Artificial tears are OTC eyedrops used to lubricate dry eyes and help maintain moisture on the outer surface of the eyes. Such eyedrops may be used to treat dry eyes that result from aging, certain medications, a medical condition, eye surgery or environmental factors, such as smoky or windy conditions and computer use.
OTC Artificial tears are available without a prescription
Besides lubricating the eyes, some artificial tears also promote healing of the eyes and others work to decrease tear evaporation. Artificial tears may also contain thickening agents, which keep the solution on the surface of eyes much longer.
There are two broad categories of artificial tears:
Artificial tears are also available as nonprescription gels and gel inserts. These may cause temporary blurred vision. Gels may be used prior to bedtime.