When it comes to our health and well-being, most of us primarily focus on looks. One example would be starting a balanced diet and exercising routine several days a week to build lean muscle mass and improve the physique. Most often, eye health takes the back seat and yet we rely on our vision every minute of every day when we’re up and about.
The Importance of Eye Care
You use your eyes to get out of bed, do a little bit of grooming, have breakfast, find your way around the city, and do some work. Your eyes also take the load when you spend time after time browsing through your social media on your smartphone, watching shows, catching up with friends, and reading books.
Even though we need our eyes constantly, and they are very delicate organs, we don’t always get the notion our vision needs some care too, until an irritating problem like dryness occurs. It’s the condition when tears evaporate quickly, or there’s a lack of tear formation, which leads to insufficient eye lubrication.
Environmental factors, like exposure to the wind, drafts, sun, dust, smoke, or air conditioning, as well as the use of certain medications and cosmetics, can further exacerbate this. What’s one to do when eye pain, discomfort, redness, and sensitivity to a light start becoming overbearing? Systane by Alcon has the solution!
What Are the Systane Eye Drop Products?
As the #1 brand for artificial tears, it has a family of eye care products. What this means is you can easily find a variety of options at the trusted and well-stocked pharmacy, among which the effective Systane ultra gel drops are easy to use and are created to provide you the long-lasting relief you require.
Other reliable OTC products you can seek for mild and periodic discomfort include the brand’s Ultra Lubricant Eye Drops, Complete Lubricant Eye Drops, Ultra Preservative-Free Lubricant Eye Drops, and Balance Lubricant Eye Drops, and Lubricant Eye Gel. What’s mainly shared by these drops are the two ingredients, polyethylene glycol 400, and propylene glycol, that directly treat the burning and irritation.
The first is known as artificial tears because of the way it reduces the friction between the eye and the eyelid. The latter forms a protective layer over the mucus membranes for optimal protection. While they are generally safe, be sure to carefully read up each of the additional ingredients used in a product of your choice of the Systane eye drops range and avoid use if you’re allergic to one of them.
The preservatives used in the vials are added to prevent bacteria and fungi from growing, however, some individuals may be sensitive to them. That’s where the preservative-free alternative comes to the rescue. Additionally, it’s advisable to consult your ophthalmologist if you don’t see any improvement after using them for three days.
What’s the Difference Between Eye Drops and Gel Drops?
Since you can find both regular Systane eye drops and Systane ultra gel drops you might be wondering which is the better option for you, and why there are two types of drops in the first place. The simplest way of explaining the distinction is in the consistency: the gel is thicker than the drops, and as such offers longer relief and protection because it doesn’t evaporate that fast.
As it happens, after applying the gel you may get a blurred vision for some period, which is why this type of drop is best when used in your night care routine. Also, the slower yet durable action makes the gel a better choice for more severe and persistent dry eye symptoms.
How to Use the Drops?
I can’t stress this enough – eyes are delicate organs! Anything you add in or around them must be chosen and administered with utmost care. Now, while you won’t be wrong in choosing one of the incredible Systane products, you also need to pay attention to how you use them. The following steps are crucial:
- Wash your hands thoroughly. Never forget the importance of keeping your hands clean before dealing with the eyes because it’s very easy to introduce some contaminants into them.
- Even though there might be drops suitable for use with contact lenses, for utmost efficiency, it’s advisable to remove the lenses before adding the drops. This is especially crucial when using Systane ultra gel drops or other gel products.
- Carefully open up the bottle, and inspect the tip to see if it’s clean. Check the liquid and don’t use it if it’s cloudy or changed color.
- Don’t touch the tip of the Systane drops to prevent contamination.
- Don’t touch the tip to the lashes to prevent contamination.
- Practice makes perfect. Tilt your head and look up, gently pulling the upper and lower lash rim. Squeeze the bottle and wait for the drop to fall into your eye, then gently close the eye to prevent the drop from running down. If you fail, try again!
Are There Any Extra Care Steps That Can Help?
Yes, and establishing an eye care routine is necessary for the prevention of dryness in the first place, or worsening the existing problem. Besides getting relief from eye drops or eye gels, other products that can help you are the hypoallergenic Systane lid wipes and eye rinse solution.
These are two items you shouldn’t exclude from your eye hygiene essentials. Many times we remember to clean our face with the best cleanser, forgetting it’s just as important to cover the eyelid area which can also bring about bacteria. If your problem is persistent, and the temporary use of drops doesn’t provide long-term relief, see if your health is at its best.
Sometimes the cause of eye dryness can be an underlying health condition, such as autoimmune diseases like hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, lupus, and the Sjögren syndrome, so do the necessary health checks and seek medical help.
You also may have to implement some lifestyle changes. For one, don’t take your eyes for granted. If you work with a computer, or you spend a great deal of time using devices, remember to step outside after every half an hour/an hour of screen time and do some blinking exercises. Hydration is just as important, so if you’re not in the habit of drinking up plenty of water daily, grow into it by installing an app to remind you.
You have no excuses! In case you avoid it because you don’t like the taste, adding flavors to it can convince you. And while we’re at habits, establishing sleep hygiene to ensure you catch the needed 7 or 8 hours of z’s is another must. To create the perfect indoor conditions, check the air quality in your home, and use a humidifier to prevent it from drying up. If you can, try to avoid air conditioners, as well as exposure to wind, drafts, and the sun. And oh, never go outside without your nice pair of sunnies!