Q&A with Dr. L
Dr. Leong Answers Your Eyecare Questions
Which Allergy Eye drops Should I Use?
Dr. Leong: Spring has arrived…and so has allergy season. If your eyes and nose are getting itchy and congested but you crave to be outdoors, then you can find relief with proper medications. An oral allergy medication is generally effective but can have side effects such as drowsiness. Dry eyes can be alleviated by an artificial tear. However, if the eyes remain itchy usually allergy eyedrops are required. Over the counter allergy drops only help the mildest cases, as they have a vasoconstrictor that takes away redness, but often overuse can cause rebound redness. Prescription allergy drops can include an antihistamine and mast cell stabilizer, so one drop per day in the morning can be enough to take away the itch. However severe allergies that have severe itch as well as signs of swelling and redness may require more potent eyedrops that can be prescribed by Dr. Leong or Dr. Bui.
Whatever you do, AVOID RUBBING the eyes. Eye rubbing may provide temporary relief, but it sets off an inflammatory cascade that worsens the allergy response. Cold towels can also help if no medications are available, as heat also worsens the allergy response.
If you have irritated eyes, call Dr. Leong or Dr. Bui for an appointment. Remember, Alberta Health Care covers medical eye exams such as symptomatic red eyes. A proper prescription eyedrop can work wonders for your allergies.