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Treating Allergic Conjunctivitis

Allergic conjunctivitis is a common eye problem. Studies show that […]

By Published On: 18 June 20122.7 min read

Allergic conjunctivitis is a common eye problem. Studies show that more than 20% of the Australian population suffers from seasonal allergic conjunctivitis. It is often characterized by redness, itching or burning of the eyes. While this condition is common and not as serious as other diseases, it can significantly affect the quality of your life. Thus, you need to treat it properly.


Treatments for allergic conjunctivitis can be separated into the following categories:

Non-prescription Therapies

As the name suggests, these treatments are easily accessible to anyone suffering from allergic conjunctivitis. Some of these include the following:

•    Cold compress
•    Artificial tears
•    Over-the-counter vasoconstrictor anti-histamine preparations.

Prescription Therapies

Prescription therapies for allergic conjunctivitis include the following:

•    Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
•    Mast cell stabilizers
•    Ophthalmic steroids
•    Anti-histamine mast cell stabilizer.

Recent Products

Recently, two prescription ocular allergy drugs were introduced in the USA, which hopefully will make their way to Australia as soon as possible. Both of them are classified as anti-histamine mast cell stabilizers. The key feature of both of these products is that they are a once a day formulation.  This is critical to get appropriate compliance and ultimately successful treatment outcomes. Here is a look at these two products:


This is a once-a-day formula of olopatadine 0.2% ophthalmic solution manufactured by Alcon Laboratories. Studies show that this is useful in treating allergic conjunctivitis in people three years of age and older. It has been found effective in relieving ocular itching. Some studies even show that it is more effective than placebo in terms of reducing conjunctival redness, eyelid swelling, chemosis and ocular itching both at the onset of the action and the 16-hour allergen challenge.

Apart from the relief it provides, Pataday is also very comfortable and convenient to use as you only need it once-a-day. It offers fast relief to persons inflicted with this condition.


This is a once-a-day formula bepotastine besilate 1.5% ophthalmic solution manufactured by Ista Pharmaceuticals. This drug is ideal for use twice a day by persons two years of age and older. It has a high specificity for the histamine 1 receptors. It also has additional mechanisms that can suppress interleukin-5 and inhibit inflammatory mediators like leukotriene B4.

Studies show that it can rapidly and sustainably reduce ocular itching, the primary symptom of an allergic conjunctivitis. Bepreve can also significantly reduce one’s Non-Ocular Composite Symptom score which includes nasal congestion, ear itching, rhinorrhea, palate itching and nasal itching.

The comfort profile of Bepreve is comparable to that of placebo. While it may be a new drug in the United States, patients need not worry as it has established its reputation as a safe oral medication in other countries like Japan. To date, no serious adverse complications have been reported.

While these two treatments are applied at home, you might want to get your first dose while you are with your eye doctor so that he can provide you adequate advice on how to apply the medication properly.

In sum, allergic conjunctivitis is a common eye condition. While it is nothing to worry about, it should still be treated properly lest it progress into a more serious eye problem. You have a wide array of treatments to choose from. But make sure to consult your therapeutically qualified optometrist to know what treatment will suit you best.


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