Today I have several suggestions for help with red, itchy, allergic eye problems. I like the simple and most natural methods to help first, but I known prescription steroid drops offer the most complete relief.
- Simple ways to help allergies include washing the eyes with any simple saline or OTC dry eye drops. Contact lens multipurpose solutions make great eye wash products. (Avoid anything with a red tip.)
- Next use an antihistamine drop. A few years ago Zaditor became over-the-counter, so a generic “Alaway” allergy drop by Bausch Lomb. It is better than Opcon-A and other older products like Visine. The dosage is one drop twice a day. I expect most patients will get 6 to 8 hours per drop. The 12 hour recommendation was a marketing claim by Zaditor. Up to 4 times a day has no side effects so keep the drop with you and you should expect to use it if you are outside during the season.
- Oral antihistamine is the next step. I find Clairtin to be very mild and Zrytec to be the most effective. The Zyrtec should be taken daily, a great maintence dosage is 1/2 the normal tablet. These products at one time combined pseudafed with the antihistamine. That was the “D” part of the pills. Most people will not need it and it does have side effects for heart rate and blood pressure.
- Non-Antihistamine oral anti-allergies include the herbal Echinacae, and a large dose of Vitamin C, 1000mg of “ester” c will help most patients with no drowsy effects. A prescription Singulair is another mild choice, that I often prescribe.
- Finally I use steroid as eye drops they work everytime, and for very important events like weddings I think these solve the allergies. Nasal steroid sprays are available and they help. The problem is that patients of any age can get a tempory rise in eye pressure, so glaucoma is a real side effect. I require a pressure check after 10 days of your use for this purpose. Stronger antihistamines are available by prescription both topically and orally.