|Eye - Allergy|
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|HOME CARE ADVICE FOR EYE ALLERGY|
- Wash Allergens Off the Face:
- Use a wet washcloth to clean off the eyelids and surrounding face.
- Rinse the eyes with a small amount of warm water (tears will do the rest).
- Then apply a cold wet washcloth to the itchy eye.
- Wash the hair every night because it collects lots of pollen.
- Oral Antihistamines:
- If the nose is also itchy and runny, your child probably has hay fever (i.e., allergic symptoms of the nose AND eyes).
- Give your child an oral antihistamine, which should relieve the nose and the eye symptoms.
- Oral antihistamines usually control the eye symptoms and avoid the need for eye drops.
- Benadryl or Chlorpheniramine (CTM) products are very effective (no prescription needed). They need to be given every 6 to 8 hours (See Dosage table). The bedtime dosage is especially important for healing the lining of the nose.
- Continue oral antihistamines every day until pollen season is over (usually 2 months for each pollen).
- New Antihistamine Eye Drops (Ketotifen) for Pollen Allergies - 1st Choice:
- Usually an oral antihistamine will adequately control the allergic symptoms of the eye.
- If the eyes remain itchy and poorly controlled, buy some Ketotifen antihistamine eyedrops (no prescription needed).
- Dosage: 1 drop every 12 hours
- Ask your pharmacist to recommend a brand (e.g. Zaditor or Alaway)
- For severe allergies, the continuous use of ketotifen eye drops on a daily basis during pollen season will give the best control.
- Older Antihistamine/Vasoconstrictor Eye Drops - 2nd Choice:
- Usually the eyes will feel much better after the allergic substance is washed out and cold compresses are applied.
- If not, this type of eye drop can be used for intermittent eye allergy symptoms (no prescription needed).
- Ask your pharmacist to recommend a brand. Examples are Naphcon A, Opcon A or Visine A.
- Avoid vasoconstrictor eyedrops without an antihistamine (without an A in the name). Reason: they only treat the redness, not the cause.
- Dosage: 1 drop every 8 hours as necessary.
- Avoid continuous use for over 5 days. (Reason: rebound red eyes)
- Disadvantage: less effective than Ketotifen eye drops.
- Contacts: Some children with contact lenses may need to switch to glasses temporarily (Reason: to permit faster healing).
- Expected Course: If the allergic substance can be identified and avoided (e.g., a cat), the symptoms will not recur. Most eye allergies continue through the pollen season (4 to 8 weeks).
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Itchy eyes aren't controlled in 2 days with continuous allergy treatment
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 9/15/2011
Last Revised: 8/1/2011
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker
Copyright 1994-2012 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.