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Systane Eye Drops Side Effects

author image Sharon Perkins
A registered nurse with more than 25 years of experience in oncology, labor/delivery, neonatal intensive care, infertility and ophthalmology, Sharon Perkins has also coauthored and edited numerous health books for the Wiley "Dummies" series. Perkins also has extensive experience working in home health with medically fragile pediatric patients.
Systane Eye Drops Side Effects
Doctor putting eye drops in a woman's eyes Photo Credit: Esben_H/iStock/Getty Images

Systane is an artificial tear drop used to treat various types of dry eye by reducing feelings of burning, grittiness and irritation. Systane eye drops can be used multiple times during the day, and are available over the counter in several different formulations. As with any medication, side effects from using Systane can occur.

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Ocular Side Effects

Systane can cause temporary redness, itching and burning on installation. Vision may be temporarily blurred after putting Systane drops in your eyes. The most common eye side effects reported by patients on include eye pain and inflammation of the cornea, or keratitis. Eye infection can also occur, especially if the bottle becomes contaminated. Eye pain or changes in vision that last more than a few minutes may be a sign of a serious eye problem.

Less common side effects reported by patients on include light sensitivity, swollen eyelids, increase tearing, increased intraocular pressure and corneal ulcers and scratches.

Allergic Reactions

Like any drug, Systane can cause allergic reactions. Possible allergic reactions include shortness of breath, dizziness, hives or rash, swelling of the eyes or face, and red or itchy eyes, according to

Other Side Effects

Systane may cause contact lenses to become too soft if they’re inserted too soon after Systane installation or if Systane is put into the eye on top of the contacts. Systemic symptoms reported to include nervous system disorders, convulsions and ear and gum pain.

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