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April Showers Bring May Flowers… and Allergies

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By: Dr. Lindsay Berry

Spring is often known as the time of renewal. This is easy to see with all the blossoming trees and sprouting flowers. With Summer in close reach, Spring can be a joyful time. Unfortunately for many, Spring is also a time for the dreaded seasonal allergies.

Seasonal allergies can cause sneezing, runny nose, sinus congestion, and postnasal drainage. The most common ocular symptoms of allergies are watery eyes, itchy eyes, and redness. Most cases of ocular allergies are mild and can be managed without having to see a doctor. Home remedies for ocular allergies include placing a cold washcloth on closed eyes for a few minutes per day, using artificial tears 2-4 times per day to rinse out the allergens/pollen, or using an OTC anti-allergy eye drop 1-2 times per day.

For those with more severe seasonal allergies or chronic allergies, a visit to the eye doctor may prove beneficial. Your doctor will be able to determine how the allergies are affecting your eyes and vision, and if a prescription medication is necessary.

It is important to remember that systemic allergy treatments may also affect the eyes. Medications such as AllegraD, ClaritinD, or ZyrtecD (decongestants) can reduce sinus congestion and relieve the itching of the eyes, but they can also cause the eyes to become dry. In this case, use of artificial tears 2-4 times per day could be helpful and improve the comfort of your eyes.

Now that Spring has arrived, be sure to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine. If your watery and itchy eyes are causing you discomfort and not allowing you to enjoy this time of year, contact us at Switalski Eye Care and let our eye doctors help you.