Ophthalmic Antihistamines: What are they? Symptoms, Types, Side Effects and Risks

Many eyes drop for allergies, but not all treat all allergy symptoms. For example, one that soothes red eyes can not stop itching.

Eye drops for allergies or ophthalmic antihistamines are liquid medications used to treat the symptoms of eye allergies.

Symptoms of eye allergy include

  • A burning sensation in the eye.
  • Feel that something is in the eye.
  • Eyes that itch.
  • Red eyes (injected in the blood).
  • Swollen eyelid
  • Tear

An allergy to the eyes can be caused by the same things that cause hay fever, such as:

  • Poland.
  • Dust.
  • Pet dander
  • Certain medications or contact lenses can also be triggers.
  • Types of drops for allergy.

Your doctor may suggest you follow these steps first:

  1. Use artificial tears.
  2. Place a cold cloth over your eyes.
  3. Avoid allergy triggers.

The type of allergy drops you should use depends on:

  • The cause of your allergy.
  • Your symptoms.

How much do the symptoms affect your daily activities?

Some eye drops are sold without a prescription. For others, you need a prescription from a doctor. Some relieve symptoms quickly. Others provide long-term relief.

Types of allergy drops include:


  • Antihistamine.
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Decongestant.
  • Putty stabilizers.
  • Multiple actions


Drops for the eyes against allergy to antihistamines

Doctors often recommend these as the first treatment for eye allergies if you can not get enough relief without medications.

If you have itching and watery eyes, antihistamine drops can make you feel better. These drugs block histamine in the body. Histamine is a chemical that produces your immune system when it comes in contact with an allergy trigger. It causes many of your allergy symptoms.

Antihistamine eye drops can relieve your symptoms quickly. But the relief can only last a few hours. You may need to use the drops several times a day.

Prescription antihistamine eye drops include:

  • Optivar.
  • Imagine.
  • Livostin.

Drops for anti-inflammatory allergy

These eye drops are divided into two groups:

  1. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  2. Corticosteroids

NSAID eye drops affect certain nerve endings. They change the way your body makes you feel itchy.

Ketorolac (Acular, Acuvail) is the only NSAID approved for treating itchy eyes. The itching usually disappears about 1 hour after using the eye drops.

These eye drops often cause stinging or burning when they are first placed in the eyes.

Eye drops with Corticosteroids are used to treat severe eye allergy symptoms in the long term. Prescription steroid eye drops include Loteprednol (Alrex, Lotemax).

Doctors generally do not recommend Corticosteroid drops for long-term use unless your case is severe due to possible side effects.

When using eye drops with Corticosteroids, you should have regular eye exams to check the health of your eyes. These eye drops can make you more likely to have:

  • Waterfalls.
  • Ocular infection
  • Glaucoma.
  • Increased pressure in the eye.

Drops for allergy decongestants

These eye drops can quickly clear the whites of the eyes and reduce the redness of the eyes for a short period. Narrow blood vessels in the area of ​​the eyes. This relieved the red aspect and was injected into the eyes’ blood.

You can get these eye drops without a prescription. But doctors do not recommend them to treat eye allergies.

Examples of over-the-counter decongestant eye drops are:

  • Clear Eyes.
  • Refresh.
  • Heights.

There are some risks. If you use them for too long, you can worsen your eye problem with “rebound redness.” The redness and swelling of the eyes can continue even when you stop using the drops.

If you have glaucoma, you should never use decongestant eye drops.

Stabilizing drops of mast cells for allergy

These are among the newest types of eye drops. They help prevent the release of histamine and other chemicals produced by your body during an allergic reaction.

Mast cell stabilizers are designed to prevent your symptoms.

You may be able to use these drops for many months without side effects. If you wear contact lenses, mast cell stabilizers may allow you to use them for a longer time.

Non-prescription mast cell stabilizer drops include:

  • Ketotifen fumarate.

Prescription mast cell stabilizer eye drops include:

  • Cromolyn.
  • Lodoxamide (Alomide).
  • Nedocromil sodium (Alocril).
  • Pemirolast potasico (Alamast).

Drops for multiple-action allergy

Some eye drops contain more than one type of medicine. These are called double-action or multiple action eye drops.

Combined antihistamine/mast cell eye drops treat and prevent:

  • Itchy eyes
  • Redness
  • Tear
  • Ardor.

These new eye drops are beneficial for people with allergic conjunctivitis. Examples include:

  • Epinastine (Elestat).
  • Ketotifen (Alaway, Zaditor).
  • Olopatadine hydrochloride (Pataday, Patanol).

Side effects and risks

As with any medication, you should always follow the instructions recommended on the label. You should not use over-the-counter eye drops for more than 2 to 3 days. If you use them for longer, it can make things worse.

If you have an eye infection or glaucoma, you should not use eye drops. Talk to your doctor about other options. Some eye drops may sting or burn when you put them in your eyes. It can help to store them in your refrigerator.

You can not use any eye drops while wearing contact lenses. Your doctor may instruct you to remove the lenses before using the drops and wait at least 10 minutes before replacing them.

Or you may not be able to wear contact lenses during treatment with eye drops. You should use most of the allergy drops several times a day.