Twenty patients with keratoconjunctivitis sicca used three different viscoelastic tear formulations and a polyvinyl alcohol artificial tear for two weeks each. Each formulation was used once every two waking hours in a controlled double-masked study. Eighteen patients reported marked improvement over the course of the study, in terms of the severity of itching, burning, and foreign body sensation. Corneal staining and mucous strand formation were also reduced in patients with these manifestations. No formulation was preferred by a majority of patients or proved superior in treating signs of keratoconjunctivitis sicca. However, patients with low Schirmer test scores uniformly preferred a solution containing chondroitin sulfate, while patients with moderate Schirmer test scores tended to prefer a solution of polyvinyl alcohol or hyaluronic acid.