• Maintaining Healthy Eyes in Winter

    Most people have plenty of health concerns during winter. Cold and flu season can be rough, it’s often hard to stay warm, and winter is a risky time for slips and falls. What many don’t realize, though, is that eyes need extra protection during the winter, too. Maintaining healthy eyes in winter requires a little bit of effort, but it’s worth it to keep your vision strong and your eyes in tip-top shape.

    • You may not realize it, but you definitely need sunglasses in the winter. It’s easy to remember to wear sunglasses when it’s hot outside, but there are several ways the sun can damage your eyes when it’s cold. Snow is especially problematic because UV rays can enter your eyes directly or from being reflected off of the snow. Wear sunglasses that protect against UV rays, and if it’s especially bright outside, wear a hat or a visor.
    • Sometimes, sunglasses aren’t quite enough protection. When you’re being active outdoors in winter, it’s easy to get debris like dirt, bark, slush, or ice into your eyes. Sunglasses protect against some mishaps, but goggles are a better bet for maximum protection. Look for goggles with UV protection built in, or choose goggles that allow you to wear sunglasses underneath.
    • What you eat has a huge impact on your eyes. Dry eyes are one of the biggest problems in winter, and eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help alleviate this problem. About three and a half ounces of fatty fish like mackerel, tuna, salmon, anchovies, or trout can provide about one gram of omega-3s.
    • Staying hydrated is important for every part of your body, including your eyes. Sometimes, people forget to drink water when it’s cold outside, but maintaining the proper hydration can help keep your eyes from feeling dry.
    • It’s important to keep your eyes moist in winter. Cold air outside and hot air from the heater indoors can really dry out your eyes, causing them to feel uncomfortable and gritty. Try not to sit too close to heat sources, and use a humidifier or artificial tears to help keep your eyes from getting too dry.
    • To keep eyes healthy, keep your hands off of them. Your hands tend to carry bacteria, and putting them up to your eyes can cause an infection. What’s more, rubbing dry eyes can cause them to become even more irritated and uncomfortable.
    • For good eye health, take frequent breaks from screens. Whether you’re working at your computer all day or bingeing your favorite show when it’s too cold to want to go out, too much staring at a screen can leave your eyes dry and irritated. Take frequent breaks, adhering to the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look away from the computer, focusing on something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. It’s also smart to think about blinking because people tend to blink less when they’re staring at a computer screen.

    If you are looking for an eye doctor, the Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago can help. Since 1968, the Gerstein Eye Institute has been providing exceptional ophthalmologic care to patients in the Chicago area. With decades of experience in ophthalmology, our certified professional staff members work hard to provide the kind of personalized care that keeps patients coming back year after year, eventually entrusting the eye health of their children and grandchildren to us as well. To schedule an appointment, call us at 773.596.9545 or contact us through our website.

  • What is a Stye, and How Should You Deal with It?

    Have you ever had a stye? It usually starts with a little bit of pain or a feeling of heaviness in your eyelid, and you’ll notice a little red spot on your lower eyelid. It’s not harmful, but it can be unsightly, uncomfortable, and annoying. What, exactly is a stye? More importantly, how should you deal with it to make it go away?

    A stye, also known as a hordeolum, is a bump near the edge of your eyelid caused by a localized infection in the eyelid. Styes develop from an eyelash follicle or oil gland that becomes clogged somehow, either from oil, debris, or bacteria. They can be a complication of blepharitis, an inflammation of the eyelid or they can be the result of stress.

    The symptoms of a stye include watery eyes, pain, tenderness, itching, and redness. Styes can make eyes feel sensitive to light or bruised and can cause a feeling of a foreign body in the eye. They don’t impact vision, though, and they typically go away on their own, though not usually as quickly as the person with the stye would like. There are some things you can do to speed up the healing time:

    • Use a warm compress. You can buy compresses especially made for eyes, or you can use a clean, warm washcloth as a compress. Just press the compress to your eyelid for about ten minutes, at least four times each day until the stye is healed.
    • Massage the affected area. Use the tips of your fingers to gently massage the area, making sure your hands are scrupulously clean, and taking care not to poke yourself in the eye.
    • Eye drops may help heal the infection. Your eye doctor can recommend medicated eye drops or antibiotic ointments that you might find helpful.
    • Try eye lid scrubs. Specially formulated eyelid scrubs are similar to a moist towelette and are designed to address the underlying problems of bacteria or blepharitis.

    You can sometimes prevent a stye by keeping your eyelids extremely clean. Don’t sleep in eye makeup, and avoid touching your eyes throughout the day. It may also help to manage your stress. It’s not always possible to avoid them, though, and if you do get a stye, it’s wise to try to reduce its duration. When a stye lasts for a long time, it can turn into a chalazion, which may require a steroid injection or lancing. Your doctor can lance the chalazion for you, but you should never try to squeeze or pop a bump on your eyelid at home. Squeezing a stye can cause a serious eye infection.

    There are eyelid bumps that are not styes, like millia and xanthelasma. It’s a good idea to see a doctor if you have a bump on your eyelid, rather than assuming you know what it is and treating it at home. Your doctor will be able to correctly identify the bump on your eyelid and recommend the right treatment for your specific condition.

    If you are looking for an eye doctor, the Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago can help. Since 1968, the Gerstein Eye Institute has been providing exceptional ophthalmologic care to patients in the Chicago area. With decades of experience in ophthalmology, our certified professional staff members work hard to provide the kind of personalized care that keeps patients coming back year after year, eventually entrusting the eye health of their children and grandchildren to us as well. To schedule an appointment, call us at 773.596.9545 or contact us through our website.

  • Glaucoma prevention tips

    The second leading cause of irreversible blindness globally, glaucoma affects more than three million people in the United States alone. Typically, it doesn’t have any symptoms, and many people don’t realize they have glaucoma until it is at an advanced stage. There’s no cure for glaucoma, though the symptoms can be treated and the progression of the disease slowed if it’s caught early. There are, however, some steps you can take to prevent glaucoma.

    • Protect your eyes. Wear protective eyewear any time you’re participating in sports, doing a home improvement project, or engaging in any other activity that puts your eyes at risk. Injury to the eye can cause secondary or traumatic glaucoma. Prevent overexposure to UV rays by wearing sunglasses or a wide-brimmed hat when you’re outside.
    • Exercise regularly. Moderate exercise, at least three times a week, can lower your risk of glaucoma. Avoid exercises like headstands, which can increase intraocular pressure, one of the major risk factors for glaucoma.
    • Fill your diet with nutrient-dense foods. Foods that support eye health include dark green, yellow, and orange fruits and vegetables, fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C, and foods with vitamin A, like sweet potatoes, mangoes, milk, egg yolks, and liver. Foods that contain vitamin E, like eggs, wheat germ, nuts, vegetable oils, and whole grains, are good for your eyes, as are foods with vitamin D, like fatty fish and egg yolks. Also important are foods with zinc, like oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, and nuts, and foods with omega-3 fatty acids, like walnuts and wild salmon.
    • Do the things that you already know support your overall health. Maintain a healthy weight, don’t smoke, keep your blood pressure under control, and limit caffeine consumption.
    • See an eye doctor regularly for exams. The single most important thing you can do to protect your eyes from the damaging effects of glaucoma is to have regular eye exams. Before age 40, you should be seen every two to four years, and then every one to three years up to age 54, moving to every one to two years at 55 of over. If you’re a person with high-risk factors, like African heritage, diabetes, or a family history of glaucoma, you should be tested for glaucoma every year or two after you turn 35. The best way to prevent vision loss from glaucoma is to catch the disease in the early stages so that you can receive treatment to slow its progression.

    If you are looking for an eye doctor, the Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago can help. Since 1968, the Gerstein Eye Institute has been providing exceptional ophthalmologic care to patients in the Chicago area. With decades of experience in ophthalmology, our certified professional staff members work hard to provide the kind of personalized care that keeps patients coming back year after year, eventually entrusting the eye health of their children and grandchildren to us as well. To schedule an appointment, call us at 773.596.9545 or contact us through our website.

  • What Causes Itchy Eyes and Eyelids — and How to Get Relief

    Why are your eyes itching? More importantly, what can you do about it? Itchy eyes can make a person feel frantic, and when you’re eyes itch, it’s hard to concentrate on anything else. Rubbing your eyes is an almost irresistible urge, but it’s a bad idea because it can make things worse and sometimes even cause a corneal abrasion. There are better ways to handle the problem, so here, we give you the run-down on itchy eyes and eyelids.

    What makes eyes itch, anyway? Most of the time, it’s allergies. Some sort of allergen causes your body to release histamines into the tissues around the eyes, and you’re left with itching, redness, and swelling. The allergen might be pollen, dust, or animal dander, and seasonal allergies can cause allergic conjunctivitis in the spring when outdoor allergens like grass and weeds are in full force. Things like mold and dust, though, cause allergic reactions all year long. Sometimes, the culprit is a product you’re using, like contact lens solution, makeup, lotions, soaps, or even artificial tears.

    Allergies aren’t the only thing that might be making your eyes itch, though. Some people find that dry eye syndrome or Meibomian gland dysfunction cause both itching and burning. If your eyes are red and inflamed, the cause might be an inflammatory condition called blepharitis, caused by bacteria or microscopic mites. Sometimes, something as simple as wearing your contact lenses too long can cause your eyes to itch.

    Because there are so many reasons for eyes to itch, it’s smart to see an eye doctor to determine the cause. Often, though, itchy eyes can be treated without using medicines. Placing cold compresses over the eyes can bring relief within just a few minutes, and you can repeat this process as often as you need to do so. Sometimes artificial tears can be used to treat eye allergies because they wash the allergens out of the eyes. Keeping the bottle of artificial tears in the refrigerator can make them particularly soothing to burning, itching eyes. Allergy medications, both in oral form and eye drops, can help if your problem is an allergen.

    In many cases, your doctor will need to prescribe eye drops or oral medications to treat your itchy eyes and eyelids. It’s important to follow your doctor’s advice, and use the right kind of treatment for your particular condition. The good news? Some medications can make you less prone to having itchy eyes in the future.

    If you are looking for an eye doctor, the Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago can help. Since 1968, the Gerstein Eye Institute has been providing exceptional ophthalmologic care to patients in the Chicago area. With decades of experience in ophthalmology, our certified professional staff members work hard to provide the kind of personalized care that keeps patients coming back year after year, eventually entrusting the eye health of their children and grandchildren to us as well. To schedule an appointment, call us at 773.596.9545 or contact us through our website.

     

  • How to Know if a Painful Eye is an Emergency

    When your eye hurts, it’s hard to think of anything else. Whether it’s an itching, burning, shooting pain on the surface of your eye, or a deeper, throbbing pain inside your eye, eye pain can be excruciating and hard to manage. Should you see a doctor? Is it time to go to the emergency room? If the pain is severe enough, or if you’ve lost vision, the answer may be yes. Here’s how to know whether your painful eye is an emergency.

    What can cause a painful eye? It could be allergies, illness, injury, infection, or a foreign body in the eye. Symptoms vary, but if you have any of the following symptoms, you should consider calling for an appointment with an eye doctor.

    • Eye pain
    • Redness
    • Irritation caused by contact lenses
    • Discharge
    • Eye injury
    • Welder’s burn
    • Swelling or puffiness
    • Styes

    Sometimes, though a painful eye is too severe to allow you to wait for a doctor’s appointment. Trying to wait it out could cause the problem to get worse, and might even result in a loss of vision. Seek emergency medical care as soon as possible if you have any of the following symptoms.

    • Unusually severe eye pain, especially if it’s accompanied by a headache, fever, or sensitivity to light
    • A sudden change in vision
    • Eye pain with nausea or vomiting
    • A foreign object or chemical in your eye
    • Halos around lights
    • Trouble moving your eye or an inability to keep it open
    • Blood or pus coming from your eyes

    If you have an eye emergency, and it’s after regular office hours, you may have no choice but to go to the emergency room. If you can catch the problem before offices close, though, it’s a much better idea to see an eye doctor. Emergency rooms don’t always have the right equipment for examining the eyes, and they might not have doctors or nurses who specialize in caring for eyes. Because a misdiagnosis could potentially result in vision loss, and because you’ll probably be given a referral to an eye doctor anyway, it’s typically better to skip the ER and go straight to an ophthalmologist or optometrist.

    Even if it’s after hours, if you call your eye doctor there may be information available, either in a recorded message or through the doctors’ answering service, about where to seek emergency eye care. There are situations, though, in which an emergency room trip is warranted. If you’re injured in other places in addition to the eye, if your eye has been impaled, if you are bleeding from the eyes, or if you’ve had a head trauma, it’s smart to head to the ER. What you should never do is try to treat painful eye conditions on your own, without the benefit of medical advice.

    If you are looking for an eye doctor, the Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago can help. Since 1968, the Gerstein Eye Institute has been providing exceptional ophthalmologic care to patients in the Chicago area. With decades of experience in ophthalmology, our certified professional staff members work hard to provide the kind of personalized care that keeps patients coming back year after year, eventually entrusting the eye health of their children and grandchildren to us as well. To schedule an appointment, call us at 773.596.9545 or contact us through our website.

  • How to Properly Care for Contacts

    If you need corrective lenses, contact lenses can be a real boon. They’re great for active people, won’t interfere with your fashion sense, and can just make life easier overall. If you don’t take good care of your contacts, though, you could cause real harm to your eye health. Here, we offer some simple instructions for properly caring for your contacts.

    • Keep your hands clean. Never touch your contacts without washing your hands first with a mild soap, free of perfume, oils, and Dry your hands with a clean towel that’s free of lint. Keep your fingernails short and smooth so that you won’t scratch your contacts or your eye.
    • Mind when you do your beauty routine. If you’re planning to use hair spray, use it before putting in your contacts, but if you’re going to wear eye makeup, put it on after your lenses are already in. Take your contacts out before you remove your eye makeup.
    • Follow your doctor’s advice about products. Some contact lenses require special care, and some eye products aren’t safe for contact wearers. When choosing a disinfecting solution, eye drops, or cleaners, always use the products your doctor recommends.
    • Keep bacteria away from your lenses. Don’t use tap water directly on your contact lenses, and never rinse a lens by putting it in your mouth. Instead, clean, rinse, and disinfect your lenses with fresh contact lens solution every time you take them out of your eyes. Don’t add the solution to what’s already in the case, but clean your lens case every time you use it with sterile solution or hot tap water.
    • Clean your lenses the right way. Rub each lens gently with your index finger in the palm of your other hand to remove surface buildup. Inspect each lens before putting it into your eye, and never wear a contact lens that’s damaged.
    • Wear your contacts safely, asking your doctor for advice on care and longevity. If you think you’re going to have trouble remembering how long your doctor said it was safe to wear your lenses, ask for a chart to track your schedule.
    • Use good hygiene practices when it comes to your contacts. Never wear someone else’s lenses, and be careful not to let the tip of the solution bottles touch things like your fingers, eyes, or contacts. Take care not to contaminate your lenses by contaminating the solution.
    • Be careful with your eyes when you’re out and about. Wear sunglasses or a wide-brimmed hat in the sun, because contacts tend to make your eyes more sensitive to light. Keep your eyes moist with a rewetting solution or saline solution, and don’t swim with contacts in.
    • When in doubt, take them out. If your eyes are irritated, take out the contact lenses and don’t wear them again until you’ve spoken with your doctor’s office, to avoid developing an infection. If you have vision loss, blurred vision, light flashes, eye pain, infection, swelling, unusual redness, or irritation, take them out and see your doctor as soon as possible.

    For a contact lens wearer, there’s no more important resource than a good eye doctor. If you are looking for an eye doctor, the Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago can help. Since 1968, the Gerstein Eye Institute has been providing exceptional ophthalmologic care to patients in the Chicago area. With decades of experience in ophthalmology, our certified professional staff members work hard to provide the kind of personalized care that keeps patients coming back year after year, eventually entrusting the eye health of their children and grandchildren to us as well. To schedule an appointment, call us at 773.596.9545 or contact us through our website.

     

  • How to Find the Perfect Frames

    What’s the secret to choosing the perfect eyeglasses? Once you’ve got the right prescription in hand, it’s time to pick the right frame for your face. How do you choose? There’s some debate over whether face shapes are an accurate metric for choosing the best frames, so we’ll look at a few different aspects that come into play.

    • Face shape is certainly part of the puzzle. Basically, you want to choose frames that complement and balance the shape of your face.
      • A round face is best served by square or rectangular frames, wider than the face, to make it appear slimmer and longer.
      • Oval faces can take just about any frame but typically look best in geometric frames with a strong bridge. Because oval faces are typically symmetrical, it’s best not to throw off the natural balance by choosing frames that are too large.
      • To soften the angularity of a square face, choose oval or round frames, avoiding anything boxy or angular.
      • A diamond-shaped face with delicate features will benefit from frames that are wider than the cheekbones and draw the eye upwards. Good examples of this are cat eye glasses and oval frames.
      • If your face is heart-shaped, choose frames with low-set temples and bottom-heavy lines, or glasses that draw attention away from your forehead, like round frames or square frames with curved edges.
    • Perhaps more important than face shape is the look of your features. No matter what your face shape may be, you can balance sharp, angular features with frames in soft shapes, or offset soft, rounded features with frames that have straight lines. It’s also a good rule of thumb to choose glasses that direct attention away from the most prominent part of your face.
    • Consider color carefully. Most people choose neutral frames because they go with just about everything. However, you can match your frames to your coloring, choosing to complement your eye or hair color or skin tone.
      • Eyes: If you need a professional look, choose neutral, subdued tones. If you’re going for a fun, casual look, choose a complementary color to make your eyes pop. For blue eyes, that could mean orange tones, tortoiseshell or brown. To make brown or amber eyes stand out, choose a bold color like green or blue. Gray eyes look great with a brightly colored frame, and green eyes look good with earth tones or a bold purple or gold.
      • Hair: With black hair, darker frames typically work well, in tones that complement your undertones. White or gray hair gives you the freedom to play around with just about any color, and red hair allows for bold colors, as long as the color isn’t red. If you have warm undertones in your blond or brown hair, you’ll probably look good in tortoiseshell frames, while pastels work well for cool undertones.
      • Skin: Cool undertones call for cool colors, warm undertones look best with warm colors, and if your undertones are neutral you can wear just about any color.
    • It’s perfectly acceptable to let your style overrule the rules. Your glasses can help express your personality, enhance your personal style, or provide functionality to match your lifestyle. As long as they fit properly and make you feel confident, feel free to choose any frames you like.

    Before you start shopping for the best frames, it’s important to know your prescription is up to date and you’re choosing the right lenses. The right prescription requires the right eye doctor, and the Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago can help. Since 1968, the Gerstein Eye Institute has been providing exceptional ophthalmologic care to patients in the Chicago area. With decades of experience in ophthalmology, our certified professional staff members work hard to provide the kind of personalized care that keeps patients coming back year after year, eventually entrusting the eye health of their children and grandchildren to us as well. To schedule an appointment, call us at 773.596.9545 or contact us through our website.

  • The Differences in Lens Types for Glasses

    When you’re picking eyeglasses, you’re probably thinking about the frames. This makes sense because eyeglasses act as an accessory as well as improving your vision, and the frames are what anyone looking at you will notice. However, the lenses are actually the most important part of the glasses. Do you know the difference in the different types of lenses?

    • Glass glasses are largely a thing of the past. While glass was the only choice in the early days of vision correction, it poses a few problems. Glass lenses are effective at improving vision, but they’re heavy and easy to break. Today, technology has improved and given us many more options, so glass is no longer widely used for lenses.
    • Plastic lenses have been in use since 1947. The first lightweight plastic eyeglass lenses were made of a plastic polymer called CR-39, and this kind of plastic is still a popular option for lenses today.
    • Polycarbonate lenses came on the scene in the 1970s. This material was originally developed for Air Force helmet visors, as well as “bulletproof glass” used in locations like banks. It’s lighter and much more impact-resistant than CR-39 plastic, and it’s often used in children’s eyewear, safety glasses, and sports eyewear. Another benefit of polycarbonate lenses is that they have built-in UV protection.
    • Trivex is a newer material similar to polycarbonate. This material also has impact-resistant properties but has the advantage of a higher Abbe value. The Abbe value of a lens material measures how widely the lens disperses different wavelengths of light. Lenses with a low Abbe value can have problems like colored halos, while a higher Abbe value means better optical quality.
    • High-index plastic lenses are thin and lightweight. They have a higher index of refraction than CR-39, which means they refract light more effectively. You can choose high-index plastic lenses even if you need a strong prescription.

    No matter what kind of lenses you choose, there are coatings that can be applied to cause them to function more efficiently.

    • Anti-reflective coating: This coating helps with glare, reflections, and halos around light. This kind of coating makes lenses nearly invisible, for better eye contact, and it improves contrast and clarity, especially at night.
    • Anti-scratch coating: Lightweight eyeglass lens materials are softer and more likely to be scratched than glass lenses. Anti-scratch coating, however, makes them nearly as scratch-resistant as glass.
    • UV-blocking treatment: Perhaps the most important coating, this protects your eyes from UV rays, which can cause problems like macular degeneration and cataracts. Polycarbonate and most high-index plastic lenses have 100 percent UV protection built in, but CR-39 lenses need an additional coating.

    When choosing the right lenses, it’s important to get the advice of your eye doctor. If you are looking for an eye doctor, the Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago can help. Since 1968, the Gerstein Eye Institute has been providing exceptional ophthalmologic care to patients in the Chicago area. With decades of experience in ophthalmology, our certified professional staff members work hard to provide the kind of personalized care that keeps patients coming back year after year, eventually entrusting the eye health of their children and grandchildren to us as well. To schedule an appointment, call us at 773.596.9545 or contact us through our website.

  • How to protect your eyes when being active

    Staying active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, participating in sports or other physical activities without protecting your eyes can lead to eye injuries that can harm your vision. You take the time to wear protective gear to prevent injury to the rest of your body; make sure you’re also considering your eyes.

    Wearing your prescription glasses when you’re participating in an active pursuit is not a good idea, and regular sunglasses won’t properly protect your eyes. In fact, sometimes even safety goggles don’t go far enough to protect your sight. Some people may worry: does protective eyewear impede vision and thus, athletic performance? Experts say no. In fact, many players actually perform better when wearing protective eyewear, because they’re less afraid of injury.

    It’s important to choose gear that suits your activity. Wearing baseball cleats on the basketball court would be ill-advised, and a figure skater would be unable to perform while wearing the padding of a hockey goalie. Similarly, the protective eyewear you choose must fit the way you use it. In most sports, you risk injury to your eyes from balls, equipment, or other players’ body parts hitting the face. Here’s a rundown of the right gear for the right sport:

    • Baseball: A sturdy plastic or polycarbonate face guard, along with goggles or eye guards.
    • Basketball: Goggles
    • Soccer: Eye guards
    • Football:Eye guards and a full face guard
    • Hockey: A mask made of polycarbonate material or wire
    • Tennis or racquetball: Goggles

    The right materials are just as crucial as the right gear. According to experts, the best lenses for eye protection are made of ultra-strong polycarbonate. You can find protective eyewear at some sporting goods stores, or get it through your eye care provider. Make sure to choose eyewear that meets the standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials.

    If you are looking for an eye care provider, the Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago can help. Since 1968, the Gerstein Eye Institute has been providing exceptional ophthalmologic care to patients in the Chicago area. With decades of experience in ophthalmology, our certified professional staff members work hard to provide the kind of personalized care that keeps patients coming back year after year, eventually entrusting the eye health of their children and grandchildren to us as well. To schedule an appointment, call us at 773.596.9545 or contact us through our website.

  • How to Get Relief from Eye Allergies

    If you’re allergic to pollen, dust, mold or pet dander, you may struggle with watery, swollen, itchy eyes. Thankfully, at-home and prescription remedies are available. Here are some different approaches you can take to get relief from eye allergies.

    At-Home Remedies for Preventing and Relieving Mild Eye Allergies

    For many people, it’s possible to avoid allergy triggers and relieve symptoms with DIY methods. Here’s what to try first.

    • Keep the windows shut, especially in the morning and evening when pollen counts tend to be at their highest.
    • Cover pillows with hypoallergenic pillowcases to reduce your exposure to dust mites, and wash your bedding weekly in hot water.
    • Keep your pet out of the bedroom to reduce your exposure to pet dander while you sleep.
    • Dust and mop often to remove pet hair and dust from hard surfaces.
    • Wear wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes from pollen when mowing the lawn or engaging in other outdoor activities.
    • Remove your contact lenses, which can attract airborne allergens. Consider wearing eyeglasses throughout allergy season.
    • Gently clean your eyelids before bed to remove pollen and other allergens that could irritate your eyes while you sleep.
    • Place a cool washcloth on your eyes to relieve swelling and itching.
    • Rinse your eyes with saline solution or artificial tears to help flush out allergens.
    • Apply allergy eye drops to combat your symptoms. Wait at least 15 minutes before putting in contact lenses.
    • Take oral antihistamines or other over-the-counter allergy medications.

    Prescription Remedies for Moderate to Severe Eye Allergies

    When DIY methods aren’t enough to combat your persistent symptoms, ask your eye doctor what other options are available. Here are some prescription eye drops and oral medications you may want to try.

    • Antihistamines reduce eye allergy symptoms by blocking histamine cells that generate an allergic response.
    • Decongestants help you breathe easier by shrinking swollen nasal passages. They also relieve redness by reducing the size of blood vessels in the whites of your eyes.
    • Mast cell stabilizers prevent mast cells from releasing histamines. Because it takes weeks for mast cells to reach their full potential, you should take this medicine as a preventatives measure rather than a treatment for existing symptoms.
    • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) eye drops decrease swelling caused by seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, also known as hay fever.
    • Corticosteroid eye drops relieve acute eye allergy symptoms. They are designed for short-term use only because of the complications that can arise with prolonged use.
    • Immunotherapy is a treatment for people with severe allergies. You achieve long-term relief after a few months of injections that help you build up immunity to certain

    Eye allergies aren’t the other thing that can affect your eye health. Keep your vision clear with regular visits to Gerstein Eye Institute. To schedule an eye exam in Chicago, IL, please contact us at 773.596.9545 today. We have been offering preventative eye care since 1968.