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What Are Natural Eye Drops?

Natural eye drops are easy on sensitive eyes as they lack preservatives and other ingredients that can cause additional irritation.
Natural eye drops are applied the same way as other eye drops, by suspending the bottle over the eye and squeezing lightly until a drop or two comes into contact with the eyeball.
Eye drops can help diminish redness of the eyes.
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  • Written By: T. Broderick
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 15 October 2014
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Natural eye drops are eye drops that have a different composition than most eye drops sold over the counter. These eye drops lack preservatives and some other ingredients that can irritate sensitive eyes. Due to their chemical makeup, natural eye drops have a relatively short shelf life after opening. Besides providing dry eye relief, natural eye drops are a common part of the treatment package for individuals who have undergone vision correction surgery or other surgeries involving the eye. Natural drops are available for purchase in drug stores and supermarkets.

Like all eye drops, natural eye drops exist to soothe dry eyes. Individuals using natural drops generally use the same amount of drops to provide relief as those using normal drops. The primary difference between regular and natural drops is that the latter lacks the preservatives and impurities found in normal eye drops. Natural drops are composed primary of sterile saline and a lubricant similar to that produced by one's own tear ducts. These qualities reduce the possibility of sensitive eyes becoming irritated through using the drops.

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Despite natural eye drops having some advantages over normal drops, natural drops have two drawbacks. The first is that they are generally more expensive than normal drops. The second is that due to their lack of preservatives, the shelf life of natural drops, once opened, is very short. For this reason, most natural drops come in one time use applicators rather than traditional squeeze bottles. Though this specialized packaging adds to the already higher cost of the drops, it allows individuals to use natural drops without risking any safety issues such as bacterial growth within the drops.

Due to its ability to soothe even the most sensitive eyes, natural eye drops are usually part of the treatment package for individuals recovering from vision correction surgery or other surgeries involving the eyeball. In most cases, corrective surgery severs the sensitive nerves that allow the eye to communicate with the tear ducts. While the nerves repair themselves, using natural eye drops are advantageous for two reasons. The first is that the lack of preservatives and impurities means that no unnatural substances can permeate the healing wounds on the eyeball. The second reason is that since natural drops are are closer in composition to natural tears, they promote faster healing that lowers the possibility of complications.

Natural eye drops are available wherever eye drops are sold. As with most over-the-counter medical products, different brands exist. If one is unsure of the best type of natural drops to use for one's specific need, consulting with a physician or optometrist may be necessary.

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