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Which eye drops are best for relieving red eyes?

Millions of Americans have allergies and suffer daily from symptoms like coughing, sneezing and itchy, dry and red eyes, among others. Causes of allergies include toxins or pollen in the air, a change in the seasons, household cleaners and pet hair. 

When it comes to dry, red eyes, allergies aren’t the only cause. Spending prolonged hours on phones and computer screens has been cited as an eye strain and irritant by many. Luckily, over-the-counter eye drops can help alleviate these symptoms and make your eyes look and feel younger and healthier. Some red eye drops for contacts also help irritated eyes. Our top choice, LUMIFY Redness Reliever Eye Drops relieve redness after a single use, and the benefits last all day.

What to know before you buy eye drops for red eyes

Chronic dry eye syndrome 

Eye drops for dry eyes, also known as artificial tears, can help alleviate chronic dry eye syndrome, but don’t do much to prevent redness. 

Chronic dry eyes can be caused by many factors. If you are experiencing dry, red eyes that are not a result of a cut or other type of physical wound, your symptoms may be a result of other causes. These could include prescription medication, prolonged use of computer or phone screens, irritation from contact lenses, hormonal changes, harsh weather conditions, reading and more. 

Other causes of dry eyes 

Eyes become itchy, irritated and red due to two types of allergies: perennial (year-round) allergies and seasonal allergies. Perennial allergies are primarily caused by things like pet dander, dust or dust mites, air pollution, smoke, fragrances in cosmetics and perfumes, medication side effects and more. 

As the name implies, seasonal allergies — the medical name of which is allergic rhinitis — manifest during specific seasons of the year when weeds, grasses, flowers and trees release spores, pollen or other allergens that are more common, like dead and decomposing fall leaves.

What to look for in quality eye drops for red eyes

Dry eye relief 

There are a variety of eye drops available to treat many symptoms. Make sure to read the label before buying eye care products, and ensure that the drops are specifically made to relieve redness. You will notice some drops help with redness while others target dryness. The key is to select the eye drops that alleviate both. 

Another thing to keep in mind is whether the eye drops are made to relieve eyes with contacts or without contact lenses. You may need specific red eye drops for contacts and different eye drops when you are without contacts. For more information on the best eye drops to relieve red eyes, check out the review of best eye drops for red eyes at BestReviews.

How long should you use eye drops for? 

Take care to read the instructions carefully. Some eye drops for red, dry eyes are meant to be used for limited periods while others can be used indefinitely. Some drops made especially for red eyes can lose effectiveness or even exacerbate the problem with prolonged use. If you have questions or concerns about how long to use the drops after reviewing the manufacturer’s instructions, consult your doctor

Eye dropper bottle size 

Usually, eye drops are packaged in containers that range in size from 5 to 15 milliliters. Larger bottles will include an eye dropper.

How much you can expect to spend on eye drops for red eyes

Prices for over-the-counter eye drops are between $2-$4 for the inexpensive products, while mid-range eye drops increase to $5-$8. The more expensive drops are produced by name-brands and can run anywhere from $18 and up.  

Eye drops for red eyes FAQ

Do I need to see a doctor for red, dry eyes? 

A. Most of the time red, dry eyes can be relieved with ITC methods and do not require you to visit a physician. If red eyes are accompanied by blurred vision or intense eye pain, it can indicate a serious issue. Should your eye pain and irritation worsen, or if vision changes occur, consult your doctor.

Can I use eye drops on my pets?

A. While some over-the-counter eye drops are safe for animals, it is recommended to check with your veterinarian first.

What are the best eye drops for red eyes to buy?

Top eye drops for red eyes 

LUMIFY Redness Reliever Eye Drops, 0.25 Ounce Bottle

LUMIFY Redness Reliever Eye Drops, 0.25 Ounce Bottle

What you need to know: No matter the cause, these eye drops will relieve redness extremely fast and are some of the most efficient on the market. 

What you’ll love: You only need to use these once, and the relief lasts all day. These eye drops treat red eyes caused by computer use, other products that spark allergens and much more. 

What you should consider: Despite relieving redness, they will not alleviate dryness. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top eye drop for red eyes for the money 

Rohto Cool Max Maximum Redness Relief Cooling Eye Drops

Rohto Cool Max Maximum Redness Relief Cooling Eye Drops

What you need to know: These drops are priced at a bargain and treat several eye symptoms at once. 

What you’ll love: Not only do they target redness, they relieve dryness, prevent itching and soothe eyes suffering from eye strain. They provide a cooling effect which gives even more relief. 

What you should consider: A brief stinging sensation may occur after use.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out 

Clear Eyes Maximum Redness Relief Eye Drops

Clear Eyes Maximum Redness Relief Eye Drops

What you need to know: If redness is a constant concern, these are a great option at an affordable price. 

What you’ll love: Not only can you buy these in a pack of three, but they treat dry eyes as well as redness. Rapidly calm red eyes from allergies, tiredness and several other symptoms. 

What you should consider: It usually takes two or more doses to see the best results. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 


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Stephanie Darling writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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