by Dr. Matthew Wadas of the Wadas Eye Group

Spring is upon us and, for many, that means the advent of allergy season. For those who suffer from seasonal allergies, this time of the year is often associated with sinus congestion, a runny nose, and itchy eyes. Along with itching, other common ocular symptoms include redness and tearing.

Remedies and treatment options are broad and abundant. Most importantly, do not rub your eyes as this will release more histamine from the body, worsening your symptoms. Cool compresses are an effective way to help with inflammation. Many allergy sufferers take over-the-counter or prescription oral antihistamines but still experience itchy and irritated eyes. Some effective over-the-counter antihistamine eye drops that I often recommend to my patients include Zaditor, Pataday, and Alaway. These eye drops are to be used twice daily. Additionally, over-the-counter artificial tears can help provide further relief.

Most of the time these eye drops are all that is needed, however, in some severe cases they may provide only temporary relief or none at all. If you find yourself at that point, it’s time to seek an exam from an eye doctor as further treatment may be required.