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Dry Eye Q&A with Dr. Gerdes

1) Please describe the more common symptoms, as well as some of the less common and less known symptoms of Dry Eye.
  • Allergies 
  • Red, itchy or watrey eyes
  • Irritation.  
  • Post nasal drip  
  • Blurred vision caused by the above  
2) Is there anything unique about allergies that affect the eyes, or is this the same as general allergies?
When the eyes are irritated, it can cause many sysytemic problems as a cascade of symptoms begins to happen. Productivity, moood and energy all suffer.
3) What causes Eye Allergies?
There are many casuses, but the underlying common denominator is some irritant that causes a cascade of reactions, leading to what we commonly call an allergic reaction.
4) Is it true that there are certain times of the year that are worse, or is the whole year a problem?
Season allergies are worse in the appropriate season. However many airborn allergens are present year round and have no "season" associated with them
5) What type of treatment options are available for patients that come in to see their optometrist with eye allergy symptoms?
Treatment varies according to the allergy and the severity of the symptoms.  It may be as simple as cold compresses to various prescription eye drops or oral agents.
6) Are there treatments for eye allergies that offer permanent relief, or only temporary?
The best treatment would be offer permannent relief.
7) Is it possible to wear contact lenses without causing additional discomfort?
Most definately.  We need to evaluate the issue for the proper treatment, and precsribe the proper treatment AND the proper contact lens.  It is a multifacetted solution.
8) Can you provide general recommendations that may help people suffering from Eye Allergies?
The best recommendation is to have a through and complete eye examination.  make sure to tell the doctor any and all symptoms that you may have, including whenyou have them and how severe or minor they may be.