Treatment for Allergic Eye Diseases

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So many over-the-counter medications, like allergy eyedrops, oral antihistamines, & nasal corticosteroids will be used as directed for the ocular allergies. Some most commonly used options include:

  • Eyedrops
  • Ketotifen (Zaditor)
  • Oral antihistamines
  • Loratadine (Claritin)
  • Cetirizine (Zyrtec)
  • Fexofenadine (Allegra)
  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
  • Nasal steroids
  • Triamcinolone (Nasacort)
  • Fluticasone (Flonase)

In addition, many prescription medications are also available to help reduce allergies.

Prescription of eyedrops are generally very effective and safe, since they are applied topically and have few if any systemic side effects. Most eyedrops can be used once to twice daily and help not only with relieving symptoms but can also prevent symptoms. Some common allergy eyedrops include

  • Nedocromil (Alocril),
  • Olopatadine (Patanol),
  • Azelastine (Optivar),
  • Pemirolast (Alamast),
  • Epinastine (Elestat)

Allergen immunotherapy (allergy shots) is also an excellent treatment option for allergic conjunctivitis. If this is appropriate, an individual is seen by an allergist and completes testing for common airborne allergens. Based on the results, an allergist can prescribe immunotherapy that can not only improve symptoms but may also help get rid of existing allergies and also prevent future environmental allergies.

Historically, immunotherapy requires frequent visits to the allergist for subcutaneous injections. Sublingual immunotherapy (allergy tablets) can be administered at home for grass and ragweed allergy. Although immunotherapy is effective and safe, there is a small risk of allergic reaction (roughly 0.1%)


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