Ocular Allergies

It’s officially spring and that means it’s allergy season.  About 25{4422c3e9d6d956ffe17c4a9703f8867adf328a271a08c00de098d82d34d0cfb5} of the population suffers from seasonal allergies and more than 90{4422c3e9d6d956ffe17c4a9703f8867adf328a271a08c00de098d82d34d0cfb5} of allergy sufferers have ocular allergies. The hallmark signs are red, itchy eyes!  Other symptoms may include puffy eyelids, excessive tearing, or burning sensation.  The main causes of ocular allergies are allergens.  Allergens, such as pollen, activate mast cells in your body to release histamine. This causes all the undesirable effects of allergy symptoms.

Recently, some of my patients are suffering from allergies and contact lenses wear.  What does suffering from contact lenses wearer mean?  The solution is to be refit into daily disposable contact lenses.  Contact lenses are like sponges, they love to absorb all the allergens in the environment.  Since daily contact lenses are discarded after each use, this helps eliminate the accumulation of allergy-causing debris on the lenses during day to day wear.
If you are suffering from itchy eyes, I also recommend the prescription medication Pataday.  It only needs to be applied once a day and can be used with your daily contact lenses.  It stabilizes the mast cells to stop the release of histamine and it also acts like an antihistamine.  It’s like two drugs in one.  This may be used with or without contact lenses.  If you are suffering from ocular allergies, be sure to see your optometrist.  They can definitely help!