Question: My eyes are affected the most by allergies - what can I do for relief?
Answer: Allergic symptoms result from direct contact of allergens (pollen, etc) to tissues.
When the eyes are mainly affected the first step is to reduce the exposure. Stay inside, and keep windows closed. Also frequent use of regular hydrating eye drops can reduce the amount of allergens clinging to the surface of the eye by flushing them off.
Contact lenses will attract and retain allergens, so recommend not using contacts during peak times. Try not to rub eyes because that can make the symptoms worse.
Anti-allergy eye drops are very commonly available and work well but can only be used for short periods of time. Regular use for longer than a week or two can worsen the eye redness and irritation when ceasing use due to rebound effects.
Oral antihistamines are also effective, but don’t help symptoms as rapidly as the eye drops. If symptoms are not adequately managed with these suggestions please contact your doctor for other options.
NOTE: Dr. Jennifer Franchuk is a primary care physician at Camarena Health in Oakhurst. Health-related questions can be sent to her at: Askthedoc@camarena-health.org.