OTC eye drops include artificial tears, lubricants and eye washes. Artificial tears such as AquaSite, Hypo Tears and Refresh moisturize eyes and thicken tears. The drops help relieve dry eyes, which are caused by conditions such as aging, eye surgery, illnesses and windy environments.
Lubricants, including Lacri-Lube, Moisture Eyes PM and Refresh PM, also add moisture to eyes. However, they last longer than artificial tears. Typically they are used only before patients go to bed, because the drops cause blurring.
AK Rinse, Dacriose and Eye-Stream are eye washes. These drops rinse irritants out of eyes. The chemicals in these medications are balanced to match the acidity of eyes' fluid.