Updated: May 1, 2019
Itching, redness, tearing, puffiness. The bane of any allergy-sufferer’s existence. They can also make contact lenses less comfortable, and overall often negatively impacts quality of life. However, there are treatments that can help!
It is no surprise that one of the first steps to take is to avoid those pesky triggers in the first place. But many allergens are airborne, and dogs and cats are just too cute to resist petting. Thus, triggers can sometimes be hard to avoid. Here are some eye drops that we often recommend that can help make your life easier:
Artificial tears. Preservative-free preferred as they are very gentle on the eyes and can be used as often as needed. These help wash allergens out of the eye and provide added lubrication for dryness, redness, and irritation. Tip: These can be refrigerated for an extra soothing effect.
Combo antihistamine + mast cell stabilizer eye drops. Antihistamines quickly dampen symptoms of itching and redness. Mast cell stabilizers stop mast cell degranulation in the first place. In other words, these eye drops prevent the release of histamines and other cell mediators that cause allergy symptoms. These drops offer both quick and long-term relief from allergy symptoms and can also be refrigerated for that extra comforting effect.
Cold compresses are an additional option that helps soothe puffiness and other symptoms. We do not generally recommend decongestants (drops that say “get the red out”, a la Visine). See our prior post (“What drops can I use to get the red out”) to find out why.
When in doubt, come see us!