Thera tears vs Refresh Optive Advance (The Best Eye Drop for You!)

There are so many eye-drop brands out there, each declaring on its cover, how it is the best. It is time we went beyond simply scratching the surface, using Thera tears vs. Refresh Optive Advance!

My eyes are always red after a swim. Since they usually clear on their own, I have never taken any action. I recently enrolled in an online course. The redness hasn’t cleared in 2 days. Besides, my eyes are puffy; they itch and have a burning/stinging sensation.

Thera tears vs Refresh Optive Advance
Thera tears vs Refresh Optive Advance

The doctor has advised me to try the ‘usual eye drops for 2 weeks, then see him again. However, it turns out the ‘usual eye drops’ run into hundreds! Where do I even begin? This doctor must think my online course is in ophthalmology! Anyway, maybe a Thera tears vs Refresh Optive Advance comparison might give me some pointers.

What are the differences between Thera tears vs Refresh Optive Advance? How do they compare?

Comparison Chart of Thera tears vs Refresh Optive Advance

Eye drop
Thera tears
Refresh Optive Advanced
Available in 15ml and 30ml in convenient multi-use bottles
Available in 10ml convenient multi-use bottle and also in single-use containers
Preservative-free in the eye
Both preserved and non-preserved
I or 2 drops as needed
I or 2 drops as needed
Active Ingredient
Sodium carboxymethylcellulose 0.25%
Sodium carboxymethylcellulose 0.5% ; Glycerin 1% and Polysorbate 80 – 0.5% (All Lubricants)
Unique inactive ingredient
Dequest, sodium bicarbonate, sodium perborate, calcium/sodium/magnesium and potassium chloride, Sodium phosphate
Purite (preservative), castor oil, Erythritol, Levocarnitine (osmoprotectants), Carbomer copolymer type A. (forms a viscous eye gel)
Lubricant for relief of dry eye symptoms, including those as a result of exposure to the sun and wind. It’s also a protectant against continued eye irritation.
For temporary relief of irritation, discomfort and burning because of dry eyes or exposure to wind and sun

Thera tears vs Refresh Optive Advanced – How do they compare?


Thera tears come in both the 15ml and the 30ml convenient multi-use bottles. On the other hand Refresh Optive Advance has a 10ml multi-use bottle preserved solution, and a packet carrying 30 single-use containers for a non-preserved solution.


Thera tear’s embraces a unique vanishing preservative that disintegrates to oxygen and water when in contact with the tear film. This makes the solution safe from sensitivity or allergic reactions experienced in other preservatives.

Like most members of the Refresh family, Refresh Optive Advance comes in both preserved and non-preserved solutions. Allergic reactions to preservatives are a growing concern amongst many eye drops users. This concern escalated when studies proved that the preservative benzalkonium chloride (BAK), used in many over-the-counter eye drops, is toxic to the cornea.

Ironically, preservatives cannot be abandoned in eye drops altogether. Their pathogen-killing property enables them to keep both the solution and bottle safe, over a long period, and at a fair cost. The bottom line is, that many people are either not affected by preservatives or they use amounts too small to be toxic.

Companies are now striving to make both preservatives that are less harsh to the eye and non-preserved options, for their preservative-sensitive client. Purite (the preservative in Refresh Optive Advance) is a stabilized oxychloro complex that is very different from BAK.


The active ingredient in Thera tears is Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose, a lubricant that works by changing the composition of compromised tears in dry eye patients, to match that of the natural tear. Refresh Optive Advance has a triple action approach in its active ingredient. This takes the form of 3 lubricants: sodium Carboxymethylcellulose, Glycerin, and Polysorbate 80.

Thera tears non-active ingredients make the varnishing preservative and the hypotonic solution – important in maintaining the pH that balances the osmotic pressure (concentration or saltiness) of the tears. If tears are left to become too salty, the eye is damaged. Refresh Optive Advance use Erythritol and Levocarnitine to balance osmotic pressure. Castor oil, also in Refresh Optive Advance ingredients, has been used in Ayurvedic eye remedies for ages. Carbomer copolymer forms a gel that coats the eye, lubricating the eye further.

How Thera tears and Refresh Optive Advance Compare – A Quick Round-up

Thera tears

TheraTears Eye Drops for Dry Eyes, Dry Eye Therapy Lubricant Eyedrops, Provides Long Lasting Relief, 30 mL, 1 Fl oz Value Size

Immediate and long-lasting relief to dry eyes is Thera tears’ creed. It is packaged in 2 different sizes the consumer can choose from. One disadvantage of the convenient, multi-use bottle is t the risk of contamination. Proper handling is crucial.

Thera tears’ unique vanishing preservative changes into harmless components (oxygen and water) when it makes contact with the tear film. This makes it a relatively safe preservative. In addition, the other non-active ingredients in Thera tears ensure the solution is hypotonic (having a low osmotic pressure). This reduces the concentration or saltiness of the tears (osmolarity), which is an important function since hyperosmolarity (high salt concentration) is common in most forms of dry eye syndrome and damages eye cells if it stays unchecked.


  • Variety of bottle sizes to choose from
  • Hypotonic solution
  • Vanishing preservatives is safe but cheaper than having no preservatives


  • Multi-use bottles can be easily contaminated.
  • A vanishing preservative is not a guaranteed no-preservative

Refresh Optive Advanced

Refresh Optive Advanced Lubricant Eye Drops, 30 Single-Use Containers, 0.01 fl oz (0.4mL) each Sterile

Refresh Optive Advance’s is a triple-action long-lasting relief for dry eyes. It offers the consumer both the preserved and non-preserved variations. People with severe dry eye or those allergic to the preservative can use the no-preservative formulation.

Refresh Optive Advance triple-action formula targets all 3 layers of the tear film by lubricating and moisturizing to relieve dry eye symptoms; hydrating the surface cells of the eye; and reducing tear evaporation. Because it is lipid enhanced, it does not require shaking before use and it is safe to use as often as is required.


  • Targets all 3 layers of the tear film
  • Does not require shaking before use
  • Option to choose drops with or without preservative


  • Available in only one size

Conclusion on Thera tears vs Refresh Optive Advance

This Thera tears vs Refresh Optive Advanced guide has shown that both products are good in their own respects. Thera tears ‘ vanishing preservative, lubricating and hypotonic properties bring relief to dry eyes, pose minimal risk of allergic reactions, and prevent further eye irritation.

Refresh Optive Advanced offers all this too but in ‘triple’ proportions. I hope the cost isn’t triple inhibitive as well! Were you in confusion-galore about eye drops like me? If so, the ball is now in your court now!

FAQs about Thera tears vs Refresh Optive Advance

What is Refresh Optive Advance?

An advanced lubricant eye drop that is clinically proven to provide relief to dry eye symptoms through an innovative, triple-action formula

How often can you use Refresh Optive Advance in a day?

It is safe to use as often as required.

Can I use Refresh Optive Advance with my contact lens?

The preservative-free Refresh Optive Advance is safe to use with your contacts.

Is Refresh Optive Advance preservative free?

The eye drops have both preservative-free and preserved solution options

What are Refresh Optive Advance side effects?

Severe burning, stinging or eye irritation, eye pain, or vision change. Stop using and call the doctor if this happens. Other mild common side effects include: mild eye irritation/burning, watery, itching or red eyes, blurred vision, and unpleasant taste.

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