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What Is Cromolyn Ophthalmic?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
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Cromolyn ophthalmic is a topical solution for managing eye allergies. Patients who experience itching, burning, watery eyes, and other allergy problems may find the medication helpful for relieving their discomfort. It comes in the form of eye drops which patients gently squeeze into their eyes to allow the medication to disperse across the surface of the eye. The drops may be used in conjunction with other medications. Oral allergy pills, for example, can decrease the intensity of allergic reactions and may help with puffy, irritated eyes.

This drug acts as a mast cell stabilizer. It prevents the release of histamines and other compounds from the mast cells to limit inflammatory responses. Patients may need to take the medication for up to six weeks before they start to notice an effect, and it is important to use it consistently to ensure that the actions of the mast cells remain suppressed. Missed doses can be made up within a few hours, but otherwise patients should wait for the next scheduled dose. Taking more cromolyn ophthalmic will not make it work faster.

To use cromolyn ophthalmic, patients should wash their hands thoroughly and uncap the bottle before tilting their heads back and holding the eyelids open with one hand. The dropper can be gently squeezed to deliver a single drop, and the patient should blink to spread it across the eye. If the medication didn’t land in the eye, another drop can be used. This procedure can be followed in the other eye.

The dropper should not be allowed to come into contact with anything. This includes the surface of the eye, which can contain bacteria and other microorganisms. If the dropper becomes contaminated, there is a risk of causing an infection in the eye. Patients should tightly seal the bottle after each use and keep it in a cool, dry place out of reach of young members of the household. In the event the dropper becomes contaminated, patients should purchase a new bottle of cromolyn ophthalmic.

Most commonly, cromolyn ophthalmic can cause some burning and itching when it is first applied to the eye. These side effects should dissipate quickly. Some patients experience puffing and swelling in association with the medication. It appears to be safe for use in pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers, although a patient’s obstetrician or pediatrician may have specific concerns. Before taking this or other medications while pregnant or breastfeeding, it can be a good idea to check with a doctor to confirm it is appropriate.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

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