Lubricant eye drops wash off the allergic substances from the surface of the eye and are used for dry eyes. Vasoconstrictor drugs reduce redness in the eyes.Lubricant eye drops
These are also called artificial tears and are used for the treatment of dry eyes
. They include brands like GenTeal, Systane, Refresh, Optive and Thera Tears. They help in eye allergies by washing off the allergens and substances released in the eye during allergy
. Some brands are available as viscous solutions that remain on the eye for longer periods. These however may result in side effects such as temporary blurring and irritation of the eyes. Some brands have preservative free formulations. These are preferred for patients who use eye drops often especially more than 6 times a day.
Vasoconstrictor eye drops
Vasoconstrictor drugs include phenylephrine, oxymetazoline and naphazoline
. These drugs constrict the superficial blood vessels on the eye and reduce redness and symptoms of ocular allergy. They do not treat the allergy and are often used in combination with anithistamines.
They cause burning of the eyes and could increase eye redness once they are stopped; hence they should be used for short periods only. They may dilate the pupil (the opening in the iris through which the light enters the eye) and cause blurring of vision. They should not be used for patients suffering from narrow angle glaucoma.