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What's the Best Treatment for Allergy Eyes?

By Dr. Kristie

Spring is in the air, but so is the pollen which means that millions of allergy sufferers will be sneezing, sniffling, and rubbing their red, itchy eyes. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you may be looking for a way to relieve the discomfort of itchy eyes. Fortunately, there are several types of eye drops for watery, itchy eyes that can make the warm weather a little more bearable.

Decongestant eye drops

You can find a variety of decongestant eye drops such as Visine available at your local drugstore. Although these products can be quite effective at relieving the redness, they should never be used for more than three days.

To do so, could result in a condition known as conjunctivitis medicamentosa where the redness becomes worse. Stay away from decongestant eye drops since they’re not suitable for longer term use.

Anti-inflammatory eye drops

This type of drop for watery, itchy eyes is available only by prescription from your doctor. The one most commonly used is Acular ophthalmic drops. This medication helps to relieve the eye inflammation and irritation associated with seasonal allergies.

It’s usually well tolerated although you may experience a slight burning sensation when it’s applied. In rare cases, it can cause inflammation of the cornea of the eye.

Antihistamines and mast cell stabilizer eye drops

Both of these types of eye drops work in different ways to stop release of histamine, the chemical responsible for most of the symptoms associated with seasonal allergies. Mast cell stabilizers such as Alocril and Alamast are best used at the beginning of allergy season before the symptoms develop since they prevent the onset of allergic eye symptoms.

Antihistamine eye drops have the advantage of reducing symptoms quickly, but need to be reapplied more often than mast cell stabilizers.

One of the best options is to use a combination of a mast cell stabilizer and antihistamine eye drop such as Zaditor which has the advantage of working quickly and lasting a long time. One drop in each eye can give relief for up to twelve hours. Zaditor eye drops are available without a prescription.

If your symptoms are mild and you need a quick treatment for watery, itchy eyes, try placing saline eye drops in the refrigerator for thirty minutes before applying them. The cool temperature can help to relieve some of the itching and irritation. Also, try to keep your hands away from your eyes as rubbing can make the symptoms worse. 

About the Author

She is a Medical Doctor with a concentration in Family Practice. She also has an undergraduate degree in both Biology and Psychology and masters in Clinical Pathology.



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