Common remedies can make ocular symptoms worse: MOA

The Minnesota Optometric Association (MOA) offers advice for the thousands around the state who suffer from the itchy, watery eye symptoms associated with seasonal Spring allergens. The culprits exist indoors and out: pollen, mold, dust mites and pet dander.

“Eye allergies can affect anyone and can be particularly hard on contact lens wearers”

Shorten contact lens wear and avoid antihistamines: Eye allergies, also known as allergic conjunctivitis, can actually be exacerbated by lengthy contact lens use and common remedies such as antihistamines. While antihistamines can help with typical symptoms like runny noses and sneezing, the medication can make ocular symptoms worse by reducing tear quality and quantity.

"Eye allergies can affect anyone and can be particularly hard on contact lens wearers," said MOA president, Dr. Stan Andrist, Moorhead Vision Associates. Moorhead, MN. "Extended wear time and infrequent lens replacement are two of the main reasons contact lens wearers face more prevalent symptoms." Dr. Andrist suggests the following for eye allergy sufferers:

  • Reduce contact lens wearing time when possible.
  • Talk to your optometrist about changing the cleaning method or using daily disposable contact lenses.
  • Use eye drops as prescribed by a doctor of optometry. The individual is treated with a prescribed or over the counter medication depending on his or her medical history.

The MOA also recommends that simple measures can alleviate or prevent eye allergy symptoms:

  • Don't touch or rub your eyes,
  • Wash hands often with soap and water,
  • Wash bed linens in hot water and detergent,
  • Don't ever share contact lenses or cases, and,
  • Don't share, and in some cases, don't wear eye makeup.

SOURCE Minnesota Optometric Association

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