Why Do My Eye Drops Sting My Eyes
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How Eye Allergies Are Diagnosed
When your eyes start to itch, swell, water consistently or turn red, you can visit an ophthalmologist for an official diagnosis and treatment plan. You may also want to visit an allergist to learn if you have food and environmental allergies.
Your eye doctor will run specific tests to rule out some potential causes of your misery. Theyll also need to know if you have any predisposing factors, including pre-existing allergies or parents with or a family history of allergies.
Only after providing an accurate diagnosis for allergic conjunctivitis can your doctor prescribe proper treatment to ease your symptoms.
Common eye tests for eye allergies include a slit lamp and a white blood cell test.
In Addition To Age Dry Eye Can Result From:
- problems with normal blinking
- certain medications such as antihistamines, oral contraceptives, and antidepressants
- environmental factors such as a dry climate and exposure to wind, air-conditioning, and heat
- general health problems such as arthritis or Sjögrens syndrome
- chemical or thermal burns to the eye
- previous eye surgery
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White Blood Cell Test
This is not a straight-forward blood test, and doctors dont usually prescribe this test for a normal allergic reaction . Your symptoms have to be more severe for this test to make sense.
Doctors will turn to this exam if your eyes are extremely irritated or red or if theyre swollen. The procedure entails extracting and examining certain eye tissues, especially in the eyes conjunctiva.
Results will show your white-blood cell count, a clue that your immune system is working overtime to repel an allergen.
Risks Of Overusing Eye Drops
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Are Eye Drops Or Allergy Pills Better
Allergy eye drops are absorbed directly into the eyes where they are needed. For that reason, full-body side effects are rare. In contrast, oral allergy medications are absorbed and metabolized to reach our blood stream, which can result in full-body side effects like tiredness, dry mouth, constipation, vomiting and headache.
That said, youll typically find three types of eye drops available:
- Non-medicated eye drops
- Eye decongestants
Why Are My Eyes Itchy Answers From An Expert
For many people, the warmth and beauty of spring are accompanied by irritated, burning and, sometimes, swollen eyes and eyelids. These symptoms, often attributed to allergy season, can be caused by other factors in the environment.
If you are one of the many who suffer from itchy eyes, understanding the cause is the key to treatment and relief.
Ophthalmologist Irene Kuo, M.D., of the Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins Medicine, explains the cause and the methods to keep in mind to help relieve your itchy eyes.
Eye allergies, whether seasonal or year-round, are often the cause of itchy eyes. These allergies can be triggered by pollen or pet dander. Irritants like dust and smoke, or products such as lotions, makeup or contact lens solutions can also cause symptoms similar to those of eye allergies. An allergist can conduct an allergy test to determine the specific allergens that are causing you discomfort.
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Best For Natural: Similasan Allergy Eye Relief Drops
Can be used as needed
May not be strong enough for severe allergies
Possibility of allergic reaction to natural ingredients
For anyone wanting to treat eye allergies naturally, without medications, preservatives, or other chemicals, Similasan offers an eye drop containing gentle, non-irritating ingredients. These allergy relief drops treat red, itchy, stinging, and watery eyes.
Because the ingredients are natural, you can use the drops as needed without worrying about side effects or rebound symptoms. They contain three primary botanical extracts that work to tackle your symptoms naturally. The company advises wearers to check with a doctor first before using this product with contact lenses.
Active Ingredients: None | Dosage: 2 to 3 drops in affected eye as needed
Works quickly and lasts a long time
Original prescription strength
May sting or burn with application
Cant be used while contacts are in eye
Are you sick of hearing about ketotifen yet? Sorry, but weve got one more for you. Lots of eye allergy sufferers swear by Zaditor, which contains this antihistamine powerhouse and relieves your symptoms for 12 hours with just one drop.
If you have watery eyes, you should be looking for a product with an antihistaminetheyre known for their ability to dry up mucus, which is why they are so good at stopping runny noses and post-nasal drip. For watery eyes, an antihistamine can reduce all those excess tears caused by environmental allergens.
Conditions That Eye Drops Could Be Masking
Here are some of the conditions that have itchy, red eyes as a symptom:
- Pink eye: A viral or bacterial eye infection, also called conjunctivitis, causing itchy, burning and swelling of one or both eyes. Some cases take care of themselves others require a prescription antibiotic.
- Eye trauma: Rubbing or scratching your eye can cause a blood vessel break, making the eye red and itchy. Some more serious traumas will require surgery or prescription eye drops.
- Blepharitis: Inflamed and red eyelids, caused by bacterial or fungal infection, dry eye, gland dysfunction or parasites, all of which require further treatment than eye drops.
- Eye strain: Up all night focusing on work can make for tired, strained and irritated eyes, but if the strain is normal, you may need glasses to keep up.
- More serious allergy: Allergies to pets or the environment can manifest with dry, itchy eyes. Figure out specific allergens by visiting an allergist or removing specific things from your home one at a time to eliminate possibilities.
- Foreign objects: You might have something in your eye dust, an eyelash, or something worse. If youre having long-term issues with dry or itchy eyes, make sure a foreign body isnt the culprit.
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Types Of Otc Eye Drops
There are two types of artificial tears: eye drops with preservatives and preservative-free eye drops.
Eye drops that contain preservatives have a longer shelf life. The preservatives are chemicals that prevent bacteria from growing. This allows you to use one bottle of eye drops for a length of time.
However, the preservatives in OTC eye drops cause eye irritation to become worse. Eye specialists typically recommend that you use this type of eye drop no more than four times a day.
Preservative-free eye drops come in multiple one-time use vials. After you apply one dose of the drops, you must throw away the vial. You have to purchase this type of eye drop more frequently since it is not shelf stable. Single-use drops are helpful if you have severe dry eyes and need more than four applications per day.
Many ingredients go into a bottle of eye drops, including preservatives and thickeners. These ingredients may irritate your eyes in the long term. Other risks of eye drops include contamination and loose safety seals.
Antihistamine Pills And Eye Drops
Antihistamine pills and liquids work by blocking histamine to relieve watery, itchy eyes. They include cetirizine , diphenhydramine , fexofenadine , or loratadine , among others. Some may cause drowsiness.
Antihistamine eye drops work well for itchy, watery eyes. You may need to use them several times a day, but donât use the over-the-counter kinds for more than 2-3 days. Prescription kinds include azelastine hydrochloride , cetirizine ophthalmic , emedastine difumarate , levocabastine , and olopatadine .
They are often combined with other kinds of drops, including some that shrink swollen blood vessels in your eye. You shouldnât use these kinds of drops, called or âget the red outâ drops, for more than a few days at a time. They can also lead to a rebound redness if used too frequently. Donât use them at all if you have glaucoma.
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Relieve Itchy Eyes With These Top Picks
Sarah is a freelance writer with a focus on health and wellness. She has written for publications like Women’s Health, Healthline, and Parents. She taught creative writing for five years, and has a bachelor’s degree in English from Southern Connecticut State University.
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Verywell / Chloe Jeong
When you hear the words seasonal allergies, you probably think of nasal symptoms like sniffling and sneezing. But dont forget about your eyes: theyre susceptible to environmental allergens, too, and can itch, burn, water, and turn red at the drop of a hat .
Plus, pollen isnt the only offenderpet dander, dust, ragweed, and grass can also cause your eyes to have an allergic reaction. Common OTC allergy medications may help, but according to University of Missouri Health Care allergist Christine Franzese, MD, eye allergy symptoms are some of the hardest ones to treat.
Oral antihistamines will help with eye symptoms about 50% of the time and nasal steroid sprays, like fluticasone, will help 60% of the time, she says. So there will be patients where other medications arent helping or arent helping enough.
Follow The Directions On The Label
Whichever allergy eye drops you choose, always follow the instructions for recommended use on the label to minimize the risk of irritation and other side effects.
Limit your use of OTC and prescription allergy eye drops to what the label specifies . If the drops cause increased redness or irritation, consult an eye doctor immediately.
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Care Advice For Eye Allergy
How Can I Get Rid Of My Allergies
While there are several ways to prevent allergies from flaring, there are also ways to improve your sensitivity to allergies through allergen immunotherapy.
Allergen immunotherapy is a gradual increase in exposure to different allergens. Its especially useful for environmental allergies, like pollen, mold and dust.
The purpose is to train your immune system to not react when allergens are present. Its often used when other treatments have not worked. Types of allergen immunotherapy include allergy shots and sublingual immunotherapy.
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What Causes Your Eyes To Burn
Everyone has experienced a burning sensation in their eyes at one time or another. Perhaps you were chopping an onion, for instance, and the fumes from the onion made your eyes water, tingle, and burn. Most causes of eye burning are temporary and involve rinsing the eye out with eye drops until the sensation stops.
However, if the sensation of burning in your eyes does not go away or gets worse, there could be several causes. Irritants including allergens may trigger a burning eye sensation severe eye problems may lead to burning eyes as one of the first symptoms or an infection in or around the eye could cause burning, watering, or other related sensations. Some of these can be treated at home, while others require ongoing, regular treatment an optometrist or ophthalmologist. Some are considered medical emergencies and require emergency treatment.
Side Effects And Risks
As with any medicine, you should always follow the recommended instructions on the label. You shouldnât use over-the-counter eyedrops for more than 2 to 3 days. If you use them for longer than that, it can make matters worse.
If you have an eye infection or glaucoma, you shouldnât use eyedrops. Talk to your doctor about other options.
Some eyedrops may sting or burn when you place them in your eyes. It can help to store them in your fridge.
You canât use many eyedrops while you wear contact lenses. Your doctor may tell you to remove your lenses before you use the drops and wait at least 10 minutes before you put them back in. Or you may not be able to wear contact lenses at all during treatment with eyedrops.
Youâll need to use most allergy eyedrops several times a day.
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Different Allergy Eye Drops
Generally, an ophthalmologist or physician will recommend that you try artificial tears first, and placing cold compresses over your eyes. Avoiding your allergens is also important. You may prescribed with over-the-counter allergy eye drops. The type will depend on:
- Your type of allergy
- Your symptoms
- The effect of your allergy on daily activities
Allergy eye drops come in many shapes and forms. Most of them, however, only treat one of the symptoms. For instance, it can address itching but it wont provide relief for redness. Some eye drops are over-the-counter remedies others are only available on prescription. Some provide long-term relief and are slow acting others act quickly but are not long lasting. The main types of eye allergy drops are highlighted in the table below.
|· Vasocon-A, a type of antazoline phosphate/naphazoline HCL.
· Opcon-A and Naphcon-A, types of pheniramine maleat/naphazoline HCL.
Certain drops have been created specifically for people with allergic conjunctivitis. These include:
· Elestat, a type of epinastine.
· Alaway and Zaditor, types of ketotifens.
· Pataday and Patanol, types of olopatadine hydrochlorides.
What Is The Treatment For Eye Allergies
The first and best option is to avoid contact with substances that trigger your eye allergies. If that is not enough, consider using:
- Saline eye drops to wash away the allergens
- Over-the-counter medicine or eye drops
- Prescription treatments from your doctor
- Allergy shots from your doctor
Eye allergy symptoms may disappear completely when the allergen is removed or after the allergy is treated. Talk to your pharmacist and health care provider about what is best for you.
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How To Use Eye Drops
Placing drops in your eyes can seem frightening for some, while others may feel squeamish. The truth is, it does not hurt and often it can provide quick relief for your symptoms.
For best and safest results, here is the process:
You should not use most eye drops for more than 72 hours. If you are still experiencing red, itchy, watery eyes after 72 hours of use, stop using the drops and .