Drop Addict asks… I read your post about being addicted to lip balm and I have a similar problem: I think I’m addicted to eye drops. My eyes constantly feel dry and I’m always putting drops in them. Is this bad for me?
The Right Brain Responds: Dear Drop Addict, we’re not opthalmologists so we’re not qualified to give you any medical advice about your eyes (or any other part of your body for that matter.) But, since using eye drops to moisturize your eyes is kind of like using lotion to moisturize your skin, or conditioner to moisturize your hair – what the heck, let’s give it a shot.
It’s possible you have a condition called “Dry Eye.” If that’s the case, the answer isn’t putting drops in more often – it’s finding a drop that’s longer lasting. Plain saline drops have a very transitory moisturizing effect – they just don’t coat the eye very well. What you need are drops that contain ingredients known as hydrogels that increase the drops ability to stay on your eye.
Common hydrogel ingredients include Hydroxypropyl Methylcellulose, Carboxy Methylcellulose, Polyvinyl Alcohol, Carbopol, polyvinyl pyrrolidone, polyethylene glycol, dextran, and hyaluronic acid. Look for drops with any of these ingredients and you should see some improvement.