You Are A Sight For Sore Eyes

AOA recommends using antihistamines for allergy relief

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) Being a sight for sore eyes of course means it's good to see you. Having sore eyes is not necessarily a sight to behold. Minimizing allergic reactions in your eyes can help one return to the preferred status of being a sight for sore eyes.

The American Optometric Association (AOA) has issued practical strategies to employ during spring eye allergy season. The strategies include proactive measures and defensive measures as well; i.e. what to do and what not to do.

"Proactive: clean things that may touch eyes. Defensive: don't share products used near eyes."

A study commissioned by the AOA called American Eye-Q, found almost 50 percent of eye allergy sufferers use antihistamines and other medications for allergy relief.

W. Lee Ball, O.D., staff optometrist, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center first has a few suggestions during spring for those who wear contact lenses. Ball suggests changing lens cleaner, reducing lens wearing time, or using prescription eye drops.

While effective at treating runny noses and sneezing, antihistamines may make eye allergy symptoms worse by taking away the natural tearing process done by the eyes for protection.

Eye-Q participants also reported the nuisance and interference with their activities caused by eye allergies. The recommendations from the AOA are:

  • Don't touch or rub your eyes
  • Wash hands often with soap and water
  • Wash linens in hot water to reduce allergens
  • Avoid sharing makeup
  • Never share contact lenses or cases
  • Go to yearly eye exams

In Depth

  • Eye-Q surveyed 1,007 Americans 18 years and older who represent sample of U.S. general population
  • Survey reports 32 percent of the participants were inhibited from participating in recreational outdoor activities 
  • 29 percent reported their sleep suffered
  • 28 percent reported their ability to concentrate was marginalized
Reviewed by: 
Review Date: 
April 25, 2011
Last Updated:
April 26, 2011