|Eye - Allergy|
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|Does this describe your child's symptoms?|
|When to Call Your Doctor|
|Call Your Doctor Within 24 Hours (between 9 am and 4 pm) If|
|Call Your Doctor During Weekday Office Hours If|
|Parent Care at Home If|
|HOME CARE ADVICE FOR EYE ALLERGY|
- Wash Allergens Off the Face:
- Use a wet washcloth to clean off the eyelids and surrounding face.
- Rinse the eyes with a small amount of warm water (tears will do the rest).
- Then apply a cold wet washcloth to the itchy eye.
- Wash the hair every night because it collects lots of pollen.
- Oral Antihistamines:
- If the nose is also itchy and runny, your child probably has hay fever (i.e., allergic symptoms of the nose AND eyes).
- Give your child an oral antihistamine, which should relieve the nose and the eye symptoms (see Dosage table for chlorpheniramine products).
- Oral antihistamines usually control the eye symptoms and avoid the need for eyedrops.
- Continue oral antihistamines every day until pollen season is over (usually 2 months for each pollen).
- New Antihistamine Eyedrops (Ketotifen) for Pollen Allergies (OTC):
- Usually an oral antihistamine will adequately control the allergic symptoms of the eye.
- If the eyes remain itchy and poorly controlled, buy some OTC antihistamine eyedrops.
- Ketotifen eyedrops (OTC) are a safe and effective new product. (2007)
- Dosage: 1 drop every 12 hours
- Ask your pharmacist to recommend a brand (e.g. Zaditor or Alaway)
- For severe allergies, the continuous use of ketotifen eye drops on a daily basis during pollen season will give the best control.
- Older Antihistamine/Vasoconstrictor Eye Drops (OTC):
- Usually the eyes will feel much better after the allergic substance is washed out and cold compresses are applied.
- If not, this type of eyedrop can be used for intermittent eye allergy symptoms.
- Dosage: 1 drop every 8 hours as necessary.
- Contacts: Some children with contact lenses may need to switch to glasses temporarily (Reason: to permit faster healing).
- Expected Course: If the allergic substance can be identified and avoided (e.g., a cat), the symptoms will not recur. Most eye allergies continue through the pollen season (4 to 8 weeks).
- Call Your Doctor If:
- Itchy eyes aren't controlled in 2 days with continuous allergy treatment
- Your child becomes worse
And remember, contact your doctor if your child develops any of the "Call Your Doctor" symptoms.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.
Last Reviewed: 1/19/2009
Last Revised: 6/16/2008
Content Set: Pediatric HouseCalls Online
Copyright 1994-2009 Barton D. Schmitt, M.D.