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When you hear the words “seasonal allergy,” you’ll probably think of nasal symptoms like sleepiness and sneezing. But do not forget your eyes: they are also susceptible to environmental allergens and can sting, burn, cry and blush with the slightest movement (or, in this case, when a single flower covered with pollen falls).
In addition, pollen is not the only culprit: pet dander, dust, ragweed and grass can also cause an allergic reaction in the eyes. Normal over-the-counter allergy medications it can help, but according to an allergist at the University of Missouri Christina Franzese, MD. eye allergy symptoms are among the most difficult to treat.
“Oral antihistamines will help with eye symptoms in about 50% of cases, and steroid nasal sprays like fluticasone will help in 60% of cases,” she says. “Therefore, there will be patients who other drugs do not help or do not help enough.”
For these patients, eye drops may work best when it comes to suction cups for many eye allergy symptoms. either dryness and redness or itching and tearing. There are several options for people allergic to eyes that relieve all kinds of symptoms: these are the best options on the market today.
If you’re new to eye allergies, start with antihistamine drops like Alaway (view on Amazon), is a smart choice. This may be all you need to treat the worst of your symptoms. If you find that you need more relief, you can move on to stabilizing mast cells, such as the Zatidor (view on Amazon). If you are concerned about medication use, choose a drop with natural ingredients such as Similasan (see CVS), or use a glycol-based lubricant such as Systane (view Amazon). In general, it is advisable to avoid drops that relieve redness.
However, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with an allergist if you’re not getting the symptom relief you need-maybe you’re dealing with something other than an allergy or need help identifying your triggers.
What to look for in eye drops for allergies
There are two main types of ingredients in eye drops that can reduce your allergic reaction to seasonal or environmental triggers:
- Mast cell stabilizers
Although eye drops containing lubricating ingredients such as polyethylene glycol found in artificial tears, may be helpful in calming irritation. they don’t actually stop the histamine reaction at the root of your problems.
The ingredient that will work best varies from person to person, so be prepared for small samples and errors.
“If you’ve tried an antihistamine drop and found no relief, you can find relief with a mast cell stabilizer,” he says Kathleen Dass, doctor Medical science, allergist and immunologist from Michigan. “In rare cases, we use both methods for treatment because they work differently.”
You may think that the more ingredients there are, the more kinds of relief there will be, but that’s not necessarily the case. Many eye drops, especially those that reduce redness, include vasoconstrictors in the form of decongestants, and are not safe for long-term use.
“It is possible to use these drops rarely if you need it, however they will not provide long-term relief for allergies [and they can also] cause redness,” Dr. Dass explains.
Because eye drops are often meant to relieve an allergy symptom, you’ll need to experiment a little when it comes to finding the right product for you. If you only have one symptom, such as dryness, you don’t need a multipurpose drop. On the other hand, if your eyes itch, they redden e tear, this may be your best choice.
As with any other medicine, you won’t be able to treat your symptoms properly unless you know what they are. Dr. Dass says it’s important to confirm that you are definitely dealing with eye allergies rather than a similar problem like dry eyes or blepharitis. because these conditions are treated differently. You may need to meet with an allergist to clarify your individual symptoms and preferably identify your triggers; while eye drops can treat symptoms, the only way to prevent symptoms altogether is to avoid your triggers.
Most drops will require you to use them once or twice a day. You will receive the same amount of medicines within 24 hours, but one form may be more preferable for you than the other.
For example, if you find that the action of the drops goes away after 10 hours, but use one drop once a day, the symptoms will remain on you for a long time before you can take another dose. But if you wear contact lenses, it can be very difficult to remove your contact lenses twice a day to inject drops, Dr. Dass warns. Be sure to consider your schedule and the possibility of using drops before choosing between 12-and 24-hour medications.
Use with contact lenses
Speaking of contact lenses, it is important to make sure that eye drops safe to use with your lenses.
“Most instructions for using eye drops recommend waiting 10 to 15 minutes before inserting contact lenses,” says Dr. Dass, who emphasizes the importance of reading the instructions that come with your brand’s eye drops (you want the drug to be completely absorbed before wearing lenses or they may affect the effectiveness of the drug).
Frequently asked questions
It depends on what’s causing your pink eye; conjunctivitis can be caused by allergies, viruses, or bacteria, says Yuna Rapoport, MD, director of Manhattan Eye in New York City, so if your pink eye was caused by allergies, these types of drops would be helpful. If the culprit is a virus or bacteria, allergy drops will not help.
So how do you know your pink eye is caused by allergies? Dr. Rapoport says that if your symptoms are chronic (that is, they last for a long period of time, not suddenly), if there is no yellow mucus coming out, and if the ophthalmologist sees “papillae” or bumps on the inside of the eyelid during the eye exam.
As with the pink eye, the cause of eye redness symptoms is important: whether pollen or animal dander (or anything scratching due to pollen or pet dander) have made your eyes red and irritated, so allergy eye drops can help.
But Dr. Rapoport emphasizes that other eye diseases, such as dry eyes, blepharitis, and infection, can also cause eye redness, and allergy eye drops in these cases won’t spare you eye redness.
If eye drops contain certain ingredients, you can develop an addiction. The main ingredient to look out for is naphazoline HCI; it is a decongestant ingredient that contracts blood vessels in the eyes so that they appear less visible red, but if used too often it will cause a rebound effect.
In other words, the more you use eye redness relief drops, the more red your eyes will become, and the more you will feel that you need to use a pain reliever for redness that triggers a vicious circle in which you become addicted.
How can you avoid this? Use sparingly drops to relieve redness with decongestant ingredients.
“These drops should not be used more often than occasionally for a special occasion or a photograph,” explains Dr. Rapoport.
What the experts say
“Lubricating drops or artificial tears will treat dry eye, which causes many of the same symptoms as allergic conjunctivitis, such as burning, itching, foreign body sensation.”
— Yuna Rapoport, MDF
Why Trust Medication information?
Sarah Bradley write health content starting in 2017, from food reviews and disease FAQs, to nutrition explainers and a dish on diet trends. She knows how important it is to get reliable, expert-approved recommendations on over-the-counter products that help manage everyday health issues, from gastrointestinal issues and allergies to chronic headaches and joint pain.