What non-prescription and prescription eye drop options do ocular allergy sufferers have?
Rewetting drops - Do not under-rate regular use of non-preserved rewetting drops. When using oral antihistamines, your eyes will be more dry and using a drop like Thealoz® can help flush your eyes and make them feel better. Regular use of rewetting drops can also make you more tolerant to contact lenses during your seasonal allergies.
Ice - If your allergies are more acute in nature (e.g. animal dander), ice can be a useful treatment if you simply do not have drops or need immediate relief. An ice cube in a cloth applied to the lids can slow rapid onset reactions.
Cell Stabilizer Eye Drops - These drops act to shield the [mast] cells that release histamine. The older drops based on sodium cromoglycate (e.g. Cromolyn) seem to have limited success in clinic. There is a new cell stabilizer drop that our Optometry advisors are using with great success Hylo® Dual. This drop is innovative because is combines a create lubricating drop with a novel mast cell stabilizer. When used regularly, Hylo® Dual has shown to be very effective for environmental allergy use and can be used for very long periods of time without fear of adverse effects.
Antihistamine Eye Drops - There is a broad spectrum of these drops and depending upon where you live, some are prescription and some are over-the-counter. These drops combat free antigens in the eye (versus stabilizers that only prevent histamine release). Older antihistamines like Naphcon-A, Opcon-A are reasonably effective for short-term or acute relief. Slightly newer drops like Zaditor have more punch for sure. The most successful drop that our Optometry advisors prescribe (because it is once a day and effective as both antihistamine and stabilizer) is Pataday. Pataday is sold under prescription in some areas and non-prescription in others - talk to your Optometrist.