Health & Hygiene

Astringent Eye Drops vs. Visine Maximum Strength

Are store brand medicated eye drops for red eyes the same as the brand name eye drops? I’m the Off Brand Guy, and I’m here to save you money by testing and reviewing store brands, off brand, no-name, and other cheaper products.

Every spring I suffer from grass pollen allergies. When my windows are open, my eyes get red and itchy. Sometimes I even wake up with red eyes. That’s really annoying! Fortunately, I discovered CVS Health Astringent eye drops.

These eye drops have been a real game-changer for me. I find them to be very effective for help with seasonal allergies. And they have an instant action that brings immediate relief.

Best Astringent Eye Drops For Red Eyes

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and eye allergies and eye issues are no exception. For your normal seasonal pollen allergies, your best cure is to close the window and keep that contaminated air outside your living space. Despite running my air conditioner like a madman, I still sometimes need a quick fix for dry or scratchy eyes. That’s where CVS Astringent over the counter (OTC) eye drops shine.

Today, I am reviewing the CVS store brand eye drops indicated for itching and redness relief.

CVS Astringent Eye Drop Ingredients

Bottle of CVS Health Astringent Eye Drops, rear
CVS Astringent Eye Drops Active Ingredients

What Are “Astringent” Eye Drops? What Does “Astringent” Mean?

The key ingredient for this kind of eye drops is tetrahydrozoline hydrochloride. Tetrahydrozoline HCl is a vasoconstrictor, which means that it temporarily shrinks the blood vessels that cause your eyes to turn red. When applied, there is a brief sensation that some might describe as “refreshing” and others might call “burning”. It’s immediately followed by relief from itchiness and irritation.

The other active ingredient is zinc sulfate. This astringent reduces redness and swelling, and is common in eye drops recommended for red eyes and allergies. It seems to be the active ingredient that makes this a “dual action formula” . . . whatever that means. I’ve tried eye drops with and without zinc sulfate, and I prefer the ones with it.

Best Astringent Eye Drops At CVS

It might seem strange to buy health products at CVS. Why not just stop by the supermarket? Erica from published a game-changing guide that explains how to get good deals at CVS and using coupons and sales. As a store-brand enthusiast, I check her site regularly for coupons and freebies.

While this product is listed at, it’s currently marked as “Only In Stores.” That means you’ll have to stop by CVS to get yours!

CVS offers their store brand, “CVS Health,” for many day-to-day health products. In particular they have a staggering array of eye drops:

  • CVS Health Eye Allergy Relief (Ketotifen fumarate solution)
  • CVS Health Eye Itch Relief (Pheniramine maleata, naphazoline HCL)
  • CVS Health Eye Allergy Itch Relief (Olopatadine HCL)
  • CVS Health Maximum Redness Relief (Glycerin, naphazoline HCL)
  • CVS Health Long Lasting Lubricant Eye Drops (Polyethylene glycol, propylene glycol)
  • CVS Health Advanced Eye Drops (Dextran, polyethylene glycol, povidone)
  • CVS Health Lubricant Eye Drops (Carboxymethylcellulose sodium)
  • CVS Health Artificial Tears Lubricant Eye Drops (Glycerin, Propylene glycol)
  • CVS Health Dry Relief Lubricant Eye Drops (Glycerin, hypromellose, polyethylene glycol) (compare to Visine Dry Eye Relief)

Not finding what you’re looking for at CVS? Also try the name brand stuff:

Buy Visine Eye Drops

Have you tried this product? Do you have any leads on good deals on store-brand products? Please post a comment below.

How to Use Eye Drops Properly – Eye Drop Tutorial

How to Use Eye Drops PROPERLY! - Eye Drop Tutorial

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