Thera tears vs Refresh Plus (The Best Closer Look at Tears!)

Even when the source of your misery can’t be explained, relief is still always welcome.

How do you make a choice when the options are so numerous? This thera tears vs Refresh Plus comparison may provide some insights!

Thera tears vs Refresh Plus
Thera tears vs Refresh Plus

I am a 30-year- old male teaching assistant. I don’t fall in the category of people prone to dry eye syndrome. I don’t work in an environment that may promote it. My habits are pretty eye-friendly, too. Yet I have developed dry eye symptoms – my eyes water, sting, itch, and pain.

I am not hosting a pity party here. Rather, I am venting my frustration over not knowing which brand in the flood of eye drop brands I should select. Will a Thera tears vs Refresh Plus ride give me some whys for each of the brands?

What are the differences between Thera tears vs Refresh Plus?

Comparison Chart of Thera tears vs Refresh Plus

Eye drop
Thera tears
Refresh Plus
Available in 15ml and 30ml in convenient multi-use bottles
Available in packs with 30,50,70 and 100 single-use vials.
Preservative-free in the eye
I or 2 drops as needed
I or 2 drops as needed
Active Ingredient
Sodium carboxymethylcellulose 0.25% (Lubricant)
Sodium carboxymethylcellulose 0.5%
Inactive ingredient unique to eyedrop
Borate buffers, Dequest, sodium bicarbonate, sodium perborate, Sodium phosphate.
Sodium lactate (pH balance), may also contain hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide to adjust the pH
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 irritation of the eye further.
Lubricant for relief of dry eye symptoms, including those as a result of exposure to the sun and wind. It may also act as a protectant against irritation of the eye further.

Thera tears vs Refresh Plus – How do they compare?


Thera tears is packaged in both the 15ml and the 30ml convenient multi-use bottles. Refresh Plus, on the other hand, comes with packs that package 30, 50,70, and 100 single-use vials. Each vial contains 0.04 ml, of solution (about 4 drops). Once opened, the solution should be used immediately and the vial discarded.


Thera tear’s unique preservative disintegrates to oxygen and water when it reaches the tear film. For this reason, it is called a vanishing preservative. It is a relatively safe preservative since water and oxygen are harmless – they cannot set off allergic reactions.

Refresh plus is preservative-free. Though preservatives are becoming increasingly unpopular, they have some good uses. They prevent the spread of pathogens, both within the solution and on the bottle. This makes the solution safe for a long time. Without preservatives to accost bacteria, non-preserved eye drops, like Refresh Plus, must be used as soon as the vial is opened, and the vial discarded immediately.


The active ingredient in Thera tears is Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose 0.25%, a lubricant that works by changing the composition of compromised tears in dry eye patients, to match that of the natural tear. Refresh Plus also has as its active ingredient Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose 0.5%. It is not clear whether there is a significant difference statistically between using Carboxymethylcellulose at 0.25% and 0.5%

Thera tears non-active ingredients make up the varnishing preservative and the hypotonic solution, which is 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. The sodium lactate in Refresh Plus is important in acid and electrolyte balance. The Refresh Plus solution may also contain hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide to adjust the pH.

How Thera tears vs Refresh Plus 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

Thera tears boast of being able to bring immediate and long-lasting relief to dry eyes. Its 2 packaged sizes give the consumer a bit of variety to choose from. The multi-use bottle though convenient runs the risk of contamination if the tip touches any surface. Proper handling is necessary.

Thera tear’s vanishing preservative makes it a relatively safe preservative. In addition, the non-active ingredients make the solution hypotonic (having a lower osmotic pressure). This improves the concentration or saltiness environment of tears (osmolarity). Hyperosmolarity (high salt concentration) is common in most forms of dry eye syndrome and when unchecked leads to eye damage.


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


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

Refresh Plus

Refresh Plus Lubricant Eye Drops, 30 Single-Use Containers, 0.01 fl oz (0.4mL) Each Sterile

Refresh Plus aims to moisturize in order to bring immediate soothing relief for dry eye symptoms including dryness from post–LASIK operations. LASIK (Laser-assisted in situ keratomileuses) is a cornea laser surgery that changes the shape of the cornea.

The availability of packs with different numbers of vials provides a variety for consumers to choose from. The absence of preservatives makes the solution safe for everyone. Preservatives have disadvantages that can cause harm to many people. Some have been found to cause corneal neurotoxicity; some irritate the eye or trigger allergic reactions; and, it is recommended that people using eye drops with preservatives not use them more than 4 times a day.


  • Variety of sizes to choose from
  • Can be used by people allergic to preservatives or those with severe dry eye syndrome
  • Can relief post-LASIK dry eyes
  • Can be used as much as is required.


  • May be costly
  • Does not address osmolarity
  • Once opened, vials must be discarded even if the solution is not exhausted.

Conclusion on Thera tears vs Refresh Plus

Ready to make a choice? The two products do not have any preservatives so there are no harmful side effects to worry about. Both products have a good lubricant as the active ingredient. However, Thera tears hypotonic nature, and action goes a step further to address hyperosmolarity. By having no preservative, Refresh Plus can be used even in very sensitive situations like post-LASIK relief. The verdict is yours!

FAQs about Thera tears vs Refresh Plus

What is in Refresh Plus eye drops?

A no-preservative solution that instantly moisturizes to provide immediate soothing dry eye symptoms relief

How do you use Refresh Plus eye drops?

Twist of the cap, tilt your head back, drop the solution in the eye, and dispose of the used vial.

Can I use Refresh Plus eye drops with contacts?

Yes, preservative-free eye drops are safe to use with contacts. Alternatively, you can use Refresh Contacts designed especially for use with contacts.

Can Refresh Plus (eye drops) vials be used multiple times?

No, there being no preservative, the solution can become contaminated after opening.

What cases of dry eyes is Refresh Plus described for?

Temporary relief of dry eye symptoms including those from exposure to the sun and wind. Post-LASIK patients can use it too.

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