Saline Eyewash: Uses, Side Effects & Dosage Guide

Saline eyewash is a solution containing sodium chloride and other ingredients according to the indication. Saline eyewash is widely used to reduce the corneal inflammation in various ophthalmic conditions. Saline eye wash relieves the discomfort of the eye by helping in reducing the inflammation of the cornea. Saline eye wash also helps to reduce irritation of the eye caused by any foreign particles. Because saline eyewash is relatively hypertonic to the corneal fluid, therefore the corneal fluid moves out to hypertonic solution and hence cause to reduce the corneal swelling.

People use saline eyewash an over the counter eye drop. 

Some people also use more than one eye drop at the same time, but you should wait for at least 5 minutes to use another eye drop. If you are using eye ointments, then it is recommended to use saline eyewash before the use of ointments. If the signs and symptoms are not improving, then you should consult with your doctor.

Many people use the OTC eye drops for mild dry eyes to get instant relief from any discomfort of eyes. The primary function of saline eyewash is to lubricate the eyes, and hence it can be used several times a day. The saline eyewash can also be used as a tear replacement therapy to get instant relief from the dryness of the eye.

Many people find it helpful to use an over the counter eye drops to get instant relief without the need of any prescription.

But it should be kept in mind that over the counter eye drops are only used when you have mild signs and symptoms. The instruction mentioned on the label should be carefully read when you are using the OTC eye drops. Different products are indicated for different types of patients, so the following cautions should be kept in mind before using any OTC drops.

  • Some eye drops have a preservative in it, and if this is the case, then you should use the eye drops as directed.
  • You should also keep in mind the side effects of the eye drop if any occur.

Consult with a doctor or pharmacists if any side effects occur.


The use of eye saline wash is indicated in the emergency or daily wash of eye for the following conditions:

  • Eye cleansing
  • Irritation of eye
  • Burning of eye
  • Discomfort
  • Stinging
  • Itching
  • For removing foreign particle/material
  • For removing air pollutant ( smog or pollen)
  • And for removing chlorinated water from the eye


Saline eyewash is contraindicated if the person has an open wound near the eyes or in the eyes.

Side effects

  Side effects of saline eye wash include:

  • Eye discomfort
  • Irritation
  • Temporary blurred vision
  • Redness


  • For external use only.

Do not use:

  • if you have trauma to the eye or any severe injury in cornea.
  • If the colour of the saline eyewash is changed before or after using. 
  • If there is a contact lens in the eyes, then it should be removed before use of saline eyewash.
  • Avoid touching the tip of the bottle containing saline eyewash to prevent contamination.
  • If signs and symptoms are not improved after use of saline eye wash then stop using the drops and consult with a doctor for better treatment.
  • Keep out of reach of children.
  • If swallowed, get medical help.

It is better to consult with a doctor or healthcare professional before using saline eyewash because different products contain different amounts of sodium chloride in it. There is also some saline eyewash which is indicated in specific conditions and also added some other ingredients. 

High-risk groups

  • Patients with an open wound in the eyes
  • Patients with a wound near the eye

Sodium Chloride


Sodium chloride is an inorganic compound which is formed chemically from sodium and chloride. Sodium chloride is commonly known as salt. Sodium chloride has various medical uses because both the components are also found in our body and perform many functions. Therefore sodium chloride is essential in performing various normal functions in our body, including nerve conductions and muscle contractions.

Sodium in our body has a significant role it causes and maintains the water balance in our body extracellularly as well as intracellularly. Sodium chloride is used to treat various health-related conditions including :

  • Dehydration
  • Excessive sweating
  • And many others


Sodium chloride is indicated in:

  • Hyponatremia
  • cystic fibrosis
  • nasal congestion and dryness
  • nutritional supplementation
  • corneal oedema
  • ocular inflammation
  • ophthalmic ointment
  • viral bronchiolitis


Sodium chloride is strongly contraindicated in the following:

  • Cardiac disease
  • diabetic ketoacidosis
  • oedema, heart failure
  • Hyperaldosteronism
  • Hyperchloremia
  • Hypernatremia
  • Hypertension
  • Hypervolemia
  • metabolic acidosis
  • renal artery stenosis
  • renal disease
  • renal failure
  • renal impairment
  • Liver diseases

Side Effects

Side effects of sodium chloride are as follow:

  • Nausea
  • vomiting
  • stomach pain
  • swelling in your hands, ankles, or feet


Sodium chloride should not be recommended in patients with hypertension, heart failure, liver diseases, kidney failure, and pleural effusion. Consult with a doctor before use if someone has any of these problems because it can lead to dangerous effects if ignored.

High-Risk Groups

  • Cardiac patients
  • Patients with kidney and liver problems
  • Uncontrolled hypertensive patients