Choosing the most effective allergy eye drop depends on the cause of the allergy, the specific symptoms and how much the symptoms interfere with daily activities, states WebMD. Doctors may prescribe antihistamine, mast cell stabilizer, anti-inflammatory or multiple-action allergy eye drops. Examples include Optivar, Emadine, Patanol, Alamast and Zaditor.
Antihistamine eye drops are commonly prescribed for patients who have itchy, watery eyes, explains WebMD. Antihistamine eye drops usually provide fast symptom relief, but their effects only last a few hours. While mast cell stabilizer eye drops prevent eye allergy symptoms, they do not provide fast symptom relief. These eye drops, including Alamast, Claritin Eye and Crolom, are mostly used for people with seasonal eye allergies. Multiple-action eye drops, such as Patanol, Zaditor and Elestat, combine antihistamine and mast cell stabilizing ingredients to relieve itchy, red and burning eyes.
Anti-inflammatory eye drops are typically reserved for treating severe eye allergy symptoms and may include corticosteroids or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, notes WebMD. Visine, Refresh and Clear Eyes are decongestant eye drops, which work by constricting blood vessels in the eye. While these eye drops reduce eye redness, they are generally not recommended for allergies. More effective choices include eye drops that combine an antihistamine and a decongestant, such as Naphcon-A.