a feeling of grittiness in the eyes
  • Redness
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Excessive tearing following very dry eye periods
  • Uncomfortable or stinging sensations
  • Eye fatigue
  • Difficulty with nighttime driving
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • A sensation of having something in the eyes
  • Stringy mucus in or around the eyes
  • Discomfort when reading, working on a computer, or any activity that requires sustained visual attention

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, call us at (562) 925-6591 to schedule an evaluation with our optometrist.

Eye drops also often contain essential electrolytes like potassium, sodium, and calcium. These components of your natural tears help lubricate the eyes and can promote a healthy eye surface.

Eye drops are an over-the-counter product meant to provide temporary relief from symptoms, and will not treat the underlying cause of your dry eye if there is one, such as meibomian gland dysfunction or blepharitis.

Eye Drops: Preservative and Non-Preservative Options

Many types of eye drops contain preservatives designed to protect the solution from bacteria once the bottle is opened. However, some people may experience irritation when using eye drops containing these preservatives, especially if they have severe dry eye. If you suffer from moderate to severe dry eye and use eye drops more than four times daily, you might benefit from a preservative-free option. Our eye care clinic in Bellflower can help you choose the best eye drops for your condition.

Eye Drops: Preservative and Non-Preservative Options
Lipid-Based Eye Drops

Lipid-Based Eye Drops

If you have evaporative dry eye, which is when there is a problem with the tear film as opposed to there simply not being enough tears in your eyes, lipid-based eye drops are a better choice, as it helps improve the quality of the tear film and keep the tears from evaporating too quickly. Types of ingredients in lipid-based eye drops include glycerin, hydroxypropyl-guar, mineral oil, and castor oil.

If your dry eye is aqueous-deficient dry eye, more standard eye drops should work fine.

Lipid-Based Eye Drops

Not a Catch-All Treatment

Eye drops will not always be sufficient for alleviating your dry eye symptoms. In those cases, you can try other, stronger solutions, such as over the counter gels or ointments for dry eye. Since they are thicker than eye drops, their effects last longer, though they can make it a bit harder to see. For that reason, eye doctors often recommend using these products before going to bed.

Choosing the Right Eye Drops

While eye drops play a crucial role in managing dry eye syndrome, they may not always be enough to alleviate your symptoms completely. In such cases, your optometrist may recommend over-the-counter gels or ointments for dry eye. They are thicker than eye drops, last longer, and are often recommended for use before bedtime.

Specific types of eye drops you should avoid include:

Allergy eye drops: These eye drops are designed for providing relief from allergy symptoms when the eyes are exposed to allergens like mold, dust, or pollen. These drops are not meant to provide relief from dry eye symptoms. Although, artificial tears can help with symptoms of eye allergies.

Antibiotic eye drops: Antibiotic eye drops are meant for treating eye infections and are generally prescription-only, and may not provide proper relief from dry eye.

Redness-relieving eye drops: These eye drops are only meant for treating temporary eye redness, such as that caused by allergies, smoke irritation, or contact lenses. If these drops are used too often, however, they can cause rebound redness, which makes the eyes look even redder than before. For this reason, optometrists recommend only using these drops occasionally and for short periods. Eye drops which are preservative-free may be more helpful for reducing redness than regular use of redness-relieving drops.

Eye Drops: Preservative and Non-Preservative Options
Lipid-Based Eye Drops

Use of Eye Drops for Contact Lens Wearers

Artificial tears can be beneficial for contact lens wearers who experience eye dryness. However, it's important to ensure that the drops you're using are compatible with your contact lenses. At our eye care clinic in Bellflower, we can guide you on the correct use of eye drops with contact lenses.

First, make sure you can use the drops while wearing your contacts. In most cases it is safe to do so. However, some types, specifically the thicker formulations, will tell you to wait at least 15 minutes before inserting your contact lenses. Be sure to read the information on the product labels.

Rewetting drops are specifically designed to increase eye comfort while wearing contacts. They will be labeled “for contact lenses,” and are usually sold near contact lens cleaning solutions.

Remember, if you suspect a link between your contact lenses and dry eye symptoms, it's best to consult with our eye doctors. We are always here to assist you. Just call us at (562) 925-6591 for expert advice and treatment options for dry eye syndrome.

Common Questions

Eye drops, often referred to as artificial tears, can help alleviate the symptoms of dry eye by lubricating the eye surface. However, they don't necessarily stop dry eye, which is often caused by underlying conditions that might need to be addressed. It's important that you consult with our eye care professional, perhaps at Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach, to identify and manage the cause of your dry eye.
There are numerous eye drops available, including over-the-counter and prescription variants. Commonly used ones are lubricating eye drops, also known as artificial tears. They are generally safe, but depending on the specific brand or type, some might cause allergic reactions. Before starting any new medication, it's always wise to consult with our optometrist. Contact Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach at (562) 925-6591 for professional advice.
Using eye drops daily for dry eyes is typically safe, particularly if they are artificial tears. However, if your symptoms persist or worsen, this might suggest an underlying condition. It is always wise to get an expert opinion. Don't hesitate to schedule a dry eye evaluation at Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach.
The best medicine for dry eyes depends on the individual's specific symptoms and the underlying cause of the condition. Artificial tears, prescription eye drops, and anti-inflammatory medications are some of the treatments used. However, it is crucial to consult our eye doctor at Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach to find the most effective treatment for your unique situation.
Reducing dry eyes naturally could involve adjustments to your environment and habits, such as avoiding dry, windy conditions, using a humidifier, taking regular screen breaks, and staying hydrated. However, it is essential to schedule a dry eye evaluation at Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach if symptoms persist, to ensure you're getting the best possible care and advice.
Home tests for dry eye are limited in their accuracy and cannot replace a professional evaluation. Blinking and observing how long it takes for discomfort or blurriness to set in can be a basic test. However, if you suspect you have dry eyes, it's crucial to seek a professional diagnosis. Schedule a dry eye evaluation at Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach for comprehensive assessment and treatment.
Dr. Ikeda cartoon


Eye drops are a commonly used treatment for dry eye, and can be effective at providing relief from symptoms. As with any other medical eye care issue, however, it is advised you speak with a doctor before you start using eye drops for your dry eye. If you have any additional questions or wish to schedule a consultation, you can contact Amplify EyeCare of Greater Long Beach at (562) 925-6591. Patients with dry eyes visit our clinic from all over California, and we are proud to be a leading provider of dry eye care for patients from Bellflower, Long Beach, Lakewood, and Los Angeles.


I haven't actually used the optometrist side, so my review is limited to the vision therapy offered.  This office was recommended by my occupational therapist for the treatment of my double vision following a stroke.

Claire A.

Love this location. I had a brain injury accident from day one one. All the team make you feel you still important and hope in the horizon after when the medical system fell you miserably. Dr. Ikeda very professional and very understanding about your issue. Two tombs up.

Jim K.

My husband and I were immediately impressed with Dr Ikeda. I was hit by a car while cycling which caused broken bones and three brain injuries. The brain injuries caused double vision. Dr. Ikeda examined my eyes and got me started on vision therapy with his occupational therapist who specializes in vision therapy.  She (Chris) is absolutely great.  I am impressed with the array of tools used to help recover my binocular vision.  I am doing things I never thought were possible (balance boards etc).  Chris pushes me and keeps me motivated. I really enjoy my sessions with her.  The office staff is always friendly and they have a wonderful appointment reminder tool that makes it easy to keep my calendar up to date. I am happy the rehab center at Little Co. of Mary recommended them!!

Teresa S.

The Vision Therapy is handled in a separate office through a different door from the shared waiting room. Chris, the vision therapist, has a wide and varied assortment of tools, equipment and resources to best evaluate and treat most vision issues. After just a few visits, my double vision became easier to control, using exercises developed during the therapy process. It was time well-spent.

Joe M.

I have been coming here since I can remember. I love it here. The staff is so amazing and nice. They explain everything they gonna do and never make you feel rushed. Dr. Ikeda has always been my doctor and I would never want another one. He is the doctor for my whole family and is always asking how everyone is doing. I am also so crazy about picking out my frames and have to try so many and each person who helps me take the time and lets me try them all on. I would never want to go anywhere else! I definitely would recommend this office to anyone looking for a great eye doctor.

Kayla W.

This is not for the eye exam but for the frames selection portion. I brought my prescription from Kaiser here with my VSP insurance. The reception staff was very polite and professional.  Manny helped me to pick out frames and explain my coverage.  Very helpful and patient not like the individual at the other place I rated here on Yelp.  I was running late and he still helped me and was not bothered at all.  I am so glad I came here ..........very pleased.

Very professional staff and pleasant.

Daniel G.
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