Treatments for Eye Allergies

by Feb 16, 2023

Eye allergies can cause itchy and irritated eyes along with redness and watering. To combat these symptoms, there are various treatment options including over-the-counter eye drops, over-the-counter oral medications, prescription eye drops, and home remedies such as cool compresses. Determining which treatment is best and what combination of treatments is needed should be done with your eye doctor based on the symptoms, length of time, and the severity of the signs.

Why Allergies Cause Itchiness

Eye allergies cause a release of a signaling compound called histamine. Histamine causes the eyes to become inflamed and react as if there was a potentially damaging substance.

One of the major changes that happen includes the formation of papillae or bumps on the inside of the eyelid. These papillae form in response to the histamine release, and they create a source to house the inflammation in the eyes.

Treatment Options for Eye Allergies

Understanding the basis of the cause of symptoms of allergies allows for the treatment and prevention of allergies.

There are over-the-counter eye drops which are a combination of antihistamine and mast cell stabilizer medications. These can be used to both treat active symptoms and used to prevent future outbreaks of worsened symptoms.

Similarly, there are over-the-counter oral medications which are potent antihistamine medications that can be used for severe bouts of allergies.

If over-the-counter options are not sufficient, there are prescription options to reduce the inflammation caused by the allergies including steroid eye drops and NSAID eye drops.

Besides medication treatment, there are at-home remedies that can be used to help relieve the symptoms of allergies. Options include cool compresses on the eyes, eyelid cleaners such as lid wipes, or switching eye makeup.

Over-the-Counter Eye Drops for Allergies

The most common treatment for eye allergies is to use over-the-counter antihistamine and mast cell stabilizer eye drops daily.

These eye drops are sold under a variety of brand names including Pataday, Zaditor, Lastacaft, and Alaway. These medications are also available in many generic formulations.

Using this combination of eye drops once or twice daily can be enough to reduce allergy symptoms to a manageable level and not require any further treatments.

Over-the-Counter Oral Medications for Allergies

For sinus allergies that have eye involvement, the main treatment is an oral antihistamine medication.

Like the eye drops, these come in a variety of brand names including Claritin, Zyrtec, and Allegra as well as a host of generic options.

These medications are typically reserved for severe cases of eye allergies or cases with sinus involvement.

Steroid Eye Drops for Allergies

If the eye allergies do not respond to over-the-counter treatments, a prescription eye drop can be used to quell the symptoms and manage the allergies.

Typically, the prescription eye drop will be a steroid eye drop to reduce the inflammation that accompanies eye allergies.

This can be prednisolone acetate, fluorometholone, or loteprednol in either a branded or generic formula.

Our eye doctors at Neal Eye Group in Conshohocken, PA excel in the prescription of contact lenses, glasses and various eye diseases.  Call our optometrists at (610) 828-9701 or schedule an appointment online if you would like to learn more about eye allergies.  Our optometrists provide the highest quality optometry services and eye exams in Conshohocken, Norristown, Plymouth Meeting, Lafayette Hill, and Philadelphia.

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