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Caring for itchy, allergy eyes

Not many of us escape some kind of reaction to high pollen in the Willamette Valley during grass seed season. Allergy symptoms affect our eyes because our immune system releases histamines, which lead to itchy, watery and red eyes.

As an eye doctor, I recommend Zaditor or Alaway eye drops to relieve the itching and discomfort that comes with seasonal allergies. Both are available over-the-counter, and Alaway makes a preservative-free version.

If you or your child are taking medication by mouth for allergies, know that some of them can lead to eye dryness. Keeping your eyes moistened helps, but artificial tears are for comfort only and not made to reduce the itching caused by allergies. Same for redness relief eye drops, which typically work for cosmetic purposes only.

Allergy sufferers can also tend to have more eye gunk that goes beyond the typical “sleep” in our eyes. These can be wiped off with a clean, damp washcloth; be careful to brush it away from the eye, not into it. Note that a small amount is not cause for alarm, but persistent discharge that is not clear is worth a visit to the eye doctor.


Brought to you by:

David A. Hackett, OD, FCOVD

3015 W 11th Ave, Eugene

1011 Valley River Way Suite 110, Eugene

(541) 342-2201 or 866-4EYELUV |


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