Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Eye Allergies

I have just moved to Memphis and my eyes have been itching a lot. What is causing them to itch and is there anything I can do to relieve the symptoms?

Welcome to Memphis! Our great city is blessed with beautiful trees and abundance of plants and wildlife. Unfortunately, with this beauty comes irritants that cause patients to suffer from eye allergies. The eyes begin to itch, water and many times turn red when histamine is released from the tissues in and around the eye. People try to relieve the itching by rubbing their eyes, but in fact this only makes the itching worse. Special mast cells in the tissues of the eye become damaged and release more histamine!!

There is no cure for eye allergies but there are a number of remedies that may help lessen these symptoms. Avoidance of the allergen will help, but this may be difficult to achieve. Cold compresses applied to the closed eyes will relieve the symptoms but not provide a long-term solution.  Over-the-counter (OTC) products can also give some temporary relief. Caution should be used with these products. Over use can result in a dependency on the eye drops and discontinuing the OTC medication may cause the symptoms to become worse.

The best medications for eye allergies are the prescription combination drops that contain both an antihistamine and a mast cell stabilizer, which prevents the release of more histamine.

If you are suffering from itchy, red and watery eyes, make an appointment with one of the doctors to determine which eye drop is the best for your particular allergies.

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