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Eye - Allergy

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Care at Home

  • WASH ALLERGENS OFF THE FACE: * Use a wet washcloth to clean off the eyelids and face. * Rinse the eyes with a small amount of warm water. Tears will do the rest. * Then put a cold wet washcloth on the itchy eye. * Prevention: Wash the hair every night because it collects lots of pollen.
  • OLDER ANTIHISTAMINE/VASOCONSTRICTOR EYE DROPS - 2ND CHOICE: * Often, the eyes will feel much better after the allergic substance is washed out. Also, putting a cold wet washcloth on them usually makes the eyes feel better. * If not, this type of eye drop can be used for added relief. No prescription is needed. * Ask your pharmacist to suggest a brand. Examples are Naphcon A, Opcon A or Visine A. * Avoid vasoconstrictor eyedrops without an allergy medicine in them. These are the eye drops without an A in the name. Reason: They only treat the redness, not the cause. * Dose: 1 drop every 8 hours as needed. * Do not use for over 5 days. (Reason: Will cause red eyes from rebound effect) * Downside: Doesn't work as well as Ketotifen eye drops.
  • ORAL ALLERGY MEDICINES: * If the nose is also itchy and runny, your child probably has hay fever. Hay fever is allergic symptoms of both the nose and eyes. * Give your child an allergy medicine by mouth. This should get rid of the nose and the eye symptoms. Most often, eye drops will not be needed. * Benadryl or Chlorpheniramine (CTM) products are very helpful. No prescription is needed. They need to be given every 6 to 8 hours. See Dose Table. The bedtime dosage is especially helpful for healing the lining of the nose. * Give allergy medicine every day. Do this until pollen season is over (about 2 months for each pollen).
  • CONTACT LENSES: * Children who wear contact lenses need to switch to glasses for a while. * This will help the eye heal faster.
  • WHAT TO EXPECT: * If you know the cause of the allergy symptoms, try to avoid it. This is the case with animal allergies. The symptoms will not come back if there is no contact. * But, you can't avoid pollens because they are in the air. Most eye allergies continue through the pollen season. They can last 4 to 8 weeks.
  • CALL YOUR DOCTOR IF: * Itchy eyes aren't better in 2 days with allergy treatment * Your child becomes worse
  • NEW ANTIHISTAMINE EYE DROPS (KETOTIFEN) FOR POLLEN ALLERGIES - 1ST CHOICE: * Usually, an oral allergy medicine will control the allergic symptoms of the eye. * If the eyes remain itchy and poorly controlled, buy some Ketotifen antihistamine eye drops. No prescription is needed. * Dose: 1 drop every 12 hours in both eyes. * Ask your pharmacist to suggest a brand. Examples are Zaditor or Alaway. * For severe allergies, the use of ketotifen eye drops every day will help the most. Use these eye drops until pollen season is over.
  • WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW: * An eye allergy most often is caused by pollen that gets in the eye. * Eye allergies are common. They occur in 10% of children. * Here is some care advice that should help.
  • EYE DROPS: HOW TO GIVE * For a cooperative child, gently pull down on the lower lid. Put 1 drop inside the lower lid. Then ask your child to close the eye for 2 minutes. Reason: So the medicine will get into the tissues. * For a child who won't open his eye, have him lie down. Put 1 drop over the inner corner of the eye. If your child opens the eye or blinks, the eye drop will flow in. If he doesn't open the eye, the drop will slowly seep into the eye.

Disclaimer

The information contained in these topics is not intended nor implied to 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.

Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider before starting any new treatment or discontinuing an existing treatment. Talk with your healthcare provider about any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Nothing contained in these topics is intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment.

  • Not a Substitute - The information and materials in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker should not be used as a substitute for the care and knowledge that your physician can provide to you.
  • Supplement - The information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker are meant to supplement the information that you obtain from your physician. If there is a disagreement between the information presented herein and what your physician has told you -- it is more likely that your physician is correct. He or she has the benefit of knowing your child's medical problems.
  • Limitations - You should recognize that the information and materials presented here in Pediatric HouseCalls Symptom Checker have the following limitations, in comparison to being examined by your own physician:
    • You can have a conversation with your child's doctor.
    • Your child's doctor can perform a physical examination and any necessary tests.
    • Your child could have an underlying medical problem that requires a physician to detect.
    • If your child is taking medications, they could influence how he experiences various symptoms.

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