Best Eye Drops for Computer Strain - Our Top Recommendations

In today's world, almost all of us rely heavily on digital devices, such as computers, smartphones, and tablets, to get work done or stay connected. This has led to an increase in computer strain, affecting our eyes and causing discomfort. It's crucial to find the right solution to combat this issue, and that's where eye drops for computer strain come into play.

We remember when we first started experiencing dry, itchy, and red eyes after hours in front of the computer. We tried several remedies without success, until finally, we discovered the right eye drops specifically designed to provide relief from digital eye strain. From that day forward, our workdays have become so much more comfortable and productive.

In the following paragraphs, we'll discuss the different types of eye drops available and share our insights on which ones we found to work best for relieving computer strain. By the end of this article, you'll be better equipped to choose the most effective eye drops to keep your eyes feeling fresh and comfortable during those long hours in front of the screen.

Understanding Computer Strain

Woman on bed putting eye drops into her eye

Computer strain, also known as digital eye strain or computer vision syndrome, is a common condition that affects many of us in today's digital age. Spending long hours in front of screens, whether working on a computer, scrolling through social media on a smartphone, or watching TV, can lead to various symptoms related to eye discomfort and vision problems.

There are several factors that contribute to computer strain, including:

  • Prolonged screen time:As we spend more time on digital devices, our eyes continuously focus and refocus, often leading to fatigue and strain.
  • Inadequate lighting:Insufficient or inappropriate lighting can exacerbate computer strain, making it harder for our eyes to cope with screen glare.
  • Poor posture:Maintaining an improper posture while working with digital devices can result in physical discomfort, including strains in the neck, shoulders, and back.
  • Frequent blinking:When we stare at screens, our blink rate often decreases, which can cause dryness and irritation in the eyes.

To put these factors into perspective, let's take a look at some numbers:

Hours spent on screens per day (average adult)11 hours
Percentage of U.S. adults who spend 9+ hours daily on digital devices28%
Blink rate (normal vs. screen viewing)12-15 times/min vs. 5 times/min

We can relieve the symptoms of computer strain by following some simple steps:

  • Taking breaks:Regularly taking breaks from screens, using the 20-20-20 rule (every 20 minutes, look at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds), can help reduce eye strain.
  • Adjusting screen position:Positioning the screen slightly below eye level at a distance of 20-28 inches can improve comfort.
  • Improving lighting:Opt for natural light or use a task-specific lamp to minimize glare and increase overall comfort.
  • Blinking consciously:Making an effort to blink frequently can help retain moisture in the eyes and reduce irritation.

Fortunately, eye care professionals have introduced eye drops specifically designed to alleviate the symptoms of computer strain. These products help to keep our eyes comfortable and lubricated, allowing us to continue our digital activities, while minimizing discomfort and preventing potential eye health issues.

Causes of Eye Strain from Screens

Nowadays, prolonged screen time has become a common cause of eye strain. Looking at screens for hours each day can put a lot of stress on our eyes. There are several factors that contribute to eye strain from screens, such as:

  • Blue Light:Electronic devices emit blue light, which is more challenging for our eyes to focus on and can lead to eye strain over time.
  • Blinking Rate:When we stare at screens, our blinking rate decreases, resulting in dry and irritated eyes.
  • Screen Glare:Glare from screens can cause reflections and reduce contrast, making it difficult for our eyes to focus.
  • Poor Posture:Sitting too close or too far from a screen, or at a bad angle, can force our eyes to work harder to focus and cause strain.
  • Outdated Prescription:Wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses with an outdated prescription will make our eyes strain more than they should.

To understand the potential impact these factors can have on our eyes, let's break down some numbers:

FactorNumeric Effect
Blue Light10-20% more difficult to focus
Blinking Rate2.5-3.5 times less frequent
Screen Glare10-25% reduction in contrast

Here's what we can do to minimize eye strain while using screens:

  • Schedule regular breaks by following the 20-20-20 rule. Look away from the screen every 20 minutes, focus on an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Adjust the brightness and contrast of our screens to match the surrounding environment.
  • Use screen filters or blue-light blocking glasses to reduce eye strain caused by blue light.
  • Position our screens about an arm's length away, and tilt them slightly downward to minimize neck strain.
  • Keep our computer screens just below eye level to maintain a natural, relaxed gaze.
  • Make sure to update our eyeglass or contact lens prescription regularly to avoid any unnecessary strain on our eyes.

Remember, taking care of our eyes while using screens is essential in order to prevent eye strain and maintain our overall eye health.

Identifying the Best Eye Drops

Selecting the most effective eye drops for computer strain can be an overwhelming task, given the plethora of choices available on the market. To make things easier, we've gathered a few essential factors to consider while picking the best eye drops to alleviate computer eye strain-related symptoms.

Type of Eye Drops: There are three main types of eye drops:

  • Artificial tears
  • Redness relievers
  • Allergy eye drops

Artificial tears are the most commonly recommended type for computer strain since they specifically combat dryness, soothe irritation, and prevent eye fatigue. Redness relievers might be tempting, but their long-term use isn't recommended due to possible side effects.

Allergy eye drops should only be used if you're experiencing strain due to allergies, for which consulting a doctor is advised.


Active ingredients in artificial tears include:

  • Glycerin
  • Carboxymethylcellulose sodium
  • Polyethylene glycol

These ingredients aim to stabilize the tear film, retain moisture, and provide relief. For best results, pick eye drops with high quality active ingredients.

Preservatives vs. Preservative-Free

High-quality eye drops should be free from harsh chemicals and preservatives. Preservatives might help maintain the shelf life of the drops, but they can also cause irritation in sensitive eyes. So, it's better to choose preservative-free options.

Viscosity and Thickness

Thicker eye drops tend to have a longer-lasting effect, but they may blur your vision temporarily. Lower viscosity eye drops provide fast relief without the blur but don't last as long. Experiment with different options to find what works best for you.

User Reviews and Recommendations

To get an idea of how effective an eye drop is, check user reviews and ratings. Moreover, seeking recommendations from friends, colleagues, or a qualified healthcare professional can also help make an informed decision.

In summary, finding the best eye drops for computer strain involves careful consideration of factors such as the type of eye drops, their active ingredients, and whether or not they contain preservatives. Don't forget to consult a doctor or an eye care specialist if symptoms persist despite using eye drops. Remember, eye health is crucial, especially in today's digitally dependent world.

Soothing Ingredient Spotlight

We've researched extensively to find the best eye drops for computer strain and discovered that certain key ingredients play a significant role in soothing and relieving symptoms.

Let's take a closer look at some of these soothing ingredients:

1. Artificial Tears

These drops emulate the qualities of natural tears, helping to maintain adequate moisture and reduce discomfort caused by computer strain. They typically contain one or more of the following elements:

  • Polyethylene glycol (PEG): Acts as a lubricant, reducing friction on the eye surface.
  • Propylene glycol: Aids in moisture retention for extended relief.
  • Carboxymethylcellulose sodium: Improves the viscosity and staying power of the drops.

2. Vasoconstrictors

When eyes are strained and irritated, blood vessels may enlarge, causing the red appearance. Vasoconstricting agents in eye drops help:

  • Narrow blood vessels: Reducing redness and irritation.
  • Constrict capillaries: Alleviating symptoms associated with computer strain.

Active ingredients commonly found in vasoconstrictor eye drops include:

  • Tetrahydrozoline hydrochloride
  • Naphazoline hydrochloride
  • Oxymetazoline hydrochloride

3. Antihistamines/Mast Cell Stabilizers

Allergies may exacerbate computer strain, so some eye drops are formulated with antihistamines and mast cell stabilizers to:

  • Block histamine release: Minimizing itching and inflammation.
  • Prevent allergy symptoms: Reducing discomfort during extended computer use.

Some common ingredients for this purpose include:

  • Olopatadine
  • Ketotifen
  • Azelastine

4. Electrolytes

Electrolytes in eye drops play a crucial role in:

  • Replenishing nutrients: Revitalizing the surface of the eye.
  • Promoting a healthy tear film: Ensuring optimal hydration and comfort.

Examples of electrolytes found in eye drops include:

  • Potassium chloride
  • Sodium chloride

In our search for the best eye drops to relieve computer strain, these key ingredients consistently emerged as important factors in providing soothing relief. We recommend carefully reading the labels and understanding the various ingredients to ensure a suitable match for your needs.

Artificial Tears: Relief and Hydration

Spending long hours in front of the computer can sometimes cause eye strain, leaving our eyes feeling dry, gritty, and fatigued. One easy way to alleviate these symptoms is through the use of artificial tears. Let's take a closer look at how they work and some of the best options available.

Artificial tears are designed to mimic our natural tears and help provide relief and hydration to our eyes when we need it the most. They come in a range of formulations, with different ingredients aimed at addressing various symptoms of computer eye strain. Here are some common features of artificial tears that can help soothe your tired, achy eyes:

  • Lubrication:Artificial tears help in keeping our eyes moist, reducing dryness and irritation, making them feel more comfortable after staring at the screen for long periods.
  • Hydration:Artificial tears can help maintain optimal hydration levels by sealing in moisture, restoring the tear film, and preventing tear evaporation.
  • Redness Reduction:Some formulations contain ingredients that can help reduce inflammation, soothe blood vessels, and lower redness associated with eye strain.

To make the most out of artificial tears, it's important to choose the right product tailored to your specific needs. Here are a few top-rated options:

  1. Systane Ultra Lubricant Eye Drops:This high-performance option offers fast-acting relief and is renowned for its extended protection against dry eyes. It's available both in preserved and preservative-free single-use vials.
  2. Refresh Optive Advanced Lubricant Eye Drops:A triple-action formula providing long-lasting relief. It lubricates, hydrates, and helps protect the eye's surface from further irritation.
  3. TheraTears Eye Drops for Dry Eyes:These drops are designed to restore the balance of our eyes' natural tear film and come in both preserved and preservative-free options. They also contain an electrolyte balance that can help promote eye health.
Systane UltraFast-acting relief, extended protection
Refresh Optive AdvancedTriple-action formula, long-lasting relief
TheraTearsRestores tear film balance, electrolyte balance

To ensure the best results, remember to follow these guidelines:

  • Read the Instructions:Different products have different dosages and usage frequencies, so it's essential to strictly follow the package directions.
  • Avoid Contact Lens Usage:While some artificial tears may be compatible with contact lenses, it's generally safer to avoid using them while wearing lenses to prevent potential irritation or complications.
  • Consult a Doctor:If the symptoms persist or worsen, it's crucial to consult an eye care professional for appropriate treatment and guidance.

In summary, artificial tears are a valuable tool in combating computer eye strain, offering relief and hydration to our overworked eyes. By choosing the right product and following the proper guidelines, we can give our eyes the much-needed respite they deserve.

Preservative-Free Drops for Sensitive Eyes

Preservative-free eye drops are an excellent choice for those with sensitive eyes who experience eye strain from excessive computer use. Without the addition of preservatives, these drops are gentle on the eyes and reduce the risk of irritation.

There are several benefits to using preservative-free drops:

  • Less irritation:Since there are no added chemicals, these drops are less likely to cause discomfort or allergic reactions.
  • Suitable for frequent use:Those who need to use eye drops several times a day will appreciate the gentleness of preservative-free varieties.
  • Single-dose packaging:Typically, these drops come in single-use vials which reduces the risk of bacterial contamination compared to multi-use bottles.

We've researched some of the top preservative-free eye drop options available, ideal for sensitive eyes suffering from computer strain:

  1. Systane Ultra
  2. TheraTears
  3. Refresh Optive Sensitive
  4. Blink Tears

It's important to consult a healthcare professional before incorporating any new eye drops into your care routine, particularly if you have pre-existing eye conditions. Consulting an expert will help ensure the chosen eye drop is safe and appropriate for your unique needs.

Not all eye drops are created equal, so it's crucial to compare the ingredients and features of various brands and types. Here are some factors to consider when evaluating eye drops:

  • Lubrication:Opt for eye drops that provide long-lasting lubrication and moisture to relieve discomfort.
  • Viscosity:Heavier, gel-like drops can last longer in the eyes but may cause temporary blurring of vision, while thinner, watery drops might need more frequent application.
  • Active ingredients:Seek out products containing hyaluronic acid or carboxymethylcellulose sodium, which support eye hydration and relief.

Lastly, consider maintaining a healthy eye care routine to alleviate the symptoms of computer strain. Some options include:

  • Taking breaks:Implement the 20-20-20 rule - every 20 minutes, shift your gaze to an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
  • Proper workspace setup:Ensure you have suitable lighting, screen distance, and an ergonomic chair to reduce eye strain.
  • Blink often:Make a conscious effort to blink more while using electronic devices to maintain eye moisture.

By keeping these factors and recommendations in mind, you can provide the best possible care for your sensitive eyes and reduce computer-induced strain.

Lubricating Eye Drops: Redness Reduction

Spending long hours on the computer can lead to eye strain and discomfort. One common problem we face is redness due to dryness or irritation. Lubricating eye drops, also known as artificial tears, can be a helpful solution in reducing redness and providing relief. In this section, we'll discuss the benefits of using these eye drops and what to consider when choosing the best one for you.

Lubricating eye drops work by mimicking our natural tears. They provide moisture and lubrication to the ocular surface, helping to alleviate irritation and keep the eyes feeling comfortable. Some key benefits of using lubricating eye drops for redness reduction include:

  • Soothing relief:They help relieve dryness and discomfort, making it easier to focus on your screen.
  • Reduced redness:By keeping the eyes lubricated, artificial tears can help lessen redness and irritation.
  • Prevention:Regular use can help prevent problems associated with prolonged computer use, such as dry eye syndrome.

When choosing the best lubricating eye drops for redness reduction, there are a few important factors to consider:

  • Preservative-free:Opt for eye drops that are preservative-free, as preservatives can cause further irritation or allergic reactions.
  • Viscosity:Thicker eye drops, known as gel or ointment, provide longer-lasting relief but may cause blurry vision for a short time after application. Select a product with a viscosity that suits your needs.
  • Ingredients:Look for eye drops that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, or polyethylene glycols. These components have been found to be particularly effective in providing relief for dry eyes.

To help you choose the right eye drops, we have gathered some popular lubricating eye drops often recommended for redness reduction:

Product NamePreservative-FreeViscosityNotable Ingredients
Systane UltraYesModeratePolyethylene Glycol
Refresh TearsYesModerateGlycerin
Blink Lubricating Eye DropsYesLightHyaluronic Acid

To maximize the benefits from using these eye drops:

  1. Use as needed:Apply the eye drops whenever you feel discomfort, but don't overuse them.
  2. Take breaks:Combine the use of eye drops with regular breaks away from the screen, using the 20-20-20 rule (every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds).
  3. Adjust monitor settings:Ensure your screen brightness and font size are comfortable for your eyes.

Remember, it's always a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating new products into your routine. They can provide personalized advice and recommendations, ensuring that you're using the most effective solution for your specific needs.

Top Brands for Combating Eye Strain

Spending long hours in front of digital screens takes a toll on our eyes. That's where eye drops come to the rescue! These aren't your average eye drops – they're specifically designed to combat the strain caused by extended computer use.

We have carefully researched and analyzed some of the best brands that provide relief for computer-induced strain. Let's dive right in!


Rohto is a well-known brand that has been producing high-quality eye care products for years. Their cooling eye drops are effective in relieving the symptoms of digital eye strain:

  • Reduces redness
  • Soothes irritation
  • Provides long-lasting hydration


Systane offers a variety of lubricating eye drops that cater to different needs. The Systane Ultra line is particularly suited for people who spend hours on the computer:

  • Provides fast-acting, long-lasting relief
  • Promotes tear film stability
  • Convenient preservative-free single-use vials


TheraTears is another notable brand on the market. The Dry Eye Therapy eye drops are designed to restore the natural balance of your tear film, making them a favorite among computer users:

  • Contains a unique electrolyte balance to mimic natural tears
  • Supports overall ocular surface health
  • Comes in multi-use bottles and single-use vials


And finally, there's Refresh, a well-established brand whose Optive eye drops are an excellent choice for digital eye strain:

  • Combines two lubricants to provide dual-action relief
  • Safe for use with contact lenses
  • Available in multi-use bottles and preservative-free single-use vials

Here's a handy table to summarize the features of these top brands:

BrandKey FeaturesFormats
RohtoCooling effectreduces rednesssoothes irritationlong-lasting hydrationMulti-use bottles
SystaneFast-acting reliefpromotes tear film stabilitypreservative-free optionMulti-use bottlessingle-use vials
TheraTearsElectrolyte balancesupports ocular surface healthpreservative-free optionMulti-use bottlessingle-use vials
RefreshDual-action reliefsafe for contact lens wearerspreservative-free optionMulti-use bottlessingle-use vials

Remember that it's essential to consult your eye care professional before using any eye drops. They can guide you in choosing the best product to suit your specific needs and help maintain excellent eye health!

Our Recommendations

Considering the numerous eye drops available to combat computer strain, we've narrowed down our top recommendations to make it easier for you to choose the best product for your needs. The following eye drops have been chosen for their effectiveness, ease of use, and positive feedback from users.

1. Systane Ultra Lubricant Eye Drops

Systane Ultra is a widely recognized brand known for its effectiveness in relieving dryness, irritation, and discomfort caused by computer strain. These drops are formulated to provide long-lasting relief through their unique, fast-acting formula. Systane Ultra is also ideal for contact lens wearers as it's compatible with most lens types.

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2. Refresh Optive Advanced Lubricant Eye Drops

Another top contender for soothing computer strain, Refresh Optive Advanced offers triple-action lubrication that addresses all layers of the tear film. Its non-irritating formula enhances both stability and comfort and is preservative-free, making it suitable for those with sensitive eyes.

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3. Rohto Cooling Eye Drops

For those seeking instant relief from computer strain-induced dry eyes, Rohto Cooling Eye Drops provide an innovative solution. Their unique cooling formula stimulates tear production, offering instant refreshment and comfort. Although Rohto drops may cause an initial sensation due to their cooling effect, most users find that it subsides quickly, leaving their eyes feeling revitalized.

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Here's a comparison table for the key features of our top three recommendations:

Eye DropsKey FeaturesContacts?
Systane Ultra Lubricant Eye Drops- Long-lasting relief- Fast-acting- Widely recognized brandYes
Refresh Optive Advanced Lubricant Eye Drops- Triple-action lubrication- Non-irritating- Preservative-freeYes
Rohto Cooling Eye Drops- Instant relief- Cooling effect- Stimulates tear productionNo

Please keep in mind that while these eye drops may help alleviate computer strain symptoms, it's also crucial to practice healthy habits, such as taking frequent breaks, staying hydrated, and positioning screens at an appropriate height and distance.

We hope our recommendations help you find the best eye drops to relieve computer strain and make your daily activities more comfortable. As always, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns or persistent symptoms.

Conclusion: Protecting Your Eyes

We've explored various eye drops to alleviate computer strain throughout this article. Now, let's wrap up with some essential tips and guidelines for protecting your eyes:

  • Take breaks:Regularly rest your eyes by following the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.
  • Minimize glare:Adjust the brightness and contrast of your computer screen to reduce glare, or use an anti-glare screen protector.
  • Adjust screen distance:Keep your computer screen at an arm's distance away from your face, and position it slightly below eye level.
  • Maintain good eye health:Eat nutritious food, maintain a well-balanced diet, wear sunglasses with UV protection outdoors, and stay hydrated.
  • Blink frequently:Blinking helps maintain the moisture on the surface of the eye. Remember to blink often while using digital devices.
  • Check with a specialist:Consult an eye care professional if you are experiencing persistent discomfort or strain despite using eye drops and following these guidelines.

While eye drops can provide temporary relief for computer-related eye strain, it's crucial to consider long-term approaches and habits for maintaining healthy eyes. Be proactive and take the time to prioritize your eye health at work, at home, and even on the go.