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Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen MartinReviewed on 19.10.2023 | 4 minutes read

Viscotears are used to relieve symptoms of dry eyes. They are formulated as liquid gel eye drops. They come in either a tube or as single-dose units to be disposed of after each use. This product is not available in the US. Your pharmacist can help you choose an appropriate alternative.

Dry eyes are very common, and most people will likely have suffered from the symptoms at some point in their life. Symptoms can include your eyes feeling dry, tired, gritty, and painful. Blurred vision and eye redness can also occur. Older age, tiredness, weather conditions, certain medications, and wearing contact lenses can make dry eye symptoms more common. Also, if you have certain medical conditions such as allergies, blepharitis, rosacea, or Sjogren's syndrome, dry eyes can be linked to these.

Who are Viscotears for?

Viscotears are suitable for most adults suffering from dry eye symptoms. You can use Viscotears if you wear contact lenses. Just make sure you remove your contact lenses before using Viscotears and wait at least fifteen minutes before putting them back in after application. It is safe to use Viscotears alongside most medications; however, if you use any other eye drops, you should leave a gap of at least five minutes between applying them. Be sure to apply Viscotears last unless you have been instructed differently by your doctor or pharmacist.

How do Viscotears work?

Viscotears contain an ingredient called carbomer (polyacrylic acid), which works by lubricating and soothing the surface of the eye. There are many formulations which have this as the active ingredient, such as Xailin Night. Viscotears are often described as artificial tears as they fulfil the role of your natural tears. Other artificial eye drops include hypromellose.

How to apply

Before applying any eye drops or gels, it's crucial to follow the instructions provided by the product packaging. We also have a guide on how to instil eye drops. However, here is a general guide on how to apply Viscotears Gel:

  1. Wash Your Hands - Before touching your eyes or handling the gel, make sure your hands are clean and dry. Wash them thoroughly with soap and water.

  2. Tilt Your Head Back - To avoid the gel from running out, tilt your head backwards or lie down.

  3. Pull Down Lower Eyelid - Gently pull down your lower eyelid with your index finger, creating a small pocket.

  4. Look Up - Look up while keeping your head tilted back. This helps to expose the inner surface of your lower eyelid.

  5. Squeeze the Gel - Hold the tube of Viscotears Gel upside down and squeeze a small amount (usually one drop or a thin strip) inside the lower lid of the eye in the pocket formed by pulling down your lower eyelid.

  6. Close Your Eyes - Close your eyes gently. This allows the gel to spread across the surface of your eye.

  7. Blink - Blink a few times to help distribute the gel evenly over the eye.

  8. Wipe Excess - If there is any excess gel around your eye, you can use a clean tissue to wipe it away.

  9. Repeat for the Other Eye - If you need to apply the gel to both eyes, repeat the process for the other eye.

  10. Replace the Cap - Make sure to replace the cap on the tube to prevent contamination and keep the gel from drying out.

Are there any side effects?

Some people may experience side effects from using Viscotears. If you develop any bothersome side effects, stop using the product and speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Some common side effects can include temporary blurred vision and eye irritation or stinging pain after application.

Who should not use Viscotears?

  • As always, do not use the product if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in it.
  • Viscotears should only be used in children if this has been recommended by their doctor, pharmacist, or optician.
  • While Viscotears may be prescribed for children, it's important to follow the guidance of your healthcare professional. Extra caution is needed when using eye medications in infants and young children.
  • If you have an active eye infection, using Viscotears may not be suitable. In some cases, the preservatives in eye drops or gels can exacerbate existing infections.

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This article has been written by UK-based doctors and pharmacists, so some advice may not apply to US users and some suggested treatments may not be available. For more information, please see our T&Cs.
Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed on 19.10.2023
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