Ocular Allergies: Over The Counter Drops

9:07 PM

Allergy season is in full swing, so many of my patients are relying on over the counter medications for short term relief of their symptoms.  If symptoms are mild, over the counter drops can offer complete relief without large copay costs.  Here is a breakdown of the best drops you can pick up without a prescription.

THE BEST: A straight anti-histamine will relieve itching, without any major side effects.  Both of these drops have BAK as the preservative, so if you are known to have major preservative sensitivity, these could cause some irritation.  If you are going to buy an allergy eye drop, I recommend purchasing one of these 2:

ALAWAY:  My most recommended OTC drop
Type of action: anti-histamine
Doseage: 2 x day
wait 10 minutes before putting back in contact lenses
coupons available online!

ZADITOR:  Another great option!  Very similar to Alaway, only their company doesn't give me coupons to pass on to patients.
Type of action: anti-histamine
Doseage: 2 x day



FOR THOSE WHO DON'T LIKE "MEDICATED" DROPS


PRESERVATIVE FREE ARTIFICIAL TEARS:  Systane, Refresh, and countless others come in preservative free vials.  They will temporarily provide comfort, but will not treat any underlying allergy reaction.
Type of action: rewetting drop
Doseage: up to 8 x day





SIMILASAN ALLERGY:  "Homeopathic" allergy eye drop
Type of action: contains apis (from honey bees), euphrasia (from the eyebright plant) and sabadilla (also a plant derivative) to fight the symptoms of allergies
Doseage: instill 2-3 drops "as needed"
Has preservatives, so not completely non-toxic

FOR ITCHING AND REDNESS:  These are the most commonly seen drops on the shelf (and the older generation).  They will relieve your itching, but can have side effects.  Remember, vasoconstrictors reduce redness for a time, but often have a large rebound effect where the eye is even redder than before after the drop wears off.  These drops are also the most common culprits when I have a patient call with an emergency blown pupil!

NAPHCON-A:
Type of action: anti-histamine and vasoconstrictor (reduces redness for a short time)
Doseage: 3-4 x day
Side effects: PUPIL MAY BE DILATED WITH USE

    VISINE-A, CLEAR EYES ALLERGY, Etc
    Type of action: anti-histamine and vasoconstrictor (reduces redness for a short time)
    Doseage: 4 x day
    Side effects: PUPIL MAY BE DILATED WITH USE

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      1 comments

      1. I would be flattened if all websites gave articles like that.
        can-c

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