Spring has officially sprung and as an optometrist office we are seeing the effects. Itchy, watery, red, puffy, eyes are coming through our doors screaming HELPPPPP!!!! So grab a box of tissues and pull up a chair as we talk about what we can do to get through this "sneeze- in".
First, keep in mind that oral anti-histamines such as claritin, zyrtec, etc while they do a good job of stopping systemic symptoms, they actually dry the eyes out more. I do not recommend that you stop taking these oral drugs if they help with other symptoms but it is often necessary add a topical anti- histamine eye drop.
What eye drop should I buy? - Good question. I recommend over the counter drops, zaditor or alaway as a first line treatment for mild itchy or water eyes. Stay away from visine, clear eyes, or roto. They tend to make things worse and have a rebound effect.
Okay, great. I have tried eye drops and my eyes are still puffy and red. Give me something else. Well, I recommend you get some eyelid cleansing foam. There are a few brands out there, but the one that I tend to like the most is called ocusoft. It comes in a foam and a lid wipe but I recommend the foam. Spray a couple pumps into your fingertips and gently massage it into your lids and lashes. This helps physically get some of those microscopic allergens cleaned out.
There are prescription eye drops that "pack a little more punch" then the over the counter eye drops. I do prescribe those for patients pretty regularly for patients during this season. Depending on the severity of the condition sometimes a soft topical steroid could be prescribed as well.
If any of these symptoms are bothering you this season or any season we would be happy to help create a customized allergy fighting plan for you. Come in and see us!!