Ophthalmologist Questions Eyestrain

What do you recommend for an allergic reaction with the eyes?

With the increasing temperatures, my eyes get a burning sensation and even turn red. I think this is probably due to allergies. I try to wash them out the best I can once they begin to feel itchy, but the feeling comes back. Do you recommend anything to help them?

7 Answers

The symptoms you describe may be more than allergies. There is an overlap of allergies, dryness, and blepharitis, and often treatment requires addressing all three. Start with eyelid scrubs twice a day and artificial tears three to four times a day and see if you get any improvement. Then see an Ophthalmologist for a more thorough exam and evaluation. If you are in my area I'd be happy to see you!
Artificial tears 4x a day, allay, zaditor, all over the counter.
Seasonal allergies can affect the eyes often because the eyes are moist. Antigens like pollens can "stick" there. It is always a good idea to rinse ones eyes with saline. Individual contact lens saline ampules are OK, however, multi-use bottles of non-preserved saline are not. Sterile ampules used in respiratory therapy are great, but usually require a prescription. Rinsing eyes with saline is like taking a bath or washing ones hands. If your hand "itched" would you take a "pill" to make it stop? Likely you would wash it. Allergy pills or sprays and even most drops do not treat the allergy directly. Most remedies merely "stop" your body's or eye's natural response to "wash" the allergen away, causing your eyes and sinuses to be more sticky like "fly paper." This results in a build-up of antigen "load" on mucosal linings making the eventual immune response even more vigorous. For this reason, it should be our goal to minimize antigen load! We can do this with protective sunglasses, masks or nose filters, indoor clean air attention, and eye and nose rinses with sterile saline after exposure. While many people do need intervention relief symptomatically, it is usually best to start with hygiene and proceed to targeted treatments with longer duration of action as recommended by your physician. Drops usually contain preservatives and are less irritating when applied less often. Most "pills" act on ALL MUCOUS MEMBRANES and are NOT selective to EYES or SINUSES only.

Also, remember that most treatments DRY UP the MUCOUS MEMBRANES, making infections caused by resident germs even more opportunistic because they can only grow easily in low oxygen environments. Normal SALINE is 99.1% WATER, and water is 80% oxygen! Oxygen-rich wetting agents are therefore better than sticky or oily ones for most purposes.
Your eye physician should guide you to specific treatments after a careful exam, as many "red, itchy eyes" are not just allergies.


Wesley K. Herman, MD
Visine is fine initially (1 drop twice a day, both eyes), but should not be used for more than 14 days. A long-term preventative eye drop such as Zaditor should be used. 1 drop twice a day should prevent allergic reactions as Zaditor is a mast cell stabilizer and prevents histamine from ever getting outside the cell wall, thus the very best type of “anti-histamine.”
Allergic conjunctivitis it’s extremely common during their spring due to high level of pollen in the air. The best way to help his first is to avoid situations where the pollen is high like windy days after a period of dryness. Second to wash your eyes and your lashes after being outside since pollen sits on lashes and falls in the eye gradually. The third is to use some anti-allergic drops that you can buy over-the-counter or stronger ones that is prescribed by your doctor.
Try using antihistamine eye drops.
Pataday eyedrops.