Friday, 10 May 2013
Spring Allergy Relief

Many of us are feeling the effects of spring by having itchy, burning eyes.  When managing eye allergies, it’s not a one size fits all answer.  Those people who have spring allergies should try to minimize their exposure on a heavily pollinated day.  Easy to say and tough to do.  So if you need to treat your eye allergy problems with a combination of therapies, here is a list in the general order that we recommend:

Oral antihistamines - Oral antihistamines typically are better for nasal and sinus issues. The eye is an end organ and it is often hard to get enough oral antihistamine to penetrate surface eye receptors to eliminate itching.  However if your oral antihistamine, which is generally an over-the-counter medicine, does take care of your eye allergies, then continue its use.

Topical antihistamine drops - The mainstay of relieving the symptoms and signs of allergic eye problems is a topical antihistamine drop.  These work in three ways.  First, once you put the drop in, within 5-10 minutes the itch should disappear. Second, if they are used daily they will help prevent the itch from occurring.  

Topical steroid drops - Much like the allergist typically will move from an oral antihistamine to a nasal steroid, we also use steroid eye drops to calm the inflammatory response which causes itching, burning, swelling, and redness of the eyes.  There are even steroid eye drops that you can use with contact lenses or can be safely used on a longer term basis at low dosages.

If you’re frequently suffering from eye allergies, we can help!  Make an appointment with us to evaluate you.  As always, we are also available via e-mail to discuss symptoms. 

Posted on 05/10/2013 10:19 AM by Dr. Jeff Kegarise
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