Sometimes your seasonal allergies are pretty well controlled – you take your medication regularly and don't sneeze into a storm. But your eyes are still itchy and red. In other cases, you don't seem to have any symptoms of seasonal allergies at all – no feeling of blurriness, no stuffy or runny nose – but your eyes become super itchy and red when you are outdoors. They may tear or become watery.
In other cases, eye allergies are not at all related to seasonal allergies. Allergic conjunctivitis, as doctors call it, can occur at any time of the year, sometimes due to dust mites or animal hair.
Many allergy sufferers find that taking their oral medication or nasal steroid spray controls the eye symptoms. But sometimes they don't and eye drops could help. One of the benefits of eye drops for allergic eye symptoms is that "they work quickly," explains Dr. Courtney Jackson Blair, vice president of the Greater Washington Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Society and owner of Allergy and Asthma Associates in Virginia. So you feel relieved ̵
There are many eye drops for allergy sufferers in the drugstore that require a prescription. How to navigate through the options.
Over-The-Counter Eye Drops for Allergies
There are generally two types of products on the shelf of your drug store: products with ketotifen and products with a combination of drugs pheniramine maleate and naphazoline hydrochloride. It's a sip, but here's what you should know about everyone and what you should know about prescription eye drops:
Eye drops that contain ketotifen
This medication is an antihistamine, which means that it blocks symptoms by it blocks receptors for histamine, a chemical that you make during an allergic reaction that causes these known allergy symptoms. It is also a so-called mast cell stabilizer, which means that chemicals like histamine are not produced at all.
Find them in products like: Zaditor, Alaway and Eye Itch Relief by Rite Aid.
Eye drops with pheniramine maleate and naphazoline hydrochloride
We don't expect you to remember these names. Therefore, bookmark this page when you go to the drugstore so you can match it to the products on the shelf that contain it. This is a combination of an antihistamine (pheniramine maleate) and a decongestant (naphazoline hydrochloride).
The only challenge with decongestants that act as a redness reducer is that "sometimes the redness reducer causes a rebound effect," says Dr. Jackson Blair. "The redness can come back worse than before." Eye drops with a decongestant can also increase eye pressure. Therefore, patients with glaucoma should avoid this group of eye drops.
Find these drugs in: Naphcon A, Visine Allergy Eye Relief Multi-Action and Walgreen & # 39; s Eye Allergy Relief.
Eye drops with prescription allergy
Prescription eye drops offer a variety of options, from mast cell inhibitors to antihistamines of various types. If your eyes are not easily soothed by over-the-counter problems, it is worth visiting an allergist. One of the many reasons – not just to get the right drops – is that they can help you figure out exactly what is causing the reaction and you can try to reduce your exposure to the reaction. Finally, in limited cases, a prescription steroid (such as Alrex or Lotemax) can be used for more severe symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis. However, steroids should be used with caution as they can also increase the risk of glaucoma and cataracts. If it is used for more than a week, it is advisable to also hire an optician or ophthalmologist for the treatment, explains Dr. Kirk Waibel, former Army Surgeon General allergy counselor, now with Aspire Allergy & Sinus in San Antonio, TX.  Tips on Using Eye Drops for Allergies
Use these tips from Dr. Waibel to get the most out of your eye drops for allergies:
- Ask your eye care professional about prescription medication and carefully read the OTC labels for dosage and how often to use the drops each day.
- Ask or read the label to see if the drops can be used with contact lenses. Some may, but you may need to adjust your lens wearing schedule, as you'll have to wait ten to 15 minutes after using the drops before putting your lenses on.
- "Eye drops are best used like other allergy medications: daily when you have frequent symptoms or at times when allergies are less troublesome," he says.
- Keep the eye drops cool. "The cool feeling is soothing too," he adds, "which can help minimize redness and itching."
In addition to taking drops, washing your eyes with cold water or using a cold washcloth after spending some time outdoors can also help reduce itchy, watery allergic eye symptoms.