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How are eye drops used for eye allergies?

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Drops can help with symptoms like itchy eyes, tearing, redness, watery discharge, stinging, and burning. You might try artificial tears, which don’t have medication, or drops that contain:

  • Antihistamines: They provide short-term relief.
  • Mast cell stabilizers: They’re similar to antihistamines but give longer relief. Some eye drops have both antihistamines and mast cell stabilizers for quick and long-lived relief.
  • Decongestants: You can find them (alone or with antihistamines) in many over-the-counter drops, including ones that reduce redness. Don’t use them longer than two to three days. If you do, they can make your redness and swelling worse.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs: They can help, but they might sting or burn a little when you put them in.
  • Prescription corticosteroids: They can ease severe or chronic symptoms, but you’ll use them for only a short time.

If you have eye allergies and wear contacts, ask your eye doctor about eye drops to keep your lenses clear when you’re exposed to an allergy trigger.

SOURCES:

National Eye Institute.

World Health Organization.

FDA.

American Academy of Ophthalmology.

American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

Digital Journal of Ophthalmology.

International Society for Refractive Surgery/American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Gimbel Eye Centre.

Myers, T. Comprehensive Ophthalmology Update, June 2005.

Medical News Today: "Risk of Glaucoma in Patients With Elevated Eye Pressure Can Be Predicted by Model," "Lazy Eye Treatment Beyond Patches and Daily Drops," "Expert Develops Nanoparticle Drug Delivery Method to Replace Eye Drops," "Delivery Improvements of the AMD-drug Lucentis on the Way."

Reviewed by Whitney Seltman on August 26, 2020

SOURCES:

National Eye Institute.

World Health Organization.

FDA.

American Academy of Ophthalmology.

American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology.

Digital Journal of Ophthalmology.

International Society for Refractive Surgery/American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Gimbel Eye Centre.

Myers, T. Comprehensive Ophthalmology Update, June 2005.

Medical News Today: "Risk of Glaucoma in Patients With Elevated Eye Pressure Can Be Predicted by Model," "Lazy Eye Treatment Beyond Patches and Daily Drops," "Expert Develops Nanoparticle Drug Delivery Method to Replace Eye Drops," "Delivery Improvements of the AMD-drug Lucentis on the Way."

Reviewed by Whitney Seltman on August 26, 2020

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How are eye drops used in eye exams?

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