Allergy Season has arrived

Seasonal allergies are in full bloom and causing itchy eyes, runny nose, and sore throats.  Get a handle and fight back.

SYMPTOMS

40% of adults reported an eye symptom over a 12 month period such as:

ITCHING

BURNING

STINGING

TEARING

SWELLING

DISCOMFORT

REDNESS

 

ALLERGIES APPEAR TO BE WORSE THAN EVER

People affected by seasonal allergies may be affected by climate changes.  A recent study suggests that warmer fall weather has extended the ragweed plant in parts of Canada.  The ragweed pollen is lingering in the air longer and causing the allergy season to be longer by a month each year.

 

FIGHTING BACK

OVER THE COUNTER ALLERGY MEDS   

(i) Benadryl is helpful in allergies with calming down swelling and skin reactions, however the side effects include drowsiness. (one that parents may prefer as it puts their kids to bed).  Dont take this during the day or operate a vehicle.

 

(ii) Reactine/Claritin/Aerius – these are the more sophisticated medications that are non-drowsy.  They work in a similar way but allow you to stay awake and function at work.  The body gets quite used to these medications and therefore you need to cycle through to a different medication every 6 weeks to stay effective.

 

 ** these ORAL medications offer very minimal effect for eye relief **

(iiI) Bee Pollen – A more holistic approach.  Some claim relief when taken regularly throughout the year, although there is no reliable evidence to show that bee pollen enzyme is an effective treatment.  Bee pollen has been used to treat many other body conditions also.  One needs to be cautious ingesting bee pollen as some individuals have shown allergic reactions to bee pollen.  Speak to your GP about this and/or take with caution.  Test your sensitivity by performing tolerance testing.

 

NASAL PRESCRIPTION SPRAYS

Flonase/Nasonex –  They require to be prescribed by your family physician.  They offer great nasal symptom relief.  The effects on the eyes are minimal but much greater than oral medications.

 

PRESCRIPTION ALLERGY EYEDROPS 

(i) OTC over-the-counter EYEDROPS – Generic eye drops are readily available.  They are much cheaper.  However they require to be used 2 to 3 times per day and dont offer complete resolution of all allergic eye symptoms.

 

(ii) Prescription Allergy eyedrops – ie. Pataday – These are slightly more expensive, however they offer great protection from the allergens that are causing the severe itch and redness. They only require to be used ONCE A DAY, therefore are easier to use.

 

 ** Be Careful about products that state they "get the red out."  Do not use eyedrops that make your eyes whiter.  If your eyes are red from allergies, they will whiten on their own once the allergy is attended to.  There is no need for using a medication to choke your eyes from blood supply.  Its not the healthy approach.

Ask an eye doctor for more information.  Especially if your eyes are bothering you regularly.

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