We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is an Ocular Lubricant?

By C. Mitchell
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
The Health Board is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At The Health Board, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

An ocular lubricant is a liquid medical product designed to replenish eye moisture. Lubricants usually mimic tears in their composition and typically come in droppers for easy application. They are frequently recommended by medical professionals for people suffering from dry eyes or allergic irritation of the eye. Lubricating the eyeball with synthetic moisturizers is one of the most common ways of alleviating dryness and redness.

There are two primary categories of ocular lubricant: over-the-counter and prescription. Over-the-counter lubricants are often sold simply as “eye drops,” and are designed to relieve temporary eye dryness or discomfort. People suffering from ongoing eye conditions usually need more powerful lubricant products that can actually cure, not just treat, the problem. Most pharmaceutical, prescription cures contain medication as well as moisture.

Healthy eyes will usually lubricate themselves with tears. Allergies, arid conditions, or extended exposure to dry or salty environments — going on a run through a windy desert, say, or spending extended time at the coast or on board a ship — can cause tears to temporarily dry up. Basic over-the-counter ocular lubricants are usually all that is needed to provide instant relief in these situations.

Most eye drops are little more than saline solutions. When dropped into the eyeball, the body accepts them as it would tears. Often times, the presence of added moisture is all an eye needs to gets its own tear production back up and running. Athletes, allergy sufferers, or those who constantly transition from moist to dry environments often carry a small bottle of ocular lubricant with them to use as needed.

There are very few risks associated with most over-the-counter ocular lubricant products. The most common ocular lubricant side effects include stinging and burning of the eye, but this will usually pass quickly if flushed with water. Risks and adverse effects are more commonly associated with prescription-based pharmaceutical drugs.

People who find themselves constantly reaching for their eye drops often find that their eyes need more than just occasional added moisture. Basic products are usually designed to be but temporary fixes, and extended ocular lubricant use is normally discouraged. Continued need for moisture is often a symptom of a more serious problem.

Prescription ocular lubricants typically have a saline base, but that base is used as a vehicle for delivering some sort of eye medication. Lubricants are some of the most effective ways of getting a range of different drugs directly into the eyeball. Chronic dry eye syndrome and severe allergies are two of the most common conditions requiring prescription eye drops, but some degenerative vision diseases and bacterial infections can also be treated this way.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

The Health Board, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.