Certain OTC artificial tears proved more effective at targeting specific dry eye parameters than others in this recent study.

Certain OTC artificial tears proved more effective at targeting specific dry eye parameters than others in this recent study. Photo: Michelle Hessen, OD. Click image to enlarge.

Many patients with dry eye disease (DED) turn to over-the-counter artificial tears to help alleviate their symptoms, especially initially. A limited number of studies have compared the performance of different OTC drops, prompting researchers to conduct a new study evaluating the effectiveness of 13 artificial tear preparations in improving objective measures of tear film anatomy and function in patients with dry eye. The results, presented last week at the ARVO annual meeting in Seattle, indicated that no artificial tear excelled across the board, so tailoring specific drops to patients with certain aspects of DED dysfunction may be beneficial.

The study included 242 eyes from 122 patients. Tear meniscus height, non-invasive keratographic tear breakup time (NIKBUT) and central lipid layer thickness were measured using advanced keratography and interferometry. The artificial tear formulations tested included Systane Complete PF, Refresh Relieva, GenTeal Gel, Hylo-Tear, Ivizia, Systane Ultra, Refresh Optive Mega 3, Similasan, Soothe XP, Up&Up, Visine and GenTeal Tears. Saline was used as a control.

The study found that all artificial tear preparations resulted in an improvement in some tear parameters. However, no single artificial tear performed consistently better at all time points for all measures. The best performer for tear meniscus height was GenTeal Gel; for NIKBUT, the winners were Systane Ultra, saline and Refresh Relieva. The most improvement in lipid layer thickness was seen with Hylo-Tear and Soothe XP. These findings suggest that the composition of artificial tears plays a crucial role in their relative performance, the researchers noted in their ARVO abstract.

This study’s results emphasize the need for personalized treatment approaches in DED management, the authors concluded. Patients with low tear breakup times may benefit more from Systane Ultra, saline and Refresh Relieva, while those with low lipid layer thickness may benefit more from Hylo-Tear and Soothe XP, they summarized. Additionally, GenTeal Gel may be more beneficial for patients with low tear meniscus height.

Original abstract content @2024 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

White ER, Fazio N, Galenchik-Chan A, et al. Analysis of artificial tear effects on objective noninvasive dry eye parameters. ARVO 2024 annual meeting.