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Tips for Treating Seasonal Eye Allergies

This is part 3 of a 4-part series written by Johnson Optometric Associates, specifically focusing on seasonal allergies that affect our patient base in Wake County, North Carolina. This post will zero in on treating seasonal eye allergies.

Over-the-counter
There are over-the-counter eye drops and oral medications available to help an eye allergy sufferer. This type of medicine is typically less expensive than prescription medications and commonly used to calm mild irritations. Eye drops containing decongestants (and possibly antihistamines), are available to help wash out and soothe the eyes. Oral antihistamines can also be mildly effective in relieving the itching associated with eye allergies. Prolonged use of OTC drops and oral medications may lead to increased swelling and redness that lasts days after discontinuing use of the products.

Prescription
Prescription eye drops and oral medications provide both short- and long-term targeted relief of eye conjunctivitis symptom.

  • Antihistamine/Mast Cell Stabilizers – The newest eye drops have both an antihistamine and a mast cell stabilizer to treat and prevent eye conjunctivitis. They are used once or twice a day and provide long-lasting relief of itching, redness and burning.
  • Mast Cell Stabilizers – Mast cell stabilizers are eye drops that prevent the release of histamine, which causes allergy symptoms. The drops must be taken before exposure to an irritant to prevent itching.
  • Corticosteroids – Steroid eye drops that treat chronic and severe eye allergy symptoms, but continued use of the drops can have side effects, such as a risk of infection, glaucoma, and cataracts.

Allergy shots
If OTC and prescription medications do not alleviate your eye allergy symptoms, allergy shots or immunotherapy may be an option. Tiny amounts of the allergen are injected with gradually increasing doses over time. The shots can actually keep your body from reacting to the allergens. The treatment takes several months to achieve maximum results.

If using over-the-counter remedies are not relieving your symptoms, schedule an appointment with Johnson Optometric Associates to help you find a solution to your seasonal eye conjunctivitis.

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