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Best Eye Drops for Allergy Relief

Updated April 2023
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Best of the Best
Zaditor Eye Drops
Eye Drops
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Premium Performance
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These premium eye drops are fast-acting and provide long-lasting relief for itchy eyes.


Temporarily alleviate eye irritation due to animal hair, pollen, and other allergens. Can be used by both adults and children age 3 and older. Contains an antihistamine to deliver safe and effective results. A single application delivers up to 12 hours of itchy eye relief. Easy to use the eye drops at your convenience.


Pricey in contrast to other eye drops. Sometimes cause eye dryness.

Best Bang for the Buck
Visine Allergy Eye Relief, Multi-Action Eye Drops
Allergy Eye Relief, Multi-Action Eye Drops
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Simple Yet Solid
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These affordable drops don't skimp on quality and are fast-acting.


Help relieve minor eye irritation caused due to airborne factors and fatigue. Natural component helps soothe itchy, red, burning, and dry eyes. Multi-action drops comprise antihistamine, which is a fast relief solution for eye allergies.


Overusing it might lead to causing eye redness.

Similasan Complete Eye Relief Sterile Eye Drops
Complete Eye Relief Sterile Eye Drops
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100% Natural Relief
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The Original Swiss Formula is effective and works instantly for both adults and kids age 2 and older.


Created with natural active ingredients that are gluten and dairy-free. Sterile drops address any eye-related allergy and irritation. Homeopathically manufactured, making it a better choice over chemically laden drops.


Shelf life is only one month.

Alcon Naphcon A
Naphcon A
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Pocket-Sized Reliever
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One of the best clinically proven eye drops to cure redness and itchiness.


Formulated with an antihistamine that helps in temporary relief from the red and itchy eyes. Available in pocket-size, so its easy to carry along. Efficiently known to treat eye allergies caused by grass, ragweed, animal dander, and other allergens.


Some reports of burning eys from these drops.

Bausch & Lomb Alaway
Bausch & Lomb
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Trusted Brand
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These high-quality eye drops help relieve eye itching in just minutes; great for adults and kids age 3 and older.


A single drop provides up to 12 hours of itch relief. Prescription-strength eye drops are available without a prescription. Clinically tested for proven results. Help relieve itchy eyes due to ragweed, animal dander, animal hair and other allergens. One bottle provides a 60-day supply.


May cause a burning sensation. Bottle is very small in comparison to similar products.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
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We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best eye drops for allergy relief

Red, itchy, weepy eyes are the bane of allergy sufferers as blood vessels in the eyes become inflamed and swell in response to exposure to pet dander, mold, or pollen.

Eye drops can soothe nerve endings in the eyes and block the histamines the body produces when it interacts with an allergen to relieve itching, redness, wateriness, and swelling so you can focus on work or play. But not all eye drops for allergy relief are equally created. Brands and formulas vary by type, potency, effectiveness, how quickly they resolve painful allergy reactions, and how often they can be safely used. 

If you’re on the hunt for relief from ocular symptoms caused by seasonal allergies, our buying guide can help you find the right eye drops for the job. In it, we explore the features that set different formulas apart so you can feel confident in your choice of eye drops.

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Wearing sunglasses can help protect your eyes from pollen and other outdoor allergens.

Key considerations

Your first considerations when choosing eye drops for allergies should be the severity of your allergy symptoms, how often you need to use eye drops, and the type of eye drops that best meet your needs.

Your symptoms

Keep in mind that the majority of over-the-counter (OTC) eye drops for allergies are geared toward treating one or two symptoms. For example, some formulas are great at knocking out itching and wateriness but less effective at clearing up redness. Other formulas reduce redness but are less effective at relieving itching and swelling.

Choose an eye drop formula that advertises specific claims about the ocular symptom, or symptoms, that bother you most. Note that eye drops advertising “dual-acting” or “multi-symptom” treatment is usually more effective at tackling several symptoms.

Frequency of use

Do you need eye drops for allergy relief once every few weeks when you go for a hike in the mountains? Every day during the summer? Those who frequently use allergy eye drops should choose a formula made for long-term use. Look for phrases like “long-lasting” or “12-hour protection.” Those who use allergy eye drops for infrequent but acute flare-ups should choose a fast-acting formula that clearly addresses their worst symptoms.

If you find yourself reaching for OTC eye drops multiple times a day for an extended period of time, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor about stronger prescription options or combining formulas. Always follow the directions on the label regarding the number of times you can safely use the eye drops per day.

Types of eyedrops

There are four types of eye drops you can use for allergy relief. Many are OTC products intended to combat seasonal allergy symptoms. Some can be purchased by prescription only but are formulated for daily treatment of more severe symptoms.

Antihistamine eye drops: Antihistamine eye drops are the first recommended line of defense for people with mild to moderate seasonal allergies. Antihistamine eye drops block histamine (a chemical your body produces in response to a perceived threat, like pollen or pet dander) to help calm redness, swelling, and itchiness.

Antihistamine eye drops work quickly, but their effectiveness often wears off within a few hours. You’ll find both OTC and prescription options available.

Anti-inflammatory eye drops: These eye drops work by soothing the nerve endings in the eye itself. They take effect more slowly than antihistamine eye drops (usually around an hour) but may last significantly longer, from 6 to 12 hours. Anti-inflammatory eye drops usually cause a mild, brief stinging sensation. These eye drops are available in OTC and prescription form.

Steroidal eye drops: Corticosteroid eye drops are available by prescription only, since they have additional risks and side effects like vision problems and eye pressure. This type of eye drop is prescribed only for severe cases and is not ideal for long-term use unless absolutely necessary.

Mast cell eye drops: This newer type of eye drop can be a lifesaver for people with severe or long-lasting allergies. Mast cell eye drops are available OTC and by prescription and are especially helpful for contact lens wearers because they can be safely used long term. These eye drops help prevent mast cells in the body from producing histamine.



Eye drops that combat itchiness and redness can sometimes dry out the eyes, especially with long-term or frequent use. If you’re using eye drops for moderate to severe allergies, consider choosing a formula with a term like “moisturizing,” “hydrating,” or “lubricating” in the description.


Some types of eye drops have a lid that pops on and off easily, which can lead to spills in your purse or backpack. Eye drops with a screw-on lid are both spill-safe and portable.


The American Optometric Association requires all multi-dose eye drops (a bottle with several doses) to be fortified with preservatives to protect consumers from bacterial growth. However, some consumers are sensitive to these preservatives, which can irritate already painful eyes. If you have sensitive eyes, look for single-use, preservative-free options.


Some formulas cause a stinging or burning sensation as soon as they hit the eye. While this sensation is generally mild and tolerable for adults, children may react strongly and become fearful of eye drops. Anti-inflammatory eye drops are likely to cause a stinging sensation.

Relief time

The amount of time it takes for a formula to start relieving symptoms varies from almost instantly to one hour or more. Antihistamine eye drops usually work the fastest. Anti-inflammatory eye drops take longer to work, but the relief from symptoms usually lasts longer.

Eye drops for allergy relief: prices


The most affordable eye drops can be found for as little as $3 to $6 for a single pack. Budget eye drops can be effective for mild to moderate allergies but usually require frequent application and offer less intensive relief.


In this range, options run between $7 and $12. At this price, you’ll find fast-acting prescription-strength formulas with strong multi-symptom relief and longer-lasting relief (up to 12 hours). These formulas often include desirable moisturizing ingredients that are gentle on the eyes.


While allergy eye drops priced from $13 to $25 might cause a bit of sticker shock, you’ll find some twin packs of mid-range brands in this price tier. Customers with severe allergies often swear by the priciest of eye drops for allergies, which weigh in at around $19 for a single pack. These expensive options usually tout “once per day” application and powerful results. That said, many people find that the mid-range options work just as well for their symptoms.


  • If you find a brand of eye drops you like, buy a twin pack. You can keep one bottle at home and one in your purse or car.
  • For additional relief after applying eye drops, soak a clean washcloth in cold water. Gently apply the cloth to your closed eyes for a few minutes.
  • If you use more than one kind of eye drop for your allergies, wait 10 minutes after applying one kind before applying another. Always use eye drops before eye ointments.
  • Determine if an oral allergy medicine can help. If your allergies are moderate or severe, you may find that your allergy eye drops are most effective when used in combination with an oral allergy medicine.
  • Pay attention to the expiration date on your eye drops. Expired eye drops should be tossed out immediately.
  • Know how to apply eye drops. To easily apply drops, lie on your back. Pull your lower eyelid out slightly and hold the bottle about an inch over it. Carefully squirt in one drop and close your eyes. Keep them eyes closed for two or three minutes for maximum effectiveness.
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Wear glasses instead of contacts during allergy flare-ups to protect your eyes from damage caused by inadvertent rubbing or itching.


Q. Can I use eye drops for allergies if I wear contacts?

A. The majority of eye drops for allergies are safe for contact wearers but check the label first. Allergy eye drops should never be applied while you are wearing contacts. Remove your contacts before applying the eye drops and wait 15 minutes before reinserting them. Not only will this help your eyes absorb the drops, it will help prevent your contacts from becoming cloudy.

Q. What is the shelf life for allergy eye drops?

A. If kept unopened in a cool, dry place, allergy eye drops usually have an expiration date of 12 months or longer. However, once opened, allergy eye drops are at risk for bacterial contamination from different sources, including your eyes and fingers. Take care to avoid contact between the tip of the bottle and your eyes or fingers and close the lid quickly after each use. Doctors typically recommend that you toss opened eye drops after two or three months, even if the expiration date is much further away.

Q. Are eye drops for allergies safe to use with young children?

A. Eye drops for allergies are typically listed as safe for children ages three and up but be sure to check the label of the formula you intend to use. Follow the recommended dosage carefully and store all allergy eye drops out of reach of young children since these products restrict the size of blood vessels and can be dangerous if swallowed.