I use artificial tears when working at the computer to help me cope with chronic dry eyes, and I’ve tried several brands. So which brand is least expensive? And which brand works the best? Here’s what I’ve found out: the best value in artificial tears isn’t the cheapest brand.
The least expensive lubricating eye drops that I’ve found are the Equate Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops, a store brand available exclusively at Walmart. These are what I use much of the time, and the price is around $4 a bottle. But they aren’t exactly the best value.
Everyone says the best of these drops is Systane brand, but the price is too high for me to even consider. Depending on where you shop, a tiny bottle can be $15 to $20 or more.
When I was first diagnosed with the dry eye condition, the eye doctor gave me a sample bottle of Blink Tears. When I looked around, I found that a bottle of this brand is between $6 and $8, although the price goes up all the time. This brand has a lubricant that’s strong enough to work for several hour or even most of the day without getting very sticky, as some brands do. For a long time, this was my favorite brand, and I suppose it still is.
The Walmart drops aren’t sticky at all, but they don’t work for very long either.
There’s also the issue of safety. Blink Tears promotes the fact that the ingredients in their drops naturally clear themselves from your system and don’t hang around as some other chemicals do, but I really don’t know how important this is.
Here’s what I know for sure: Walmart Artificial Tears are pretty good, and Systane is way too expensive. If you’re concerned with safety, longevity, comfort and price, the best compromise seems to be Blink Tears. They’ll work for you at a price you can afford.