Thursday, May 24, 2012

Eye Allergies for Maine Patients

“Eye allergy problems such as allergic conjunctivitis are extremely common in Maine, especially in the summertime when pollen counts are high” says Jordan Sterrer, M.D. Cataract and Refractive surgeon at Eyecare Medical Group in Portland, Maine. “A thorough medical history is important in determining where the allergies are coming from and what can be done to alleviate those symptoms,” said Dr. Sterrer. The itchy, red and swollen eyes that are characteristic of allergic conjunctivitis can be attributed to many different factors, so in order to treat patients properly, it’s important to find out what triggers their allergies. The April 2012 issue of Ophthalmology Management, “The Top 10 Questions for Ocular Allergy Patients”, discusses how patients can avoid allergy flare ups:
  • Don’t rub your eyes
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • If your allergies are bad in the morning, check your pillows for down or feather pillows and switch them to allergy free pillows
  • During your worst allergy season, remain indoors as much as possible, with filtered air conditioning
  • If your allergies are exclusive to your eyes, use allergy eye drops. Likewise, if limited to your nose and sinuses, use nasal sprays. 
  • Avoid OTC remedies that “get the red out”
  • Chill your drops to provide added comfort and efficacy
  • Use cool compresses to alleviate symptoms
  • Use your allergy eye drops before visiting places that tend to trigger your allergies rather than waiting until after your eyes are red, itchy, and swollen
  • Put your pet out of the house or at least out of your bedroom
  • Know your own sensitivities and avoid contact when possible, especially when pollen counts are high.
It is important for the physician and patient to identify what the causes of the ocular allergies are such as pollens, pets, mold, dust, chemicals, or foods? Once this has been determined, the allergen should be avoided when possible, and medications to treat them should be taken before exposure. It is also important to determine what time of year allergies are at their worst, which will help determine what the cause of the allergies may be, and help patients get ahead of itchy red eyes by starting on eye drops early.

If you suffer from allergic conjunctivitis and are looking from relief from itchy, red, swollen eyes, please call Eyecare Medical Group at 1-888-374-2020 to set up an appointment with one of our physicians.

Eyecare Medical Group is a leading ophthalmology practice in Portland, Maine staffed by a team of eye care specialists including eye doctors who are fellowship trained glaucoma specialists, retina specialists, cornea specialists and cataract and lens implant specialists-all board certified Ophthalmologists-as well as Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants, (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease including cornea transplants, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma.

Eyecare Medical Group is conveniently located for patients from throughout Maine including Auburn, Augusta, Bangor, Bath, Berwick, Biddeford, Bridgeton, Brunswick, Cape Neddick, Casco Bay, Cumberland Center, Eliot, Freeport, Gardiner, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Lewiston, Old Orchard Beach, Sanford, Scarborough, South Portland, Springvale, Topsham, Waterville, Westbrook, Winslow, Wiscasset, Yarmouth, Portland, Skowhegan and York Maine.