Understanding Eye Allergies
Other Kinds of Eye Drops
Some eye drops work only when you take them before your symptoms hit. They take longer to work than antihistamine eye drops, but the effects last longer. Sometimes they are combined with antihistamines. You can buy these over the counter:
- Claritin Eye (ketotifen fumarate)
- Refresh Eye Itch Relief (ketotifen fumarate)
These need a prescription:
- Alamast (pemirolast potassium)
- Alocril (nedocromil sodium)
- Alomide (lodoxamide)
- Crolom (cromolyn)
Acular or Acuvail (ketorolac) is another kind of eye drop. It relieves itchy eyes, usually in about an hour. It can sting or burn at first.
Steroid eye drops like Alrex and Lotemax (loteprednol) treat severe, long-lasting eye allergies. They are usually used only for a short time because they can cause serious side effects.
If you’re still having symptoms, your doctor may suggest allergy shots. With allergy shots, your body is exposed to increasing amounts of an allergen over time and gradually gets used to it.
Other Ways to Reduce Symptoms
- Wear sunglasses when you go outside. They'll block some of the pollen and other outdoor allergens from getting into your eyes.
- Rinse your eyes with water or apply a cold, wet washcloth.
- Use lubricating eye drops (artificial tears) to moisten dry eyes and wash out allergens.
- Take out your contact lenses.
- Don’t rub your eyes, no matter how much they itch. It will only make the irritation worse.
Call your doctor right away if you develop severe eye pain or vision loss.