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Springtime Allergies Survival Guide

Simple strategies from one of the nations top eye doctors

WHAT: It was a tough winter for people all across the U.S. this year, so the prospect of sunshine and warm weather is truly a boost to flagging spirits. But many of us are less than thrilled by all the California poppies and new buds on the trees. As lovely as they are, springtime blooms also mean allergy-inducing pollen.

“It’s estimated that one in five Americans suffer from eye allergies. That can mean itchy, swollen, watery, and red eyes,” explains Sandy Feldman MD, Medical Director of Clearview Eye & Laser Medical Center in San Diego and one of the nation’s top ophthalmologists. “It’s enough to make spring your least favorite season.”

WHY: When it comes to eye allergies, the most common culprit is pollen -- microscopic particles released into the air by trees, grass, and weeds. When exposed to these allergens, cells in the eyes release histamines and other chemicals in an effort to protect the eyes. This causes blood vessels to swell so the eyes become itchy, red and watery.

The best treatment for eye allergies is to minimize exposure to allergens. Dr. Feldman offers some handy tips:

  • Don’t wear contact lenses if you have bad allergies.
  • Wear sunglasses or eyeglasses to keep pollen out of your eyes
  • Use a cold ice pack to your eyelids to reduce itching
  • Use artificial tears which have been refrigerated to relieve the irritation
  • Try drugstore topical antihistamine eyedrops for short-term relief
  • Wash your hands often and avoid touching your eyes
  • Avoid the allergen, if possible...
  • And seek the care of an eye doctor

“Eye allergies can make you miserable, but they usually don’t cause any harm,” says Dr. Feldman. “If allergies cause you severe irritation or pain, be sure to see your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam.”

WHO: Dr. Sandy Feldman, one of the nation’s top ophthalmologists and LASIK experts.

CONTACT: I can arrange an interview with Dr. Feldman to discuss spring allergies or any other eye-related topic. Contact Diana Soltesz at [email protected] or 818-618-5634.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS: Sandy T. Feldman MD is the Medical Director of Clearview Eye & Laser Medical Center and a world-renowned corneal expert who has successfully performed more than 20,000 refractive procedures. Clearview has been voted Best LASIK center by the San Diego Union Tribune (five times) and by CityBeat Magazine (three times). Dr. Feldman’s many awards include Top Doc San Diego; the Goldline Award, an honor granted to the top 10 laser eye care specialists in the U.S.; and the Silver Elite RealSelf Award. She has also been profiled in publications such as Forbes and Newsweek and makes frequent appearances as an expert commentator on TV talk shows and news programs. Dr. Feldman is a fellow of the prestigious American College of Ophthalmic Surgeons, as well as a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery. More details at clearvieweyes.com.

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