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Eyedrops for Allergies

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Anti-inflammatory Allergy Eyedrops continued...

Acular/Acuvail (ketorolac) is the only NSAID approved for the treatment of itchy eyes. Itching usually starts to go away about one hour after using the eyedrops. These eyedrops often cause stinging or burning when first placed in the eyes.

Corticosteroid eyedrops are used to treat severe, long-term eye allergy symptoms. Prescription steroid eyedrops include Alrex and Lotemax (loteprednol).

Because of possible side effects, corticosteroid drops are not generally recommended for long-term use, except for the most severe allergic eye conditions.

When you are using corticosteroid eyedrops, you should have regular checkups with an eye specialist to monitor your eye health. Corticosteroid eyedrops can raise your risk for:

  • Cataracts
  • Eye infection
  • Glaucoma
  • Increased pressure in the eye (elevated intraocular pressure)

 

Decongestant Allergy Eyedrops

Decongestant eyedrops can quickly brighten the whites of your eyes and reduce eye redness for a short amount of time. Such medicines are also called vasoconstrictors. They work by narrowing blood vessels in the eye area. This relieves the red, bloodshot appearance of the eyes.

These eyedrops are widely available without a prescription. But doctors don't recommend them for treating eye allergies. Studies show decongestant eyedrops do not specifically affect the series of events involved in an allergic reaction.

Examples of over-the-counter decongestant eyedrops are:

  • Clear Eyes (naphazoline HCL)
  • Refresh (phenylephrine HCL)
  • Visine (tetrahydrozoline HCL, oxymetazoline HCL)

Decongestant eyedrops come with some risks. Long-term use can actually make your eye problem worse. "Rebound redness" is a common problem in people who use decongestant drops for a long time. Redness and eye swelling can continue even when you stop using the drops.

Decongestant (vasoconstrictor) eyedrops should never be used by people with glaucoma.

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