So, what exactly
is dry eye?

Explore each section to gain a basic understanding of eye dryness, the symptoms, the causes and treatment options.


We hope you’ll find the answers to your questions here. If not, visit Resources for more information.
Q. How do I know if I have Dry Eye?
A. The only way to know for sure if you may be suffering from Dry Eye is to see your eye doctor. Consider taking our Dry Eye Quiz and sharing the insights with your doctor.
Q. How do tears and the tear film impact my eyes?
A. Each time we blink, a protective coating of tears is spread like a film over the front of our eye. LEARN MORE »
Q. How can I relieve my Dry Eye symptoms?
A. Over-the-counter eye drops like REFRESH® Brand Lubricant Eye Drops help keep the eye moist and comfortable, providing temporary relief. REFRESH® Brand Lubricant Eye Drops come in a variety of formulas, from moisturizing drops to thicker gels to ointments. Prescription therapies are available for Chronic Dry Eye. If you think you have Dry Eye symptoms, make an appointment with your eye doctor. He or she can determine the treatment that is appropriate for you.
Q. Which REFRESH® products are safe to use with contact lenses?
  • REFRESH® REPAIR Lubricant Eye Drops
  • REFRESH OPTIVE® Lubricant Eye Drops
  • REFRESH TEARS® Lubricant Eye Drops
  • REFRESH PLUS® Lubricant Eye Drops
  • REFRESH LIQUIGEL® Lubricant Eye Drops
  • REFRESH CONTACTS® Contact Lens Comfort Drops
  What are some tips on minimizing Dry Eye symptoms?
  • Use a humidifier at home and in your workplace
  • Wear sunglasses outdoors, particularly those with a wrap-around frame design, to reduce exposure to drying winds and sun
  • Blink regularly
  • Don’t rub your eyes –  even though it may feel good temporarily, it can irritate your eyes
Q. Are all artificial tears the same?
A. No. there are four different forms of artificial tears, each designed for different needs. They’re available over the counter. Please speak with your eye doctor regarding the appropriate treatment for you.
  1. Preserved Artificial Tears
    • Most over-the-counter eye drops fall into this category, and they’re the most common option for Dry Eye symptoms
    • Provide moisture, surface wetting and comfort for people who suffer from Dry Eye symptoms
    • Generally come in a multi-dose bottle
  2. Preservative-Free Artificial Tears
    • These types of over-the-counter eye drops do not contain preservatives
    • Recommended for people with dry, sensitive eyes
    • Generally come in single-use vials
  3. Gels
    • Artificial tears in the form of a gel tend to be thicker and more viscous to provide long-lasting, extra-strength moisturizing relief
  4. Ointments
    • Recommended for more intense, dry irritated eyes
    • Provide strong, soothing relief
    • Ideal for use at bedtime
    • Generally come in a tube
Q. What if I’m not getting enough relief from over-the-counter artificial tears?
A. If you’re using over-the-counter eye drops often, you may have Chronic Dry Eye. Chronic Dry Eye is a disease that requires ongoing therapy, as over time it can have potential consequences for your eyes. If you have Chronic Dry Eye, over-the-counter eye drops may not be enough. Prescription therapies are available. Make an appointment with your eye doctor and ask if one might be right for you.