A healthy living blog from Marshfield Clinic Health System

Relief, at last, for itchy eyes

Mom with daughters smelling flowers at farmers market

Allergies causing itchy eyes can be relieved with a new eye drop, Pazeo.

There’s good news if you have allergies that make your eyes itch.

Optometrists can now treat your allergies with a new eye drop that only needs to be administered once a day. In addition, if you wear contact lenses you can ease symptoms by using the newest one-day contacts.

“Pazeo is the newest eye drop on the market, an antihistamine used to treat itching and redness due to allergies,” said Dr. Brad Christopherson, a Marshfield Clinic optometrist. “Unlike other drops of its type, it lasts a full 24 hours, which my patients really appreciate.”

Allergies can dry out eyes

Antihistamines taken to fight off allergy symptoms, which often resemble a common cold, can dry out the eyes.

“So allergies affect you even more because eyes don’t have tears to cleanse them. Dry eyes and allergies are definitely linked,” he said.

Pazeo is a combination of two drugs that relieve itching without causing dry eyes. However, because it is so new, it may not be covered by all insurance plans. Other established combination drugs are Alaway and Zaditor.

Contacts and allergies

Contact lens wearers have special problems with allergies.

“Contacts are like sponges,” Christopherson said. “If there’s anything in the air, it can soak into those lenses causing even worse allergies, especially if people are wearing them for two weeks or a month. It just gets worse and worse.”

Single-day contact lenses work much better, but at a cost of about $1.50 or $2 per pair. He advises contact lens wearers to apply the eye drops about 10 minutes before placing their contacts.

If these eye drop and contact lens suggestions aren’t working and your symptoms continue, your optometrist can prescribe something stronger like steroids, but these can have undesirable side effects.

“The most important thing to remember is if your eyes itch, don’t just live with it,” Christopherson said. “We can get the problem under control.”

Care My Way® also may be able to help with a sudden case of seasonal allergies. Download the app to get started.

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