Tears are not only important for emotional blackmail! They are the life of your eyes. But if you have dry eye, and don’t know which drop to reach for, comparisons like Thera tears vs Systane Balance can be a life-line!
I never gave tears much thought when life was good for me. Now that my eyes are burning, itching, stinging, puffy and red, I have discovered that I have dry eye and tear reduction may be the culprit. I have also discovered that there are hundreds of eye drops in the market, promising heaven. How do I know which one to believe? If you are in this same dilemma, come let’s see if the Thera tears vs Systane Balance comparison will help us!
What are the differences between Thera tears and Systane Balance? How do they compare?
Comparison Chart of Thera tears and Systane Balance
Available in 15ml and 30ml in convenient multi-use bottles
10ml multi-use bottle or a twin pack of the 10ml bottle
Preservative-free in the eye
Both with preservatives and preservative free
Carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) – Changes tear composition
propylene glycol 0.6% – Lubricant
Non-active ingredient unique to the eye drop
Dequest, sodium bicarbonate, sodium perborate, sodium phosphate, calcium chloride, potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, sodium chloride
Dimyristoyl, phosphitidyglycerol, edentate disodium, hydroxypropyl guar -HP guar, mineral oil, polyoxyl 40 stearate, polyquaternium-1 .001% (preservative), sorbitan tristearate, sorbitan, it may also contain hydrochloric acid and sodium hydroxide(pH balancer)
1-2 drops as required
1-2 drops as required
Lubricant that brings relief for dry eye symptoms, including exposure to the wind and sun. It’s also a protectant against continued irritation of the eye.
Temporary relief of irritation, burning and other dry eye discomforts.
Thera tears is packed in 15ml and 30ml multi-use bottles whereas Systane Balance is packaged in a 10ml multi-usable bottle. You can either buy a single unit or opt for the twin-
pack. The twin-pack gives you more value for money.
Thera tears has a special vanishing preservative which turns into oxygen and water upon contact with the tear film. This is safer than many preservatives used in eye drops. Benzalkonium chloride (BAK) for example, is toxic to the cornea.
Systane Balance uses Polyquaternium-1 at very low concentrations, as a preservative. Polyquad (Polyquaternium-1) is commonly used as a preservative in ophthalmic solutions that treat glaucoma, even though it is a derivative of BAK. This is because, though bacteria cells attract it, eye cells reject it.
The active ingredient in Thera tears is Sodium Carboxymethylcellulose. It lubricates the eye by sticking to the eye cells and mimicking the natural tear makeup. In this way it is retained by the cells. For Systane, the active ingredient propylene glycol , lubricates the eye by forming a protective layer over the eye’s mucous membrane. This relieves inflammation and irritation.
The non-active ingredients in Thera tears are important in making the vanishing preservative and addressing osmolarity (concentration or saltiness) of the tears by ensuring the solution is hypotonic (having low osmotic pressure). Hydroxypropyl guar (HP guar) stabilizes the tear film by increasing its thickness (viscosity). The other inactive ingredients work towards further lubrication of the eye. Together with the mineral oil and the phospholid, they form an emulsion that restores the lipid layer and tear film bringing relief for dry eye.
How Thera tears Extra and Systane Balance Compare – A Quick Review
Thera tears is reputed to be the dry eye therapy for immediate and long lasting relief. It does this by increasing viscosity to minimize evaporation, ‘sticking’ and retaining moisture to the cornea, and the rest of the eye. Moreover, its hypotonic nature counters high salty concentration, which is detrimental to the eye.
Besides, it comes in more than one size which gives the consumer control over which size to purchase. The multi-use bottle is convenient but very easily contaminated if the tip comes into contact with any surface.
- Consumer can make choice on bottle size
- Hypotonic property prevent eye damage from high salt concentrations
- Vanishing preservative safe and cheaper than preservative-free
- The multi-use bottle can be easily contaminated.
- A vanishing preservative is not as safety-guaranteed as a no-preservative solution
Systane Balance is specifically formulated to bring relief even in evaporative dry eye conditions like Meibomian Gland Dysfunction (MGD). Its battery of lubricants successfully provide a restorative formula.
Unfortunately, recent studies have discovered that polyquard (Polyquaternium) is also harmful to cells. However, the low concentration in Systane Balance enables it to be tolerated by the eye cells.
- The HP guar protects damaged cells and reduces tear evaporation
- Preserved solutions are cheaper
- Brings relief to patients with evaporative dry eye conditions.
- The preservative used is harmful to the cells in higher concentrations
They say that decision-making involves balancing options. Thera tears vs Systane Balance doesn’t have an outright winner. Both products have their pros and cons. Thera tears has a relatively safe preservative and its hypotonic solution helps maintains osmolarity. Systane Balance has a battery of lubricants that provide a great restorative therapy for the eye. Even without being hypotonic, osmolarity is taken care of because HP guar becomes gel-like when the pH is above 7, preventing damage to the eye cells. However, its preservative is worrisome. One’s symptoms will obviously weigh in heavily in making this decision.
What is systane balance used for?
It relieves moderate to severe dry eye symptoms by supporting and restoring the eye’s lipid layer, through replenishing essential moisture.
What are the side effects of Systane Balance?
Though side effects are not common, they include: any discomfort, irritation or redness that was not there before instilling the drops; blurred vision, watering eyes, eyelid swelling, eyelash stickiness, and increased sensitivity to light.
How many times a day can I use Systane Balance eye drops?
Use as often as is required
Is Systane Balance milky?
Yes, Systane Balance has phospholipids and mineral oil in its inactive ingredients which gives it a milky appearance. Shake it before use.
Is Systane Balance safe for contacts?
Systane Contacts is specially formulated to moisten contacts while in the eyes during the day.