This time of year, I am always finding myself talking to patients nonstop about allergies. Things are blooming here in the city at a rapid pace since it’s been so warm (and sunny!) and that really does create a lot of issues for allergy sufferers. Itchy, watery, puffy eyes are the biggest symptoms, but more subtle ones can exist too like mild tearing, mild foreign body sensation, difficulty wearing contact lenses. And if you also have dry eye, then all those symptoms will be exacerbated as well.
Here is my best advice to combat those symptoms:
- Get ahead of the problem! Don’t wait until things are miserable to seek help because then the symptoms are much harder to control. And why be miserable?!
- Reduce contact lens wear if possible – those sticky little pieces of plastic can trap allergens and leave them on the ocular surface much longer…inciting a bigger response.
- Artificial tears can help to wash allergens off the surface of the eye – so don’t be afraid to use those.
- There are now some great over the counter allergy options – and I’m talking drops here – they work better for the ocular symptoms than oral allergy medications.
- If you still are experiencing symptoms, then get in to see your eye doctor for more aggressive therapy, no need to suffer!!!