Eye Health: Seasonal Allergies & Itchy Eyes

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, spring time in Edmonton may not be your favorite time of year. Itchy, watery, blood shot eyes and that stringy mucous discharge can make spring time down right miserable. 

If you're like most Edmontonians, you've probably tried every over the counter eye drop in search of relief. In some instances they may do the trick, but make sure to read the label and follow the recommended dosage and frequency. If you're not experiencing relief from these commonly available products, it may be time to see an optometrist. An optometrist can prescribe varies prescription eye drops that can help to reduce or eliminate your ocular allergy symptoms. 

Note: An ocular allergy visits to your optometrist is covered under Alberta Health Care.  


Book your next eye exam in Edmonton with a 
Doctor of Optometry at Stonewire in Kingsway Mall.

Contact Lens Irritation & Smoke


With campfire season upon us, it’s time to be reminded about things that can lead to ocular irritation. Campfire smoke and cigarette smoke can contaminate your contact lenses and lead to ocular surface irritation and dryness.

If your eyes become sore and irritated, remove your contact lenses immediately. Use an artificial lubricating drop such as Systane Ultra to flush the eye out and rehydrate the ocular surface. Discard the contaminated contact lens or thoroughly rinse and clean the lens before reusing it. Never put a contact lens into a red irritated looking eyeball, as this can result in a serious eye infection. If the redness does not disappear or your vision seems blurry, seek the guidance of an optometrist.

FYI: Visits to your optometrists for eye infections are now covered under Alberta Health Care. A valid Alberta Health Care card is required.

Itchy Eyes?

Do you suffer from seasonal allergies? Do you fear going outside in the summer because of ocular irritation, nasal congestion and sneezing? Red, burning, watery, itchy eyes are just some of the typical ocular symptoms experienced by allergy sufferers in our clinic. Patients with allergies can also experience contact lens intolerance, blurred vision and pain. Not a great combination when all you want to do is get outside and play.

Trying to treat and manage ocular allergies can be a difficult chronic battle. If you have mild allergy signs and symptoms, consider trying some of these non-pharmaceutical treatment options for seasonal allergies first.

  • Shower and wash your hair every night before going to bed and after being outside. Allergens can stick to your hair and eyelashes further increasing ocular symptoms.
  • Make sure you thoroughly remove your makeup at night and regular change your mascara brushes.
  • Change your pillowcases, bed linens and bath towels regularly.
  • Consider switching into a 1-day disposable contact lens. Inserting a fresh, clean contact lens into your eye each day guarantees that you will not be inserting any old allergens back into your eyes.
  • Try to reduce your contact lens wearing time as much as possible. Only insert your contact lenses prior to leaving the house, and remove them when you get home.
  • Use contact lens approved lubricating eye drops to help flush your eyes free from allergens throughout the day. This same rule also applies to non-contact lens wearers.
  • Consider removing the carpets from your bedroom and house, and switching to a hard surface flooring option such as tile or hardwood. If this is not an option, have your carpets professionally cleaned.
  • Consider adding a humidifier to your furnace to help reduce the amount of dust and allergens in the air. A portable option can also work for smaller areas or in your office at work.
  • Change your furnace filters regularly, and have your furnace cleaned annually. Also consider adding an air purifier to help clean the air.
  • If you have a pet, keep them out of your bedroom and limit the areas of the house their allowed to go.

If you still find that your seasonal allergy symptoms are unmanageable, please stop by our eye clinic for a complete eye health examination by one of our optometrists. Our eye doctors may be able to prescribe some prescription and non-prescription eye drops that can provide added relief. They can also confirm that what you have is in fact ocular allergies and not another underlying problem instead.