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Anti-allergy eye drops

Hayfever and other allergies can cause a lot of discomfort, but there are medications available to help reduce and prevent symptoms.

Some hayfever medications are designed to be taken in the event of an allergic reaction, while others are designed to be taken before coming in to contact with the hayfever trigger.

Anti-allergy eye drops

Antihistamine eye drops are used to relieve symptoms such as itchy or watery eyes. Other eye drops containing anti-inflammatory agents or corticosteroids may also decrease swelling and irritation. Non-prescription eye drops for allergies and hayfever are also available. These may contain mast cell stabilisers, decongestants and/or antihistamines.

How anti-allergy eye drops work: these medications decrease inflammation or stop histamine from triggering allergy symptoms. The result is a decrease in symptoms involving the eye, such as itching, tears or swelling.

Who should not use these medications:

  • Those with allergy to the medication or other components of the eye drops
  • Those with eye infections

How to use: tilt the head back and use the index finger to pull down the lower eyelid to make a pocket. Use the other hand to hold the eye-drop bottle. Gently squeeze the prescribed number of drops into the eye pocket.

Medication or food interactions: using corticosteroid eye drops at the same time as anti-allergy eye drops may increase the risk of infection.

Side effects: anti-allergy eye drops may cause temporary stinging or burning when administered. If irritation persists, seek medical advice.

  • Soft contact lens wearers should wait at least 10 minutes after using eye drops to insert contact lens.
  • Use care to prevent contamination of the eye-drop bottle or eye-drop solution.
  • Corticosteroid eye drops may increase pressure in the eye, therefore people with cataracts or glaucoma must use them with caution.


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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on January 16, 2018

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