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Keeping an ‘Eye’ on Seasonal Allergies

For most Americans, the start of spring is welcomed by thoughts of warmer weather, beautiful flowers and picnics in the park. But, for the 50 million Americans who suffer from allergies, the early signs of spring more closely resemble sneezing, coughing and itchy, watery eyes.

According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), eye allergies, also called “allergic conjunctivitis,” are a reaction to indoor and outdoor allergens which include pollen, mold, dust mites and pet dander that can get in the eyes and cause inflammation of the tissue that lines the inner eyelid.
Additionally, as eye allergies can affect anyone, the spring can be particularly hard on contact lens wearers. Extended wear time and infrequent lens replacement are two of the main reasons contact lens wearers face more severe symptoms. Dana M. Nolan, O.D. and owner of Vue Optical Boutique in Jacksonville, recommends contact lens wearers consider the following to make the spring season more comfortable:

Reduce contact lens wearing time when possible.

Talk to your optometrist about changing your cleaning method or using daily disposable contact lenses.

Use eye drops as prescribed by a doctor of optometry.

When it comes to treating symptoms of allergies, a recent nationwide survey conducted by the AOA, found more than one-third (36 percent) of allergy suffers use antihistamines or other medications to treat their symptoms. “While antihistamines can help with typical symptoms like runny noses and sneezing, the medication can make ocular symptoms worse by reducing tear quality and quantity,” said Dr. Nolan.

“To effectively treat and relieve the symptoms caused by eye allergies, patients should see their optometrist,” she said. “In most cases, an optometrist can soothe allergy-related conjunctivitis with prescription or over-the-counter eye drops depending on the patient and his or her medical history.”
According to Dr. Nolan, while eye allergies can be a nuisance and affect job performance, leisure and sporting activities, symptoms of allergies can be curtailed and prevented by following these recommendations:

Don’t touch or rub your eyes.

Wash hands often with soap and water.

Wash bed linens and pillowcases in hot water and detergent to reduce allergens.
Avoid sharing, and in some cases, wearing eye makeup.

Never share contact lenses or contact lens cases with someone else.

Dr. Nolan also recommends adults age 60 and under have a comprehensive eye exam every two years. Adults over age 60 should have eye exams annually. Based on an individual’s eye health and the severity of their eye allergies, the eye doctor may recommend more frequent visits. For additional information on how best to cope with seasonal eye allergies, contact Dr. Nolan at 904.388.7767. Visit the website at www.ilovevue.com.

Vue Optical Boutique is an eye care practice and high-end eyewear retail store at 3588 St. Johns Ave. in the historic Shoppes of Avondale in Jacksonville, Fl. The company is one of few woman owned and operated eyewear businesses in the region. Vue features an extensive line of exclusive eyewear available in the area including Chrome Hearts, Oliver Peoples, Barton Perreira, Mykita, J.F. Rey, Hoffman Horn, and Gold & Wood, among others.

For more than 12 years, Dr. Nolan has practiced optometry and offers the most advanced eye exam systems and techniques while providing prescriptions for glasses and contact lenses, and the diagnosis and treatment of eye injury, infection and eye diseases. The practice features northeast Florida -based Marco vision diagnostics and software technologies for advanced and automated ophthalmic quality eye exams, eye disease testing and diagnosis, and eye wear fittings. Vue customers experience a relaxed and sophisticated experience, unlike an ordinary trip to the eye doctor.

Dr. Dana Nolan, O.D. is a Jacksonville, FL native and attended local schools. Dr. Nolan graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a minor in art from the University of South Florida in Tampa, Fl. Dr. Nolan and her family resides in Jacksonville.

Store hours are Monday through Friday from 10 am until 5 pm and Saturday from 11 am until 4 pm. For more information, contact Dr. Nolan at 904.388.7767. Visit the website at www.ilovevue.com.

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