Relief for Eye Allergies

Thursday, 08 May 2014 08:26 AM

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When the highly allergic Snot Rod, a mischievous street racer in "Cars," sneezes, he shoots nitro fire from his headers. If you're susceptible to spring eye allergies, it's your headlights that are giving you trouble.

This year, with grass, tree and weed pollen at extra-high levels, chances are your eyes are already red, teary, swollen and itchy.

What's the solution?

Oral antihistamines usually are only mildly effective and can cause dry eyes, making things worse. Over-the-counter decongestant eyedrops can provide relief, but use them for more than two to three days and you'll get a rebound effect and symptoms will worsen!

The best bet is a prescription antihistamine eyedrop (usually used twice daily). The newest versions come with a mast-cell-stabilizing substance. Mast cells produce the histamines that make your eyes tear and itch.

For extra relief between doses, rinse your eyes with saline that's been chilled in the fridge.

Also, wear sunglasses outdoors, and rinse your hair every night to get rid of accumulated pollen.

Our Believe-It-or-Not Fact: Spring allergies to birch, grass and ragweed are associated with food allergies. For example, a birch allergy may indicate an allergy to apples, peaches, carrots and celery; grass allergies can trigger a reaction to melons, tomatoes and oranges; and ragweed is linked to bananas, cucumber and cantaloupe allergies.

The smart move: See an allergist to ID your specific eye allergies, and pay attention to your symptoms to see if you notice any correlation with what you eat.

© 2014 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

© King Features Syndicate

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