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Allergic Eye Symptoms

Do you or one of your children suffer from seasonal allergies? As most of you may already know, the pollen counts in our local area have been very high recently. If your child has allergic symptoms such as sneezing, clear runny nose, stuffy nose, or itchy eyes and nose, he or she may also develop allergic conjunctivitis. Allergic eye symptoms usually include itchy and watery eyes, red or pink eyes, swelling of the eyelids, and no discharge or minimal mucus discharge from the eyes. Allergic eye symptoms should NOT include pain or fever.

Some of the causes of allergic eye symptoms include: pollens from grasses, trees, weeds and mold. In most parts of the United States, trees release their pollen in the Spring, grasses in the late Spring and Summer, and weeds- especially ragweed, in the early Fall. These pollens travel in the air. Mold spores tend to be at their highest levels when a rainy or damp spell is followed by a warm, dry and windy period. Animal allergens from cats, dogs, rabbits and horses may be transferred to the eyes by the hands, or may be airborne.

If you think your child may be suffering from allergic eye symptoms, use a wet washcloth to clean off the eyelids and surrounding face. Apply a cold wet washcloth to the itchy eye. Bathe your child and wash his/her hair every night because it can collect lots of pollen.

If your child also has runny and itchy nose, he/she is probably suffering from hay fever, which is the name given to allergic symptoms of the eyes and nose. You may give your child over the counter oral antihistamines (Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra) if they are over the age of 2. (Please know, seasonal allergic symptoms are not common in children under 2 years of age.) Oral antihistamines alone may control both the nasal and ocular (eye) symptoms. If your child continues to have allergic eye symptoms, and is 3 or older, you may try an over the counter ocular antihistamine Ketotifen (such as Zaditor or Alaway.) You may need to continue the oral antihistamine and the ocular antihistamine for as long as your child is exposed to the allergen. The pollen season can last four to eight weeks.

Your child should be seen by a doctor if his/her eyes become significantly swollen or swollen shut, or if any eye drainage does not improve after two days of taking allergy medicines. Fevers should not occur with allergic symptoms. If your child has what you thought were allergic symptoms and has a fever that lasts for more than 24 hours, he/she should be evaluated.

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PAMPA is a pediatric medical practice in north Atlanta, Georgia consisting of twelve pediatricians, five nurses,
and four locations in Roswell, Woodstock, Sandy Springs, and Marietta. area.
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