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Systane vs. TheraTears vs. Refresh vs. Visine: Which Brand Wins the Eye Drops Showdown?

Systane vs. TheraTears vs. Refresh vs. Visine: Which Brand Wins the Eye Drops Showdown?

    Dry, red, and irritated eyes are uncomfortable, and can leave you feeling preoccupied. While serious cases of dry eye often require prescription medication, over-the-counter eye drops (artificial tears) are an effective and safe way to treat mild cases of dry eye, and can provide fast relief from bothersome symptoms. Most artificial tears are user-friendly and easily portable for on-the-go relief. Anyone that has been looking for the best eye drops might have heard of Systane, TheraTears, Refresh, and Visine. But which one wins the eye drops showdown? And which brands have preservative-free eye drops? Therefore in this Systane vs. TheraTears vs. Refresh vs. Visine comparison, we want to look at four brands from top to bottom. This includes their uses, product collections, costs, coupons & offers, and more!

Systane vs. TheraTears vs. Refresh vs. Visine


Systane 

TheraTears 

Refresh 

Visine

Price (Walmart.com)

From $11.98 From $8.52From $10.44From $6.52
Best forDry EyesDry EyesDry EyesDry, Red, Itchy, & Watery Eyes
Online Guide (Take Quizs)Yes (Click Here)NoYes (Click Here)No
Sign-up for CouponsYes (Click Here)NoYes (Click Here)Yes (Click Here)
Effect DurationUp to 8 hoursUp to 12 hours-----Up to 10 hours
CONTACTS Eye Drops?Offer contacts eye drops.NoOffer eye drops for contacts.No
Preservative-Free?With preservative-free eye drops.With preservative-free eye drops.With preservative-free eye drops.No

Systane Eye Drops Reviews 

As the #1 doctor recommended brand of artificial tears, Systane offers a range of formulas that provide real, long-lasting relief for all types of dry eye, so your eyes won’t hold you back.

Systane is a solution specially formulated to moisten the eyes. Systane is used to relieve burning, irritation, and discomfort caused by dry eyes. It offers preservatives and preservative-free eye drops. Preservative-free eye drops are ideal for sensitive eyes. 

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Source:systane.myalcon.com

Eye Drops

Systane offers 9 eye drops for dry eye. There’s a SYSTANE product that’s right for you, whether you need relief from dry eye symptoms or support for healthy vision.

1. SYSTANE COMPLETE Preservative-Free Eye Drops 

Systane most advanced dry eye solution with 8 hours of symptom relief in a preservative-free formula ideal for sensitive eyes.

2. SYSTANE COMPLETE Lubricant Eye Drops 

Tiny, nano-sized droplets form a soothing matrix of protection across the entire eye surface for 8 hours of long-lasting relief for all types of dry eye.

3. SYSTANE HYDRATION Preservative-Free Eye Drops 

Long-lasting hydration helps restore moisture to dry eyes with the soothing, preservative-free relief of HydroBoost technology.

4. SYSTANE ULTRA Lubricant Eye Drops 

Clinically proven to deliver extended protection for high-performance dry eye symptom relief that lasts.

5. SYSTANE BALANCE Lubricating Eye Drops 

Help support and restore your eyes’ delicate lipid layer by replenishing essential moisture to your eyes.

6. SYSTANE ULTRA Preservative-Free Eye Drops 

Get the same high-performance dry eye symptom relief of SYSTANE® ULTRA Lubricant Eye Drops in a preservative-free formula.

7. SYSTANE Lubricant Eye Drops 

SYSTANE Lubricant Eye Drops Dry eye relief in the original formula that made SYSTANE® the #1 doctor recommended brand* for dry eye symptom relief.

8. SYSTANE Preservative-Free Eye Drops 

Relieve mild dry eye symptoms with a preservative-free formula perfect for sensitive eyes.

9. SYSTANE CONTACTS Rewetting Eye Drops

Moisten your lenses and help remove debris that may cause irritation and discomfort.

Cost

Prices from $3.39 at CVS;

Prices from $10 at Amazon;

Prices from $11.98 at Walmart

Prices from $12.29 at Target

Prices from $11.49 at Walgreens

Prices from --- at Rite Aid.

Where to Buy Artificial Tears?

You can buy artificial tears at CVSAmazonWalmartTargetWalgreens, and Rite Aid

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TheraTears Eye Drops Reviews 

At TheraTears, they are endlessly fascinated by and determined to beat dry eye. TheraTears knows that if you have dry eye, you’re suffering from pain, redness and vision impairment that’s very hard to beat. TheraTears' mission is not only to make your eyes feel better, but to restore your ability to fully enjoy life again. 

1. SILKY HYDRATION

Discover TheraTears, one-of-a-kind hydration that feels like silk. TheraTears' unique formula hydrates and soothes dry, irritated eyes for lasting comfort.

2. 5 VITAL ELECTROLYTES

Did you know your natural tears contain electrolytes, which are essential in the body to maintain proper hydration? TheraTears contains the 5 vital electrolytes found in natural tears to restore your eyes’ natural balance.

3. CREATED BY AN OPHTHALMOLOGIST

TheraTears is recommended by doctors and was created by an ophthalmologist after 18 years of vigorous dry eye research.

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Source:theratears.com

Eye Drops

TheraTears offers 5 eye drops. Up to 12 hours hydrating comfort with TheraTears EXTRA.

1. TheraTears Dry Eye Therapy Lubricant Eye Drops

Immediate long-lasting relief of dry eye symptoms. TheraTears unique hypotonic and electrolyte balanced formula replicates healthy tears Now you can have the benefits of a preservative free solution in a bottle. TheraTears is preservative free in the eye. TheraTears uses a unique preserving ingredient that turns into pure oxygen and water on eye contact.

Active ingredient

Sodium carboxymethylcellulose 0.25%

Inactive ingredientsBorate buffers, calcium chloride, Dequest, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, purified water, sodium bicarbonate, sodium chloride, sodium perborate, and sodium phosphate

2. TheraTears Dry Eye Therapy Preservative Free Lubricant Eye Drops

Immediate long-lasting relief of dry eye symptoms. TheraTears unique hypotonic and electrolyte balanced formula replicates healthy tears. TheraTears is preservative free for sensitive eyes. Available in 30 count single-use vials. Single-use vials come in a foil pouch to ensure they are as fresh as natural tears.

Active ingredient

Sodium carboxymethylcellulose 0.25%
Inactive ingredientsBorate buffers, calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, purified water, sodium bicarbonate, sodium chloride, and sodium phosphate

3. TheraTears EXTRA Dry Eye Therapy Lubricant Eye Drops

Up to 12 Hours of Hydrating Comfort! Extra moisturizing to rehydrate dry eyes, protect from further irritation and support your eyes’ natural tear pH level. TheraTears EXTRA is hypotonic and electrolyte balanced to replicate healthy tears. TheraTears EXTRA is preservative free in the eye.

Active ingredient

Sodium carboxymethylcellulose 0.25%
Inactive ingredientsBoric acid, calcium chloride, Dequest, potassium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, sodium borate, sodium chloride, magnesium chloride, sodium perborate, sodium phosphate, trehalose, and water for injection.

4. TheraTears EXTRA Dry Eye Therapy Preservative Free Lubricant Eye Drops

Up to 12 Hours of Hydrating Comfort! EXTRA moisturizing to rehydrate, protect, and support pH level. Now available in preservative free single dose vials for sensitive eyes and more severe Dry Eye sufferers (frequent eye drop users that avoid preservatives). Hypotonic and electrolyte balanced formula with OSMO-CORRECTION reduces osmolarity over time enhanced to provide EXTRAordinary relief.

Active ingredient

Sodium carboxymethylcellulose 0.25%
Inactive ingredientsBoric acid, calcium chloride, hydrochloric acid*, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, sodium bicarbonate, sodium borate, sodium chloride, sodium hydroxide, sodium phosphate, trehalose, and water for injection.

5. TheraTears Liquid Gel Nighttime Dry Eye Therapy Preservative Free Lubricant Eye Drops

Soothing overnight relief of dry eye symptoms. TheraTears unique hypotonic and electrolyte balanced formula replicates healthy tears. Liquid-gel formula provides soothing, longer lasting relief and protection for nighttime use. TheraTears is just the right thickness to provide less blurring, non-crusting, protective film that is ideal for nighttime use.

Active ingredient

Sodium carboxymethylcellulose 1%
Inactive ingredientsBorate buffers, calcium chloride, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, purified water, sodium bicarbonate, sodium chloride, and sodium phosphate

Cost

Prices from $12.99 at CVS;

Prices from $12.56 at Amazon;

Prices from $8.52 at Walmart

Prices from $8.59 at Target

Prices from $12.49 at Walgreens

Prices from --- at Rite Aid.

Refresh Eye Drops Reviews 

Refresh brand artificial tears are expertly formulated to provide relief for a wide range of individual needs and severity levels. There’s a Refresh product that’s right for you, whether you need relief from dry eye symptoms or support for healthy vision.

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Source:refreshbrand.com

Eye Drops

Refresh offers 20 eye drops. Refresh has the most products among the four brands. Here are some for you:

1. Refresh Digital

Acts fast to relieve mild to moderate symptoms of eye dryness that may be from digital device use. Protects tears from evaporating due to incomplete blinking.

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Carboxymethylcellulose Sodium (0.5%), lycerin (1%), Polysorbate 80 (0.5%).

2. REFRESH DIGITAL PF

Preservative-free formula acts fast to relieve mild to moderate symptoms of eye dryness that may be from digital device use. Protects tears from evaporating due to incomplete blinking.

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Carboxymethylcellulose Sodium (0.5%), lycerin (1%), Polysorbate 80 (0.5%).

3. REFRESH RELIEVA PF MULTIDOSE

Innovative preservative-free formula with HydroCell technology in a patented multidose bottle. Designed not only to relieve mild to moderate symptoms of eye dryness but also prevent further irritation.

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Carboxymethylcellulose sodium (0.5%), Glycerin (0.9%)

4. REFRESH RELIEVA PF

Innovative preservative-free formula with HydroCell technology. Designed not only to relieve mild to moderate symptoms of eye dryness but also prevent further irritation.

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Carboxymethylcellulose sodium (0.5%), Glycerin (0.9%)

5. REFRESH RELIEVA FOR CONTACTS

Innovative formula with HydroCell technology that is safe to use while wearing contact lenses. Relieves mild to moderate symptoms of eye dryness, irritation, and discomfort due to contact lens wear.

6. Refresh Relieva Lubricant Eye Drops 

REFRESH RELIEVA Innovative formula with HydroCell technology designed not only to relieve mild to moderate symptoms of eye dryness but also prevent further irritation.

ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Carboxymethylcellulose sodium (0.5%), Glycerin (0.9%)

Click here to find all Refresh products.

Cost

Prices from $10.29 at CVS;

Prices from $11.36 at Amazon;

Prices from $10.44 at Walmart

Prices from $12.79 at Target

Prices from $9.99 at Walgreens

Prices from --- at Rite Aid.

Visine Eye Drops Reviews 

VISINE eye drops can provide relief for a range of conditions such as dryness, redness, allergies, itching, and more. 

1676015537631876.png

Source:visine.com

Eye Drops

Visine offers 8 eye drops. Browse Visine products and compare benefits in order to identify which types of eye drops are best for your symptoms.

1. VISINE Red Eye Comfort Eye Drops for Fast-Acting Redness Relief

VISINE Red Eye Comfort eye drops work in 60 seconds to provide fast remedy for red eyes. Relief is in sight with their quick-acting and effective redness relief formula containing Tetrahydrozoline HCI. 

Active IngredientTetrahydrozoline HCI 0.05% (Redness reliever).
Inactive Ingredientsascorbic acid, boric acid, dextrose, glycerin, glycine, magnesium chloride, polyquaternium-42, potassium chloride, purified water, sodium borate, sodium citrate, sodium lactate, sodium phosphate dibasic

2. VISINE Red Eye Hydrating Comfort Eye Drops for Redness & Irritation Relief

VISINE Red Eye Hydrating Comfort eye drops combine the redness-relieving power of VISINE Red Eye Comfort with a lubricant to refresh irritated eyes in just 30 seconds. Relieve red, dry, or burning eyes with these redness relieving & lubricating eye drops. Think of it as next-level relief after a long stretch of multi-player gaming, binge-watching or other red eye causes.

Active IngredientsPolyethylene glycol 400 1% (Lubricant), Tetrahydrozoline HCI 0.05% (Redness reliever)
Inactive IngredientsAscorbic acid, boric acid, dextrose, glycerin, glycine, hypromellose, magnesium chloride, polyquaternium-42, potassium chloride, purified water, sodium citrate, sodium lactate, sodium phosphate dibasic

3. VISINE Dry Eye Relief All Day Comfort Lubricant Eye Drops to Moisturize Dry Eyes & Protect Against Further Irritation

Get relief from dry, irritated or burning eyes that starts in seconds and locks in moisture all day (or night) for up to 10 hours of comfort with this remedy for dry eyes. VISINE Dry Eye Relief All Day Comfort Lubricant Eye Drops are formulated to keep your eyes moisturized and protected from further irritation, so you can stay tuned in and comfortable all day long.

Active IngredientPolyethylene glycol 400 1% 
Inactive IngredientsAscorbic acid, boric acid, dextrose, glycerin, glycine, hypromellose, magnesium chloride, polyquaternium-42, potassium chloride, purified water, sodium borate, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, sodium lactate, sodium phosphate dibasic

4. VISINE Dry Eye Relief Lubricant Eye Drops, Moisturizing Eye Drops for Irritated Eyes

VISINE DRY EYE Relief Lubricant Eye Drops contain 10 important ingredients found in your own natural tears and helps moisturize and soothe dry, irritated, and gritty eyes. These over-the-counter (OTC) lubricating eye drops for dry eyes are designed to work like real tears to help provide relief from dry eye symptoms, so no matter what you’re viewing, there won’t be a dry eye in the house.

Active Ingredient: Polyethylene glycol 400 1%
Inactive Ingredients: ascorbic acid, benzalkomium chloride, boric acid, dextrose, disodium phosphate, glycerin, glycine, hypromellose, magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, purified water, sodium borate, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, sodium lactate

5. VISINE Dry Eye Relief Tired Eye Lubricating Eye Drops for Soothing Screen Time Eye Irritations

Do your eyes get tired or dry when looking at a computer screen? VISINE® Dry Eye Relief Tired Eye Lubricant Eye Drops can start to relieve tired, dry eyes in seconds with a moisturizing formula containing Polyethylene glycol 400 that soothes and revives overworked eyes from too much screen time, one of the causes of dry & tired eyes. These lubricating eye drops soothe and revive tired eyes and provide up to 10 hours of comfort, so you and those eyes can stay tuned in to whatever you’re streaming, playing, or living.

Active Ingredient

Polyethylene glycol 400 1%

Inactive Ingredientsascorbic acid, boric acid, dextrose, glycerin, glycine, hypromellose, magnesium chloride, polyquaternium-42, potassium chloride, purified water, sodium borate, sodium chloride, sodium citrate, sodium lactate, sodium phosphate dibasic.

6. VISINE Allergy Eye Relief Multi-Action Antihistamine & Redness Reliever Eye Drops

VISINE Allergy Eye Relief Multi-Action Antihistamine and Redness Reliever Eye Drops provide temporary relief from red, itchy, allergy eyes. This multi-action over-the-counter (OTC) allergy eye drop is the original prescription strength and clinically proven to relieve red, itchy eyes due to allergies. The eye drops contain an effective antihistamine and redness reliever.

Active Ingredients: Naphazoline HCL 0.025% (Redness reliever), Pheniramine maleate 0.3% (Antihistamine)
Inactive Ingredients: Benzalkonium chloride, boric acid, edetate disodium, purified water, sodium borate, sodium hydroxide and/or hydrochloric acid.

7. VISINE AC Itchy Eye Relief Astringent Eye Drops with Redness Reliever for Itchy & Watery, Red Eyes

VISINE AC Itchy Eye Relief Astringent/Redness Reliever Eye Drops temporarily relieve itchy, red & watery eyes. They contain a redness reliever, Tetrahydrozoline HCl, and zinc sulfate for effective multi-symptom relief. Don’t let minor eye discomfort or irritations get in the way of your day.

Active Ingredients: Tetrahydrozoline HCI 0.05% (Redness reliever), Zinc sulfate 0.25% (Astringent) 
Inactive Ingredients: Benzalkonium chloride, boric acid, edetate disodium, purified water, sodium chloride, sodium citrate

8. VISINE Red Eye Total Comfort Multi-Symptom Eye Drops, All-in-One Relief from Red, Itchy, & Dry Eyes

VISINE Red Eye Total Comfort Multi-Symptom eye drops provide all-in-one relief from red, burning, watery, itchy, dry, gritty, irritated eyes. Thanks to our effective formula, whether you’re streaming, scrolling, pinning, swiping, or gaming, our effective formula provides up to 10 hours of comfort.

Active Ingredients: Polyethylene glycol 400 1% (Lubricant), Tetrahydrozoline HCI 0.05% (Redness reliever), Zinc sulfate 0.25% (Astringent) 
Inactive Ingredients: benzalkonium chloride, boric acid, edetate disodium, glycerin, hypromellose, purified water, sodium chloride, sodium citrate

Cost

Prices from $9.99 at CVS;

Prices from $3.79 at Amazon;

Prices from $6.52 at Walmart

Prices from $3.49 at Target

Prices from $3.99 at Walgreens

Prices from --- at Rite Aid.

Verdict: Which Brand Wins the Eye Drops Showdown?

Among the four brands, Visine is more focused on pathological red eyes, itching, dryness, etc. In addition, Visine offers prescription eye drops.

Systane, TheraTears and Refresh, their prices are similar, and all three products provide preservative-free eye drops. However, TheraTears does not offer eye drops for contacts . You can choose the product that suits you according to your needs.

Tips for Dry Eye

While there is no cure for dry eye, these simple tips and tricks can help ease those bothersome symptoms. 

1. Environmental Factors

Changing your environment isn’t always easy, but watching weather patterns can help you manage dry eye symptoms. Also avoid touching your eyes to prevent irritants from transferring to your eyes. Better yet, stay prepared by always carrying Eye Drops.

  • Airports & Airplanes

Dry air in airports and planes can make your eyes feel dry or irritated. Be sure to pack your go-to dry eye symptom relief.

Bonus: Dehydration can cause dry eye symptoms to worsen, so remember to stay hydrated. If you tend to sleep on flights, wear an eye mask. And the overhead fan? Switch it off so it isn’t blowing in your face.

  • Indoor Air (Heating & Cooling)

When temps change outside, air inside can make your eyes feel dry. Try running a humidifier and drink more water.

Bonus: If you’re waking up with dry eye symptoms, consider using a nighttime gel. It’s also good to turn your air-conditioner, heater or fan so it is not blowing into your eyes.

  • Smoking

Quitting smoking and/or avoiding secondhand smoke can help prevent dry eye symptoms.

2. Diet & Supplements

We all know the importance of eating a healthy diet, but did you know that certain nutrients are a particularly good defense against dry eye symptoms?

  • Omega-3 Oils

Omega-3 fats can improve function in the eyes’ meibomian glands, which produce the oily part of tears. Improved function of those glands can ease dry eye symptoms, so try incorporating supplements, fresh fish or walnuts into your diet.

  • Vitamin A

Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the surface of your eye. Eating foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes and spinach is a good way to help ease dry eye symptoms.

3. Other Healthy Lifestyle Changes 

  • Blinking Exercises

Failing to blink regularly can contribute to your eyes drying out. Try to blink every five seconds, especially when staring at your computer screen or other digital device.

  • Take Breaks

Reading or working at a computer can be a problem for people with dry eye. Try looking at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes.

  • Hydrate

The fluid in your eyes can be depleted if you’re dehydrated, so drink lots of water.

  • Handwashing

Whether putting in drops or applying makeup, wash, rinse and dry your hands before touching your eyes.

  • Exercise

Go for a nice walk or run. Exercise is good for you in many ways and can contribute to the health of your eyes too.

  • Protective Eyewear

Exposure to wind and sun can make tears evaporate faster. When spending time outside, wear protective eyewear such as sunglasses and keep dry eye relief on hand.

  • Eye Hygiene

Keep your eyelids clean and clear of debris using your go-to eyelid cleansing wipes. If you wear contact lenses, keep them clean and wear them only as prescribed.

  • Warm Compress 

A damp washcloth or other warm compress can soothe dry eye and provide temporary relief.

In-Office Treatment

Talk to your eye doctor about whether you have evaporative dry eye and whether you'd be a good candidate for in-office Systane iLux treatment.

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