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Relief For Itchy Eyes

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, it is estimated that 50 million people in the United States have seasonal allergies.

Seasonal allergies affect up to 30% of adults and up to 40% of children and its prevalence is increasing.

In addition to having symptoms of sneezing, congestion and a runny nose, most of these allergy sufferers also experience itchy, watery and red eyes as well as swollen eyelids.

If you are experiencing eye allergies, follow these doctor recommended suggestions for relief from red, watery, itchy eyes:

  • Splash your eyes with ice cold water for about 5 minutes when you first get up in the mornings. This helps wash away the allergens and reduce the puffiness and itching.
  • Do not rub your eyes! Once you start rubbing, the itching will intensify.
  • Apply a cold D.E.R.Mask with a clean liner to your eyelids to help alleviate symptoms and reduce eyelid puffiness. D.E.R.Masks can also be used for heat application for dry eye relief. D.E.R.M’s are available for purchase at Eyes For Life.
  • Limit your exposure to the common allergens you are sensitive to. Keep your windows closed during high pollen periods; use air conditioning in your home and car. Make sure you are regularly cleaning filters in your home and car.
  • Wash hands thoroughly after petting any animal. Pet dander is one of the most common triggers for eye allergies.
  • Wear glasses or sunglasses and a large brimmed hat when outdoors to help minimize the amount of pollen getting into your eyes.

 

There are many over-the-counter products available to help relieve eye allergies. They are classified into three  types:

1. Artificial Tears: Artificial tears can temporarily wash allergens from the eye and lubricate the eyes. You can use these drops as often as needed for relief, as they are not medicated. Make sure to choose preservative-free artificial tears. At Eyes For Life we recommend Oasis Plus preservative-free tears, and we have them readily available in our office.

Tip: Storing your tears in the fridge can provide a cool, soothing comfort and help relieve eye redness.

 

2. Allergy Drops: Over the counter (OTC) allergy drops (antihistamines) are commonly used to relieve itchy eyes. We recommend Alaway by Bausch & Lomb. At Eyes For Life we can also prescribe allergy eye drops that may require less frequent dosage and help with symptoms that OTC drops do not resolve.

Tip: Do not use Visine or other drops that state they “get the red out.” These drops shrink the blood vessels in your eyes to make your eyes appear whiter, but can be toxic to the eye and can cause rebound redness worse than before!

3. Oral Antihistamines: While oral antihistamines like Claritin can be mildly effective in relieving the itching associated with eye allergies, they may cause secondary dry eyes. It is better to use local antihistamines such as nasal sprays and/or topical antihistamines.

Oasis Plus, B&L, and D.E.R.M products listed and more are conveniently available for purchase at Eyes For Life in Spokane, WA.

Contact us online, stop by our office or give us a call us at (509) 448-7300. We look forward to serving you!

Written By: Kellen Robertson, O.D.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.