9 doctors weighed in:

Is it ok to use over-the-counter artificial tears without being told by an eye doctor to use them?

9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Andrew Shatz
Ophthalmology
4 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

These drops are over the counter because they are not regulated by the fda and are deemed not to be significantly harmful if taken without the supervision of a doctor. The only warning is that you take these drops understanding their limitations: they help lubricate an otherwise dry eye.
If there is the chance that you have another eye condition, see an eye doctor before choosing these drops.

In brief: Yes

These drops are over the counter because they are not regulated by the fda and are deemed not to be significantly harmful if taken without the supervision of a doctor. The only warning is that you take these drops understanding their limitations: they help lubricate an otherwise dry eye.
If there is the chance that you have another eye condition, see an eye doctor before choosing these drops.
Dr. Andrew Shatz
Dr. Andrew Shatz
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Dr. Edward Hellman
Orthopedic Surgery
2 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

Yes, but if you do have persistent problems that you feel require artificial tears on a regular basis it would probably be good to get an eye exam.

In brief: Yes

Yes, but if you do have persistent problems that you feel require artificial tears on a regular basis it would probably be good to get an eye exam.
Dr. Edward Hellman
Dr. Edward Hellman
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Dr. William Dieck
Ophthalmology

In brief: Yes

Yes. If you use more than an occasional drop i would recommend using a preservative free tear drop, so you don't develop an allergy to the preservative in the drop.

In brief: Yes

Yes. If you use more than an occasional drop i would recommend using a preservative free tear drop, so you don't develop an allergy to the preservative in the drop.
Dr. William Dieck
Dr. William Dieck
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Dr. Daniel Bustos
Ophthalmology

In brief: Yes

Yes, artificial tears that do not have extra chemicals in them such as redness-relievers in them are always fine to use at any time.
They can only help. If you use artificial tears in a bottle, there are preservatives in them and they should only be used 4-5x/day because the preservatives can irritate the eyes if used more. Preservative-free tears can be used indiscriminately with no problems.

In brief: Yes

Yes, artificial tears that do not have extra chemicals in them such as redness-relievers in them are always fine to use at any time.
They can only help. If you use artificial tears in a bottle, there are preservatives in them and they should only be used 4-5x/day because the preservatives can irritate the eyes if used more. Preservative-free tears can be used indiscriminately with no problems.
Dr. Daniel Bustos
Dr. Daniel Bustos
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