Thursday, April 23, 2009

Tips for ithcy eyes

California's San Fernando Valley Sun (4/23) reports that, "according to the California Optometric Association (COA), 20 percent of adults and children suffer from allergies." Many "who endure red, itchy, watery eyes usually try over-the-counter drops that promise immediate relief," but "find short-lived or little-to-no relief," and so "continue to rub their eyes throughout the day." A number of "COA members report seeing an increase in patient complaints during April and May, and offer tips on relief, as well as a warning that symptoms may indicate a more serious condition." COA president Hilary Hawthorne, OD, said that "increased amounts of swelling, redness, and pain should lead to a visit to the optometrist." That's because "self-diagnosis and treatment can potentially make the condition worse, because allergies and bacterial or viral infections can exhibit the same symptoms." Meanwhile, "ways to temporarily relieve discomfort until you see your eye doctor" include cold compresses, chilled sterile saline solution rinses, and "preservative-free over-the-counter eye drops," but not the kind that "get the red out." (courtesy AOA)

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