It seems as if dry eyes are constantly in the news as of late. This is not really surprising, since dry eye syndrome (DES) is now at near epidemic levels. It is believed that, due to our continued use of computers and digital screens, more and more people are now developing DES. Because it affects the eyes, which are some of our most delicate organs, it is important that a form of treatment is found.
One company that aims to address DES is TheraTears, which has created an ocular lubricant also known as TheraTears. The company founder, Jeffrey P. Gilbard, M.D., has dedicated his life to pioneering treatment in the field of DES. He was one of the first researchers and ophthalmologists in the world to gain a greater understanding of the link between eye health and nutrition as well. Throughout his career, he aimed to improve the quality of life people could experience by offering them full holistic eye care. This vision continues to lie at the heart of everything that TheraTears does.
What Are TheraTears?
Because DES is such a common condition, there are many manufacturers that have developed drops and products to alleviate the symptoms. Different products have different ingredients and address different symptoms of DES. TheraTears is an ocular lubricant. This means:
- It is designed to help moisten the eyes, which means it helps people who have DES due to insufficient tear production.
- It helps to sooth the symptoms of DES, including discomfort, irritation, and burning.
Some Things to Be Aware Of
TheraTears has stated that their product may also be beneficial for other purposes, although they do not state what those purposes are. What is known, however, is that it is not a suitable product for the treatment of eye infections. Eye infections, be they viral or bacterial, have to be treated by an eye specialist, using antibiotics, antiviral drugs, and/or other types of treatment.
Because DES is now so common, a lot of people self-diagnose with the condition and try treatment options such as TheraTears without discussing this with their healthcare provider. This is quite a serious mistake, as DES can also be symptomatic of other conditions, including conjunctivitis, allergies, blepharitis, glaucoma, and other conditions that require specialized treatment. Furthermore, all drugs have the potential to have interactions with other products. This means that before deciding to use TheraTears, you should always speak to your medical provider to find out whether you are a suitable candidate.
There are no indications that TheraTears have effects on unborn babies, or on mother’s milk. However, it is important to speak to a physician or pharmacist regardless, as new information is made available all the time.
How to Use TheraTears
TheraTears are provided with label instructions, and these should be followed exactly. The exception is if your physician instructed you to use the product in a different way, although this is very rare. It is important that you use the right dosage, and that you use it for as long as it is recommended, and not longer.
To use the product, you must first start by removing your contact lenses if you are wearing them. Additionally, you should not put your lenses back in for at least 15 minutes after applying the lubricant. This is because it can chemically react to soft contact lenses in particular, leading to discoloration. Once you have removed your contact lenses, you should properly wash your hands, using a gentle antibacterial soap. You are now ready to apply the eye drops, which is done by:
- Slightly tilt back your head, pulling the lower eyelid down. This will create a pocket, into which you will put the product.
- Hold the dropper tip down above the pocket you have created.
- Look up and away from the bottle, squeezing out a single drop into the pocket.
- Close your eyes and tip your head down, staying in that position for about 2 or 3 minutes. Do not squint or blink during this period of time. After three minutes, gently press the corner of your eye with your finger for a single minute. This will stop the TheraTears from draining away through the tear duct.
Your doctor will have told you how many drops you can use, and you should follow this recommendation exactly. If you have been prescribed more than a single drop, you should repeat the above process for each drop, leaving at least five minutes between each drop. If you have also been prescribe different types of drops, you should wait at least 10 minutes before applying it.
Before you apply any types of drops, check whether it is in good condition. If you notice any particles, or the liquid has changed color, you should have the product replaced straight away.
TheraTears also products eye lubricants in an ointment form. Again, you must remove your contacts first, and have clean hands before applying the product. Once you are ready you should:
- Slightly tilt your head back, pulling your lower eyelid down. This creates a small pocket.
- You should then point the tip of the tube towards that pocket, looking up and away from it.
- Squeeze an ointment ribbon into the pocket, making sure the tip does not touch the eye.
- Blink gently once or twice, then close your eyes and keep them closed for about two minutes.
- After two minutes, use a clean cloth to wipe any excess lubricant from your lashes.
- Your vision may now be slightly blurry. This is why it is recommended to use these ointments at night time, when you don’t have to operate machinery, drive, or do anything else that may be difficult if your vision is blurry.
Lastly, TheraTears creates supplements for eye nutrition. These should be taken as prescribed, which is usually three soft gel tablets every morning. However, your physician may have additional instructions.
TheraTears Side Effects
Any medicinal products have the potential to cause side effects. The biggest danger with TheraTears is experiencing an allergic reaction to any of the ingredients. Hence, if you notice any of the following symptoms, you should seek help straight away:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Swelling of the throat, tongue, lips, or face
You should also stop using the product and speak to your physician if:
- Your eye irritation gets worse after you use the product, particularly if you experience stinging or severe burning.
- You experience eye pain after using the product.
- You experience vision changes (other than blurriness with ointment) after using the product.
There are a number of common side effects, which usually only last a few minutes. These include:
- Redness and itching in the eyes
- Mild irritation and burning
- Blurry vision
- Watery eyes
- An unpleasant taste in your mouth
Less common side effects of using TheraTears include:
- Prolonged blurry vision.
- Irritation, redness, or discomfort that was not already present.
- Increased light sensitivity.
- Stickiness or matting of the eyelashes, which is usually down to improper application of the lubricant gel.
- Swelling of the eyelids.
Different TheraTears Products
TheraTears is committed to delivering overall increased comfort to the eyes, and to improve eye health in general. To do this, they have released a number of different products (drops, gels, and supplements), as the table below highlights.
|Restoring the Natural Balance of the Eyes||Cleanses the Eyelids and Eyelashes||Nourishes the Eyes to Promote Healthy Tears|
|TheraTears Dry Eye Therapy, which is preservative free.||TheraTears SteriLid Eyelid Cleanser.||TheraTears Eye Nutrition supplements.|
|TheraTears Nighttime Dry Eye Therapy, which is preservative free.|
|TheraTears Contact Lens Comfort Drops.|
You may have noticed that they DES products are all preservative free. This is an important detail, as many artificial tears, which are traditionally used in the relief of DES, do contain preservatives. This often causes irritation of the eyes, actually making the situation worse.