What’s a Preservative-Free Eye Drop? Is It Right for You?

Eye drops can help alleviate dry eye symptoms, redness, allergies, and a host of other sensitive eye conditions.  Dry Eye drops like TheraTears are an essential tool for those seeking soothing relief from dry eye and irritation.  However, when shopping for eye drops, people may want help understanding the differences among the options that are available.


The majority of eye drops contain preservatives to prevent the growth of bacteria in the bottle, so your eye drops are safer to use for a longer period of time. However, some users with sensitive eyes have found that preservative-free formulas are gentler, and they like the convenience of using a formula in a single-use vial.  We’ll explain why some people prefer preservative-free drops, including how you can decide which eye drop is best for you. 

Different types of eye drops

Dry Eye drops mimic real tears to help moisten and restore the natural balance of your eyes. They can soothe irritation and offer relief from uncomfortable dryness.

There are two types of eye drops or artificial tears: 

  • Eye drops with preservatives: This type of artificial tear contains preservatives to help prevent the growth of bacteria after the bottle is opened. This solution comes in a multi-dose bottle.
  • Preservative-Free Eye drops: This type of eye drop does not have preservatives and often comes in a single-dose vial, which you use one time. This type of formula does not need preservatives since they are meant to be discarded after one use.

Are preservative-free eye drops the best choice for you? 

Some people with sensitive eyes may prefer preservative-free eye drops. They may also prefer the convenient vials that preservative-free formulas are most often packaged in.

You might want to use preservative-free eye drops if you: 

  • Use your eye drops more than four times a day 
  • Are allergic to certain preservatives 
  • Have moderate or severe dry eye 
  • Have overly sensitive eyes
  • Have serious eye allergies
  • Have had a Lasik operation recently and have spoken about treating your eyes with an OTC drop

Which dry eye drops are preservative free?

Preservative-free eye drops are more available than ever before. If you have sensitive eyes or find yourself using eye drops multiple times a day, you may  consider switching to a preservative-free drop.  TheraTears has preservative-free eye drops that help soothe dry eye symptoms and lubricate and moisten your eyes:  

If you’re not sure which eye drop is best for you, you might find use our product selector tool  helpful to help you choose a formula based on your unique needs and if you have any questions or concerns be sure to speak to your eye doctor about your symptoms and conditions. As you land on a treatment plan that’s best for you, you may find that a preservative-free dry eye drop is the right choice for you.  


A Drop Like No Other™