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Thread: My tentative findings for the best ocular lubricant (eyedrops)

  1. #1
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    My tentative findings for the best ocular lubricant (eyedrops)

    Have been on a quest to find the best eyedrops. Yes, everyone is different but the results so far have been distinctive. Surprisingly, the most expensive and most difficult to obtain locally** is not in first place.

    In most cases the best vision was obtained by using the drops, then heating the lids with a microwaved sock full of dry rice. Oh yes !!

    Subject to change, here is the rankings:

    1. Refresh Optive Sensitive

    2. Systane Balance

    3. Refresh Optive

    4. GenTeal Liquid Gel Drops

    5. Various others (Theratears, Blink, Systane other than Balance, etc.)

    ----------
    ----------
    12. Oasis **

    13. Oasis Plus **



    QUALITIES sought include:

    1. Readily available from a chain pharmacy or grocery store. and no prescription needed.
    2. Preservative-free
    3. Little or no blurring after instillation
    4. No symptoms when instilling
    5. Vision sharp after application or very shortly thereafter
    6. No feeling of wet lids after using the drops
    7. Long lasting and gives good relief even if wind or car heater is blowing on the face
    8. Application of the drops improves vision even if an alternate brand was used previously
    9. Blink rate acceptable and within 15 minutes after application, purposeful blinking not required to improve vision.
    10. Reasonable cost
    11. Discount coupons available


    So far, the Optive Refresh Sensitive has given excellent sharp vision, eight to 12 hours relief, no "wet" feeling on the lids, no tear pooling, no double monocular imaging, etc.

    What drops have YOU been using and why do YOU like them ? Do you have a ranking ? If so, please list the ranking and if the qualities you seek are any different from the above.
    Last edited by Physician; 27-Mar-2011 at 17:55.

  2. #2
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    Also subject to change, here are my rankings:

    1) Oasis Tears Plus (meets all criteria except for 5)
    2) Bion Tears (meets all criteria except for 4 - out of all the drops I've tried, these, along with TheraTears, are the only ones that NEVER burn upon installation, even if my eyes are insanely irritated... the only problem is they don't last very long, so I only use them for very limited purposes)
    3) Thera Tears (meets all criteria except for 4 and 7 - out of all the drops I've tried, these, along with Bion Tears, are the only ones that NEVER burn upon installation. The only problem is they don't last very long, and the Cdn. version does not have re-closeable vials... consequently, I would only purchase these if Bion Tears were unavailable)
    3) Refresh Celluvisc (meets all criteria except for 1 and 2... if my eyes are very irritated, these drops will sting when I put them in)

    Soooo.... I use Refresh Celluvisc during the day when I need a "thick" drop. I use Bion Tears to unstick my eyelids from my eyeballs when I wake up overnight (also, to rinse out my eyes as per Dr. L's book after heat/gland expression.) I use TheraTears only if Bion Tears is unavailable. I use Oasis Tears Plus as a treat once in a while when I want a break from the eyelash residue that I get from the Celluvisc.

    Refresh Plus simply doesn't last long enough. It leaves less residue on my lashes than the Celluvisc though.

    All other Cdn. preservative-free drops that I've tried either sting upon instillation, don't last very long, or are not covered by my insurance.

    QUALITIES sought include (in no particular order):

    1. No burning upon instillation
    2. Minimal or no residue left on lashes
    3. Vision sharp after application or very shortly thereafter
    4. Longer lasting
    5. Covered by insurance
    6. Preservative-free
    7. Re-closeable vials
    Yet another post-Lasik (2005)...
    Anyone have a time machine so I can go back and undo this mess?

  3. #3
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    I haven't been at this as long, but I have purchased, or been given samples of so many drops, my favorite drop has to be the Thera tears, they are not preservative free but never burn my eyes, I also like the genteel gel. But I have noticed that they can sometimes burn, especially if I have used another drop to clear my vision. I had been using the genteel mild, but found it was not as lubricating and it almost made my eyes a bit drier. Thank you for posting your findings I will try some of the ones you suggested.

  4. #4
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    Oasis Tears Plus was not good.

    Quote Originally Posted by SAAG View Post
    Also subject to change, here are my rankings:

    1) Oasis Tears Plus (meets all criteria except for 5)



    Yikes !! I really really disliked the Oasis Tears Plus. It kept my lids feeling wet and created a tear pool. I had to blot my eyes and use a hot hair dryer on my eyes and my vision remained blurry for over dix hours. I had to apply Refresh Optive for even partial relief from the pooling and blurry vision. Refresh Optive Sensitive on the other hand, gave me perfect vision for over 12 hours.

    But I have many left over but am reluctant to try it again.

    Your "#5" refers to my #5 or your #5 ?

    If you meant your #5, aka insurance coverage, Insurance coverage is immaterial to me in that these drops are one of the least expensive parts of living.

  5. #5
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    wow, if I used a hot hair dryer on my eyes, it wouldn't matter what drops I used, I would be miserable.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Physician View Post

    Your "#5" refers to my #5 or your #5 ?
    My 5

    Quote Originally Posted by Physician View Post
    If you meant your #5, aka insurance coverage, Insurance coverage is immaterial to me in that these drops are one of the least expensive parts of living.
    From your recent posts, it sounds like you can get by without using a lot of drops, hence, they won't cost you much.

    Sadly, that's not the case for me...
    Yet another post-Lasik (2005)...
    Anyone have a time machine so I can go back and undo this mess?

  7. #7
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    Cost ?

    Quote Originally Posted by SAAG View Post
    My 5



    From your recent posts, it sounds like you can get by without using a lot of drops, hence, they won't cost you much.

    Sadly, that's not the case for me...


    Really ? Sorry to hear this.

    How much do they cost you a day ? Insurance won't cover OTC (over the counter) drops. I use the Refresh Optive Sensitive two to three times a day. If the "hot sock" is used twice a day, no other drops have been needed.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAAG View Post


    QUALITIES sought include (in no particular order):

    2. Minimal or no residue left on lashes


    7. Re-closeable vials
    No 7 there is the holy grail for me...seems almost impossible to get vials that tick all the other boxes and can be re-closed!
    The eye altering, alters all - William Blake

  9. #9
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    Theratears

    #1 - Theratears are the only drop that never burn, or sting, or make my eyes get temporarily red when I use it - it immediately feels fantastic and my eyes whiten for a moment when I put these drops in. I use the gel at night. I use the dollar off coupon I get in the box. While I wish there were resealable ones, I still choose this drop over every other drop and try to store it without the top touching anything - or sometimes I use the entire vial (if I'm out at the barn, etc.) to "wash" out all the allergens I'm sure are sticking to my eyes.

    #2 - Bion tears
    #3- Optive Sensitive

    For gels, I love the theratears gel and genteal gel - use them at night while I sleep.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Physician View Post
    Really ? Sorry to hear this.

    How much do they cost you a day ? Insurance won't cover OTC (over the counter) drops. I use the Refresh Optive Sensitive two to three times a day. If the "hot sock" is used twice a day, no other drops have been needed.
    I currently spend $1325 per year on PF artificial tears. Regarding insurance coverage, they certainly didn't make it easy to find out that they will cover OTC tears... my doctor had to apply for an exception with our provincial drug program to get them to cover it first, (this is valuable on paper only, since my deductible is higher than my expenses... BUT, once I could show my insurance company that the government plan agreed to add them to my list of covered meds, the insurance plan did the same.)

    Then there's Salagen... at the moment, I'm on 1 tab per day... hoping to be able to increase it to 4/day since that seems to make a significant difference for my eyes. Hoping side effects won't make me have to quit again (bad cough last time). It costs $1.15 per tablet.

    Doxycycline costs $0.59 per day. (100mg/day)

    Restasis is so new here that it's not covered by anything yet, and that costs me $115 per box... 1 box lasts maybe 5 weeks?? (I use it 4 times daily, and use the vials until they are empty)

    If I were working full time, these eye expenses wouldn't be as big a deal to me... but working part-time, I definitely feel the expenses more!
    Last edited by SAAG; 28-Mar-2011 at 09:26.
    Yet another post-Lasik (2005)...
    Anyone have a time machine so I can go back and undo this mess?

  11. #11
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    Theratears is indeed close to Optive Sensitive

    Quote Originally Posted by Mawsky View Post
    I haven't been at this as long, but I have purchased, or been given samples of so many drops, my favorite drop has to be the Thera tears, they are not preservative free but never burn my eyes, I also like the genteel gel. But I have noticed that they can sometimes burn, especially if I have used another drop to clear my vision. I had been using the genteel mild, but found it was not as lubricating and it almost made my eyes a bit drier. Thank you for posting your findings I will try some of the ones you suggested.


    Yikes. You are correct. My list should NOT have put Theratears that low. It's fairly close Optive Sensitive in effectiveness, but better in one way and not as good in three ways. Better = no excess fluid right after using. But not as good in that it doesn't last nearly as long as Optive Sensitive, vision takes longer to sharpen, minute amount of tear pooling occurs too soon, and there's no unidose vials. The owners of Theratears claim it's preservative-free in that whatever preserves the solution is modified and dissipates after the drops hit the eye.

    Anyone have more info on that claim ?

    Theratears website: http://www.theratears.com/which.aspx

    Theratears coupon: http://www.theratears.com/Coupon/coupon.html $1.00 off

    Better coupon: http://www.allaboutvision.com/premiu...-coupon-05.pdf $2.00 off



    UPDATED LIST OF PREFERENCES

    1. Refresh Optive Sensitive

    2. Systane Balance

    3. Theratears

    4. Refresh Optive

    5. GenTeal Liquid Gel Drops

    6. Various others (Blink, Systane other than Balance, etc.)

    ----------
    ----------
    12. Oasis **

    13. Oasis Plus **
    Last edited by Physician; 28-Mar-2011 at 15:46.

  12. #12
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    The Theratears I use is in the individual vials and most certainly is preservative free...or at least advertised that way!!!

  13. #13
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    Hi!

    1. Thera Tears
    2. Refresh Sensitive
    3. Systane Balance

    Thera Tears works the best for me if using saturation. Wish it lasted longer. After several applications, Refresh leaves a gunky film. Systane has a preservative and doesn't seem to provide sustained relief, although it helps. The thicker gels feel very uncomfortable to me and clarity of vision after application is difficult so I don't use them. Thanks for doing this. Sorting through all of the eye drops to find something that works is an expensive career. I've about decided that every now and then one works better than the other, but am not sure why. Sometimes Refresh will kill that gritty burning feeling when nothing else can, but overall, the Thera Tears works best.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by magoo View Post
    wow, if I used a hot hair dryer on my eyes, it wouldn't matter what drops I used, I would be miserable.
    lol thats the same thought I had!

  15. #15
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    A hair dryer on the eyes? Seriously? That's crazy.
    Rebecca Petris
    The Dry Eye Zone

  16. #16
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    Theratears...

    Having very serious allergies to many drops (which I found out the hard way...)

    #1 TheraTears single dose vial
    #2 TheraTears multidose bottle
    #3 Refresh Celluvisc
    #4 ?? Trying to find a good nighttime ointment that is preservative free. The gels don't last long enough for me for some reason. I tried Refresh PM once and may try it again.

    Just so you know the single use container TheraTears are indeed preservative free.

    The multiuse bottle is "minimally preservative free", so it has a "gentle" preservative. It DOES irritate my eyes in certain circumstances, but the convenience of a multi-dose bottle is huge.

  17. #17
    Interesting; I, too, am allergic to many drops, and Theratears tops the list of drops that irritate my eyes. It just goes to show that what works for one person may not work for another person. Everyone experiences different results with eyedrops.

    Quote Originally Posted by NeedMyEyes View Post
    Having very serious allergies to many drops (which I found out the hard way...)

    #1 TheraTears single dose vial
    #2 TheraTears multidose bottle
    #3 Refresh Celluvisc
    #4 ?? Trying to find a good nighttime ointment that is preservative free. The gels don't last long enough for me for some reason. I tried Refresh PM once and may try it again.

    Just so you know the single use container TheraTears are indeed preservative free.

    The multiuse bottle is "minimally preservative free", so it has a "gentle" preservative. It DOES irritate my eyes in certain circumstances, but the convenience of a multi-dose bottle is huge.

  18. #18
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    1. TheraTears PF Vials during the day and Genteal gel (severe dry eye formula) or Muro ointment at night
    2. Systane Balance

    I have tried most all of the others including Rx Freshkote. All made my eyes feel drier, itchy, etc. I'm quite sensitive to most preservatives.
    Every day with DES is like a box of chocolates...You never know what you're going to get.

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