Journal List > J Korean Ophthalmol Soc > v.59(2) > 1010847

Woo, Hong, Huh, Eom, Kim, and Song: Comparison of Osmolarity of Various Artificial Tears Products Commercially Available in South Korea



To compare the osmolarity of various artificial tear products commercially available in the Republic of Korea.


The osmolarity of the artificial tears was analyzed using TearLab® and Multi-Osmette™. We divided the artificial tear products into five groups, including hypo-osmolar 0.18% sodium hyaluronate (HA), iso-osmolar 0.1%, 0.15%, 0.3% HA, and 0.5% carboxymethylcellulose sodium (CMC), and measured three products per group.


Among the 12 products of iso-osmolar artificial tears, there were seven products (58.3%) < 300 mOsm/L, and among the three products of hypo-osmolar artificial tears, there were two products (66.6%) < 150 mOsm/L. A significant difference (p < 0.05) was observed between the iso-osmolar 0.3% HA group and the hypo-osmolar 0.18% HA group. In the iso-osmolar 0.1% HA and 0.15% HA, the difference between the products in each group was approximately 12 mOsm/L, and the CMC group had the smallest deviation among products, which was close to 300 mOsm/L. There was a significant difference of 305.57 ± 6.38 mOsm/L in the iso-osmolar 0.15% HA group, 293.44 ± 8.71 mOsm/L in the 0.1% HA group, and 285.67 ± 3.67 mOsm/L in the 0.3% HA group (p < 0.001). There was no significant difference in osmolarity between the iso-osmolar products containing HA and CMC (p = 0.117).


There was a difference in osmolarity between the published and actual measured values of commercial artificial tears, and there was a difference in osmolality depending on the content of HA and the manufacturer.

Figures and Tables

Figure 1

TearLab® osmometer and artificial tears used in this study. The artificial tears products were divided into five groups according to the type of ingredients and osmolality. For each group, three different products were selected and measured.

Figure 2

Graphs based on the content of sodium hyaluronate in iso-osmolarity products. Graphs showed the highest at 0.15% sodium hyaluronate and the lowest at 0.3% sodium hyaluronate, and this tendency was similar regardless of the manufacturer. HA = sodium hyaluronate.

Table 1

Artifical tear osmolarity


Values are presented as mean ± SD.

HA = sodium hyaluronate; CMC = carboxymethylcellulose.

*Statistically significant differences (p-value<0.05) in Kruskal-Wallis test.

Table 2

Comparison of artificial tears osmolarity grouped by composition


Values are presented as mean ± SD.

HA = sodium hyaluronate; CMC = carboxymethylcellulose.

*Statistically significant differences (p-value<0.05) in Kruskal-Wallis test; Statistically significant differences (p-value<0.05) in Mann-Whitney U-test.


This study was supported in part by Alumni of Department of Ophthalmology, Korea University College of Medicine.

Conflicts of Interest The authors have no conflicts to disclose.


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