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The Most Effective Ways to Treat Symptoms of Eye Allergies

The Eye Allergy Blog

Most effective ways to treat symptoms of eye allergies

Eye allergies typically present as red, watery, itchy eyes that can last for days at a time. In addition to eye allergy symptoms most people experience sneezing, runny nose, coughing, and congestion that can be classified as ‘classic’ allergy symptoms. It is estimated that 50 million people in the US suffer from seasonal allergies and its incidence is on the rise. Below you will find a quick and easy summary of how to treat your seasonal allergies and specifically those that are affecting your eyes.

1. Eye Drops (Zaditor or Alaway) – the safest and most effective eye drops to use for symptoms of eye allergies are the Antihistamine/Mast-cell stabilizing eye drops called Zaditor or Alaway. Both of these drugs contain the same active ingredient knows as Ketotifen Fumarate which works at attacking the allergens in two different pathways to give you immediate and future relief. It’s safe to use in adults and children as young as age 3 and older. We recommend using these drops twice a day for at least 2 weeks and then using them as needed going forward.

2. Oral Medication – symptoms of eye allergies can also be better controlled if taking the appropriate over-the-counter oral medication to help control the increased histamine that is being released throughout the body. The most common oral Antihistamines (non-drowsy) for daily use are Zyrtec (cetirizine), Claritin (loratidine), and Allegra (fexofenadine). The common oral antihistamine that cause drowsiness, Benadryl (diphenhydramine), is also safe to use when treating short-term allergy symptoms but we recommend consulting with your primary care physician or pediatrician when taking any oral medication for more regular use.

3. Cold compresses – doing a cold compress when experiencing symptoms of eye allergies can be very relieving. Cold compresses act as a vasoconstrictor to help with relieving the redness and irritation often experienced with symptoms of eye allergies. One way to perform a cold compress is to take a sandwich bag and fill it half way with ice cubes. In order to keep it on the eyes for at least 2-3 minutes it may be easier to lay down so your hands don’t get so cold but sitting up also works.

4. Limiting contact lens use – contact lenses act as porous sponges that can attract airborne allergens onto the surface of the eye and can worsen your symptoms of eye allergies. Using daily disposable soft contacts are by far the safest and least allergy-attracting option for those people who want to be able to wear contacts through the allergy seasons. In general, we recommend using glasses more often if your symptoms are getting worse and treatment does not seem to help.

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