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Ditch the Itch

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Do you ever have an itch you just can’t scratch. Isn’t that one of the most annoying feelings? Have you ever experienced that sensation in your eyes? Itchiness is a very common symptom of allergy. Whether that itchiness is on your skin, in your nose or on your eyes, there’s no denying that allergies are uncomfortable and distracting. But did you know there’s more you can do than just taking those over the counter anti-allergy medications to get your eyes feeling better? 

When you have an itch, we all know the first thing we want to do is scratch it. While this gives temporary and very short term relief, I’d definitely recommend keeping those hands away from the eyes. Rubbing your eyes does nothing to fix the reason why your eyes are itchy, and it can put your eye at risk of damage. If something is actually stuck in your eye, rubbing it can cause scratching of the cornea, which can cause pain and put your eye at risk of infection. If you believe something is in your eye, call your eye doctor and only use a gentle artificial tear to flush the eye until you are seen (but stay away from Clear Eyes and Visine).

Now that the hands are away from the eyes, let’s talk about what you can do to start feeling better. First thing would be to book an appointment with an optometrist. When we bring a patient in for an examination, our job is to get to the bottom of what is causing your symptoms. Common symptoms of eye allergies include:

  • itchiness
  • redness
  • eyelid swelling
  • tearing 

The trick though is knowing that these symptoms are the result of allergies and not from another condition such as dry eye or infection. That’s why it is important to let us have a look at your eyes so we can get you on the right path to your treatment. 

Once we are certain that allergies are causing your symptoms, there’s a number of treatments we can suggest including prescribed antihistamine eye drops. It’s our goal to get you as comfortable as possible so you can do what you want to do, even in the midst of allergy season. So instead of waiting for the temptation to scratch the itch, let us help you stop the itch before it starts. 

Dr. Tristan Faria 

Written by Dr. Tristan Faria

Dr. Tristan Faria graduated with honours from the University of Waterloo School of Optometry in 2018. Dr. Faria loved growing up in Kitchener and is very excited to have the chance to provide quality eye care to the people of Kitchener-Waterloo.

Dr. Faria’s past clinical experience involves a rotation at Omni Eye Services in Atlanta, Georgia, where he treated a wide variety of ocular diseases, attended weekly lectures held by ophthalmologists, and prepared patients for cataract surgery. He also provided full-scope patient care in Kitchener during his rotation at the Health Sciences Optometry Clinic.

In his free time, Dr. Faria enjoys hiking, biking, and drawing, as well as spending time with his family in Kitchener. He is excited to provide the most excellent eye care possible to patients of all ages.

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