If you've made the switch to contact lenses, you might have noticed your eyes feeling drier and itchier than usual. It's a small price to pay for 20/20 vision, but you don't have to settle for discomfort! Luckily, whether from new use or in addition to hay fever, allergies or eyestrain, there are plenty of eye drops on the market specifically designed to target irritation for contact lens users.
This article will detail all the major things you'll need to consider when shopping for eye drops, such as sodium hyaluronate content, preservative-free formulas and single-dose droppers. Plus, we've compiled a list of the top 10 eye drops for contact lenses currently available through UK retailers such as Amazon, Boots and Tesco.
For those after a quick look, here is our Top 5:
For a more in-depth look at the comprehensive top 10 selection, make sure to read on to learn more about the different types of eye drops for contact lenses available and understand how our ranking was determined.
This article's chosen EC site price listings are reflective of its publishing date.
0.2% Soothing Eye Drops
Single Dose Eye Drops
Contacts Soothing Eye Drops
Contact Lens Eye Drops
Extra Moisturising Eye Drops
Intensive Dry Eye Drops
Dual Preservative-Free Eyedrops
Contacts Refresh & Clean Eye Drops
Contact Eye Drops
Contact Lens Eye Drops
30 Doses of Preservative-Free Drops for Moderate Dryness
Relieve Dryness and Irritation With Hyaluronic Acid
A Mild 0.15% Formula for Those Whose Irritation Varies from Day to Day
Apply 2 to 3 Times per Day to Relieve Mild Irritation
Soothe and Moisturise Very Dry Eyes With a Natural-Based, Vegan Formula
A pH-Balanced Formula to Combat Intense, Relentless Dryness
A Preservative-Free Formula With a 6-Month Shelf Life
Gentle Drops Specifically Designed for Long-Duration Lens Wear
A Multipack of Vials to Combat Grit, Redness and Hay Fever Irritation
A Low-Budget Bottle for Frequent Daily Use
|Dryness||Moderate||Moderate||Mild - moderate||Mild||Moderate||Intense||Mild||Mild||Mild||-|
|Daily Dose||Unlimited||2-4 times per day||Unlimited||2-3 times per day||Up to 5 times per day||-||Unlimited||3-6 times per day||-||Unlimited|
|Single-Use Vials||Yes, 30||Yes, 20||No||No||No||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|Volume||30 x 0.5 ml||20 x 0.5 ml||10 ml||10 ml||10 ml||10 ml||7.5 ml||15 ml||20 x 0.4 ml||10 ml|
The moistening property in eye drops comes from sodium hyaluronate, so more severe cases will need a higher content of the chemical. Mild drops tend to contain around 0.1%. For drier eyes, you should look for a sodium hyaluronate content of 0.2% and above. More severe cases are usually treated with 0.25 - 0.4% drops, but these are not normally available over the counter and will need to be prescribed by your doctor.
Preservatives are used to stop harmful bacteria from growing inside the eye drop bottle, so products containing these chemicals have a longer shelf life of up to 6 months. Because they come in larger volumes with a longer shelf life, they tend to be the most cost-effective option, but they're only recommended for mild cases. Using them more than six times per day can be harmful to your eyes.
The last thing you want to do is make your dry or itchy eyes even more irritated, so if you have sensitive eyes or need to use drops more frequently, it's best to opt for a preservative-free formula. This variety can be used multiple times daily, with no limit to how many times you can reapply. They are a more expensive option, but relief from chronic dryness is often deemed worth the investment.
If you decide to opt for a preservative-free formula, it will likely come in a single-dose container. These individually sealed plastic vials contain between 0.04 and 0.05 ml, making them the perfect size for one application. This helps to keep the rest of your stock separate from the opened bottles to avoid contamination and the risk of harmful bacterial growth.
They come in packs of around 20 to 30, so you'll have to consider how many doses you will need per day to work out how long the multipack will last. As well as the added expense of the preservative-free formula, you may notice that single-dose packaging is also more expensive than full-sized bottles. However, it is vital if you want to ensure preservative-free drops remain safe to use over an extended time period.
This ranking has been compiled by the writing team at mybest UK via careful evaluation of the points made in the buying guide and thorough research of each product and comparing multiple verified customer reviews across the EC sites used.
|Single-Use Vials||Yes, 30|
|Volume||30 x 0.5 ml|
|Daily Dose||2-4 times per day|
|Single-Use Vials||Yes, 20|
|Volume||20 x 0.5 ml|
|Dryness||Mild - moderate|
|Daily Dose||2-3 times per day|
|Daily Dose||Up to 5 times per day|
|Daily Dose||3-6 times per day|
|Volume||20 x 0.4 ml|
Written and researched by Alicia Byrne
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