Work and life can be exhausting on your mind, body, and eyes. Hence, why there are so many ‘best eye drops for eye strain,’ on the market. But, all sales gimmicks aside, what’s really the best option for you? This in-depth guide is meant to help you find the best eye drops to ease eye strain.

You left for work before sunrise, driving your 40-minute commute on wet highways. Then, you sit in your freezing cold office, unable to move from the air conditioner vent that blasts dusty air down upon you. You stare at a computer screen all day while fluorescent lights flicker above you. Your boss needed those numbers yesterday, so you hurriedly analyze the data in the spreadsheet in front of you. After you arrive home, you can barely keep your eyes open. You lie down in the early evening with a washcloth over your eyes, waiting for a suitable time when you can go to bed.

Anyone living in this scenario would be exhausted at the end of his or her day. A long commute, a stressful job, and less-than-ideal working conditions can wreak havoc on your body, especially your eyes. What can you do to keep from being so exhausted at the end of one of these workdays? How do you reserve enough energy to be able to have relationships? Where does the energy come from to exercise? If you are a parent, how do you maintain a happy, healthy household when you are exhausted all the time? Using eye drops for eye strain can help big time.

Related: What is Eye Strain Vertigo?

There are things you can do throughout your workday to help you feel more refreshed at the end of the day. One of the easiest ways to give a break to your tired eyes is to use eye drops for eye strain throughout your day. Using eye drops for eyestrain symptoms will enable you to have a life outside of your workday. You will be able to have a life on the other side of six o’clock.

Our Favorite Eye Drops for Eye Strain

With the plethora of eye drops on the market, how do you pick the best one for your symptoms? Read on to discover some of the best-selling and popular eye drops for eye strain.

1. Systane Ultraeye drops for eye strain


Systane Ultra will provide relief for your tired eyes. They are available on Amazon in two different forms. The first one comes in a traditional eye drop bottle. On this listing, customers may purchase Systane Ultra in one ten mL bottle, two four mL bottles, or 2 10 mL bottles.

The other Systane Ultra listing is available here.  The product is packaged differently for this listing, as it is available in single-use vials. One option enables you to purchase 120 of these vials, packaged in two different boxes. The second option is to purchase 75 vials, packaged in three different boxes. Your third option is to purchase one box of 60 single-use vials.

Related: Eye Strain Exercises

No matter which packaging you prefer, the Systane Ultra drops provide soothing comfort to your eyes if you are suffering from eyestrain. The drops leave your eyes feeling refreshed. The packaging says it offers extended relief, but it is not clear how often the average user would need to reapply. The packaging only says the user can put drops in as necessary.eye drop for eye strain

Those using Systane eye drops can receive relief from eye dryness, eye irritation, burning or stinging eyes, scratchy eyes, gritty eyes, tired eyes, fluctuating or blurry vision, or excessive tearing. Systane claims to be the number one brand recommended by doctors for artificial tears. This claim is based on a survey of eye care professionals in 2014.

Systane offers other eye drop products as well. Other products provide clinical-strength intensive therapy. Additionally, different versions offer preservative-free drops for more sensitive eyes. Other Systane products support our own natural tears by restoring a lipid layer to the eyes, and finally, some drops also offer nighttime protection.

The active ingredients for Systane are polyethylene glycol 400 and propylene glycol. The inactive ingredients include aminomethylpropanol, boric acid, hydroxypropyl guar, potassium chloride, purified water, sodium chloride, and sorbitol.

2. Bausch and Lomb Limify Eye Dropsbest eye drops for eye strain

Bausch and Lomb make the next eye drops for eye strain to make our list. Lumify eye drops reduce redness and enable eyes to appear whiter, brighter, and more radiant. Approved by the FDA, the Lumify eye drops are proven to reduce redness in one minute. This relief can last up to eight hours. It contains no bleach or dyes, but is not recommended to use this product on contact lenses. It’s also advised not to use this product more than four times daily.

The active ingredient of the Bausch and Lomb product is brimonidine tartrate.

Related: How to Prevent Eye Strain

This product is packaged in three different ways. Customers can purchase the product in a bottle that holds 7.5 mL. You can also buy a three pack, with each container holding .25 ounces each. You can also purchase a two pack that holds .25 ounces each.

3. Refresh Optivetop eye drops for eye strain

There are two eye drops on the list made by Refresh. The first product is Refresh Optive.  Refresh Optive can be purchased on Amazon in single-use vials. One Amazon seller allows you to purchase 120 vials at once, while another seller packages the single-use vials in boxes of 60.

Refresh Optive will provide hydration for dry, burning, and irritated eyes.  The drops lubricate and protect the surface of the eye that can become damaged due to dryness from eyestrain. This product is recommended for use for those who undergo the LASIK procedure. It is preservative-free, so it is excellent for sensitive eyes.

The Refresh Optive also claims to be the number one rated artificial tear brand as recommended by doctors. This study was done in 2016.

Refresh Optive says it relieves symptoms of dry eyes from many different causes. Causes include heating and air conditioning, computer strain and reading, wind and sun, medications, and the natural aging process.

Related: Eye Strain Causes

The active ingredients of Refresh Optive are carboxymethylcellulose sodium and glycerin.

As compared with the other products manufactured by Refresh, these eye drops offer long-lasting hydration.

Refresh Optive is also available as an advanced formula. Located here.eye drops to use for eye strain

This eye drop for eye strain can be purchased in a package of two bottles, each holding .33 fluid ounces. Interestingly enough, you can also subscribe to purchase this product through Amazon. Those subscribing to this product can save five percent on their purchase. If you subscribe for up to five products on Amazon, you can save fifteen percent on your purchase (at the time of writing this).

Refresh Optive Advanced offers triple-action relief to help with dry, burning, and irritated eyes due to dry eyes. It is labeled triple-action because it works on all three layers of the tear film. The drops are lipid-enhanced, which provides low blur and comfort of an aqueous drop. These drops also protect your natural tears from evaporating.

Compared with the other Refresh Optive products, the advanced formula is able to protect your natural tears, while the different formulas cannot make those claims.

The active ingredients of Refresh Optive Advanced are Carboxymethylcellulose sodium, glycerin, and polysorbate. The inactive ingredients are boric acid, castor oil, erythritol, levocarnitine, carbomer copolymer type A, purified water, and a stabilized oxychloro complex. It can also contain sodium hydroxide to adjust the pH level of the product.

This product can be used with gas permeable contact lenses.

Use a Cooling Mask to Relieve Eye Strain

What are other ways you can find relief from eyestrain symptoms? You may also consider purchasing a Cooling Eye Mask.  This eye mask, manufactured by MediViz is great to use during a short nap. This mask can relieve the pain around the eyes, instead of in the eyes. This means that using eye drops in conjunction with this product will provide great all-around eye drops to use for eye strain

The Cooling Eye Mask also helps with headaches and even migraines. Plus, it helps relieve the itchiness associated with allergy eyes.

Do you have a difficult time finding a product to treat your puffy eyes? Try this Cooling Mask. Getting rid of puffy eyes will help you look younger and feel more rested.

MediViz provides a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee for their product. Plus, they donate a portion of their sales to provide vision care to those in need.

Related: Eye Strain Symptoms

Freeze the mask for at least two hours before you plan to use the product. Then, place the mask over your closed eyes. The company recommends that you do not use the mask for more than twenty minutes at a time. Wash the product with mild soap and water after each use.

What are other ways to treat eyestrain?

Unfortunately, there are not very many treatments for this ailment, aside from cooling masks and eye drops for eye strain. Instead, you can try to follow these tips to prevent eyestrain from happening in the first place.

Try to Limit Screen Time

This may be difficult since so much of our entertainment and communication comes from a screen. It can also be tricky if you have a job that keeps you sitting in front of a computer screen all day.

Related: Digital Eye Strain

Since it is not easy to limit the amount of screen time we get each day, follow the 20/20/20 rule. Every twenty minutes you are looking at a screen, take a twenty-second break and stare at something twenty feet away. It doesn’t sound as if this would make that much of a difference, but it does.

Blink More Often 

Another way to reduce eyestrain in your life is by making a point to remember to blink more often. Studies have shown that when we stare at a screen, we tend to blink less than we would any other time of day. Blinking is our body’s way of naturally refreshing the eyes. Deliberate blinking may help you reduce the number of eye drops for eye strain you need to artificially lubricate your eyes.

Try Using Computer Glasses to Reduce Eye Strain

While we are still on the subject of computer screens, you need to be aware that they may be emitting a light that is causing additional strain on your eyes. This light, which is measured between 380 and 470 mn, is in the blue spectrum. While this light is necessary to help adjust the brightness on your computer’s screen, it can also be hard on your eyes. Red and orange tones are less hard on you, and for that reason, you should view computer screens through amber-colored glasses.eye strain eye drops

These glasses can be purchased on Amazon. Search computer strain glasses to find the right product for you. We recommend the SightPros Computer Glasses.

The SightPros product helps block the blue light emitted from computer screens and cell phones. Besides causing eyestrain, this blue light is known to suppress melatonin, a natural sleep hormone. Blocking this blue light cannot only eliminate eyestrain, but it can also allow you to sleep better!

Related: Best Eye Strain Glasses

While there is a plethora of products available on Amazon that block blue light, this is one of the only pair of glasses that you can purchase in magnification strengths. Many of you age forty and over are already wearing “readers” while working on your computer. Why not buy a product that allows you to read better and protects your eyes at the same time? This allows you to get more bang for your buck. Choose from 0, +.50 D, +1.00 D, +1.50 D, +2.00 D, or +2.50 D. That’s right. Those of you who do not need readers yet can purchase this product with no magnification. Don’t be smug. Your time is coming.

Like the previous product from MediViz, SightPro also gives back a portion of their proceeds to provide eye care to those in need. The glasses are pretty cute as well.

Watch the Settings on Your Computer Screen

Another way to avoid eyestrain is to pay attention to your light sources while using technology. Do not use a computer or watch a TV in a totally dark room. Yes, your grandmother was right. Even if you are using a digital device to read, the lighting in your room should be as bright if not brighter than the device you are using. Have another source of light in the room that does not cause a glare on the screen.

Another way you can reduce your likelihood of eyestrain, and how many eye drops for eye strain you need, is to pay attention to the settings on your screen. If you are searching for something on the web, use the entire screen to allow the images to be as large as possible. If you are doing word processing or looking at numbers on a spreadsheet, adjust the size percentage to keep from straining to see the details of the numbers or the letters.

Sunlight & Allergies Can Cause Eye Strain Too

Even though my Grandma thought that the root of all evil began and ended with a computer screen, computers are not the only cause of eyestrain. Your eyes can get a workout from just being outside, especially during allergy season. How do you reduce eyestrain during this time of year? One way is to take allergy medicine that has antihistamines in it. Your body produces histamines when trying to combat an outside irritant. Antihistamines help fight the allergies affecting the eyes. Typical antihistamines include Zyrtec, Benadryl, and Allegra. Some of the eye drops for eye strain discussed earlier in this article are also used to treat eye irritation caused by allergies.

 eye strain drops for eyes

Another simple way to treat allergies is by showering more often. Showering gets rid of that nasty pollen that grabs onto you while you are outside and follows you indoors.

Another environmental factor that may cause eyestrain is natural sunlight. While some are more affected by the bright sun than others, we all need to protect our eyes from UV rays. For those working outside or driving during the day, help combat eyestrain by purchasing a quality pair of sunglasses. Look at the labels. A good pair of sunglasses should block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays. This may be called UV 400. Make sure your sunglasses are polarized. Polarized sunglasses cut down on the amount of glare, and guess what glare causes? You are right – it causes eyestrain. This does not mean that expensive glasses are better than cheaper models.  As long as they have the correct labeling, good glasses can be affordable for all income levels.

Since sunglasses don’t protect every part of your eyes, also consider wearing hats with wide brims or bills in the front. This keeps you from squinting, and you guessed it, squinting also causes eyestrain.

Even the Air Can Cause Eye Strain

Another environmental factor that can cause eyestrain is air. Yes, even the wind can be hard on your eyes. Keep in mind the air harming your eyes can be from a natural source a well as a manufactured source. If you sit near a vent or fan that is always blowing on your face, your eyes will dry out faster than if you were sitting in a more protected area. If at all possible, avoid air blowing on your face.

Of course, you can’t protect your eyes from everything in the environment. That’s why it is important to remember that there are products that can provide some relief for the symptoms that come with eyestrain. Use eye drops for eye strain and cooling eye masks to make your eyes feel better. Take a break from using technology and come inside out of the elements periodically to keep your eyes in tip-top shape. Take care of your eyes. You were only given two.

Dr. Barry

Dr. Barry

October 5, 2018