Eye Allergies


You don't have itchy, watery eyes, and you don't sneeze or get runny/stuffy nose.

Maybe your eyes are just heavy or tired, or it feels like there is sand stuck in your eyes. That could also be allergies. There's no law that says every allergic patient has to itch or sneeze. Avoiding what you're allergic to is the best place to start. Wear sunglasses when cutting the grass or exercising outdoors to reduce the amount of pollen that gets in your eyes. When indoors, eyes glued to that computer screen, force yourself to blink once in a while. Eyelids make pretty good windshield wipers. Extended-wear contact lenses often worsen allergies because pollen and mold spores stick to the lens. Hard lenses, or daily disposable soft contacts may be a better choice if you have allergies.

Over the counter eye drops can be helpful, but can also make things worse. Start out with moisturizing eye drops like Refresh, GenTeal, or other artificial tears. If those aren't enough, the best non-prescription eye drop for itching/watering is Alaway (ketotifen). But like other (e.g., Claritin, Zyrtec, Benadryl) antihistamines, it may dry things out; not good if you already have dry eyes. Avoid Visine and Clear Eyes; products that "get the red out" temporarily shrink the blood vessels. But repeated use of these makes the redness worse. The latest, greatest prescription eye drops (Pataday, Patanol and Bepreve) don't work better than Alaway, but they have much less burning and stinging.

Keep drops in the refrigerator. They feel more soothing when they are cold.

Even if you don't have nose symptoms, the nasal steroids Veramyst and Nasonex help eye allergies. They reduce inflammation of the little tube that connects the eyes to the nose.

When these measures don't help, allergy shots to make you less allergic to pollen, mold or dust mites often work. But make sure you get your allergy shots from a doctor board-certified in allergy and immunology — not some bootleg allergist who may not dose the shots correctly. The main reason allergy shots don't work is because they are not dosed correctly. Dr. Alnoor Malick and Dr. Sunil Saraf ensure that our recipes for allergy shots comply with the latest guidelines.

After all, we Special Eyes (specialize) in allergies.

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