Antihistamine Eye Drops

Millions of people struggle every day with allergic conjunctivitis and ocular allergy symptoms which they take an antihistamine for, most times in an antihistamine eye drops form. Some symptoms include itchy eyes, swollen, red lids and excessive tearing. The most effective medications are those using antihistamine for the treatment of this common, often chronic condition. Most of these medications are administered with antihistamine eye drops.

Allergic Conjunctivitis

Allergic conjunctivitis occurs when the human body is exposed to allergens like pollen, mold, dust mites or animals. The body releases a chemical called histamine, which binds to special sites called receptors. In the eye, these receptors are located in the conjunctiva, the clear, thin layer covering your eyeball. This binding of histamines causes inflammation that creates the itchy, swollen, red eyes that appear in allergy sufferers. What can be done to block ocular histamine? By using a treatment that effectively blocks production of the chemical histamine in the eye: Antihistamine.

How the Antihistamine Eye Drops Work

Antihistamine works by blocking the effects of histamine, the chemical responsible for causing the allergy symptoms. Antihistamine blocks the allergic effect by coating receptors, preventing allergens from binding to receptor sites in places like the conjunctiva. People with allergic conjunctivitis can find numerous eye drops containing antihistamine readily available for effective treatment. Many of these drops can be purchased over the counter. By using an eye drop containing antihistamine before you are exposed to allergens, the histamine reaction can be stopped.

Antihistamine Eye Drop Products

There are many products available containing antihistamine that treat ocular allergies, specifically allergic conjunctivitis. They are safe, effective and generally fast-acting. Some commonly used active ingredients found in antihistamine eye drops include: Ketotifen (Zaditor®, Alaway®), Levocabastine (Livostin™), Azelastin (Optivar®), Olopatadine (Pataday™), or Pheniramine (Opcon-A®). Many of these antihistamine drops are available without a prescription.

Usage of Antihistamine Eye Drops

In order for eye drops containing antihistamine to be effective, however, they must be used properly. It is important to use antihistamine drops prior to exposure to allergens or on a regular basis to maximize their benefit in blocking the release of histamine. By using eye drops containing antihistamine properly, you may experience immediate relief that can last for up to 12 hours.

General Recommendations for Administering Antihistamine Eye Drops.


  • Wash hands prior to use.
  • Contact lens wearers must remove lenses prior to administering drops and do not replace until 10 minutes following application.
  • Avoid touching the tip of the drops to anything, including the eye, to prevent contamination.
  • Drops must go directly in the eye and onto the conjunctiva.
  • Replace cap after each use.
  • Avoid storing in a place with extreme temperature changes.
  • Additionally, patients must discontinue use and ask a doctor if they experience eye pain, changes in vision, redness of the eyes or itching that worsens or lasts for more than 72 hours.

    Allergic Conjunctivitis Treatment Options

    Allergic conjunctivitis causes millions of people to have itchy, red, swollen eyes and excessive tearing. There are many treatment options available, but the most effective ones are those that block the production of histamine utilizing an antihistamine. By properly administering eye drops containing antihistamine as the active ingredient, people with ocular allergy symptoms have an effective treatment option.