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9 Tips for Coping With Eye Allergy Season

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Spring is on the way. Soon the sun will be shining, the flowers blooming and allergy season will be upon us. If you have allergies, your eyes are often affected by the high pollen count along with other allergens floating in the fresh spring air. Tree pollens in April and May, grass pollens in June and July and mold spores and weed pollens in July and August add up to five months of eye-irritating allergens, leading to red, itchy, watery eyes, headache and sometimes fatigue.

Here are some practical tips on how to keep your eyes happy as the seasons change.

These are only a few steps you can take to make your eyes more comfortable. Remember to seek medical help from your eye care professional if symptoms persist or worsen.  Sometimes allergy medication or an antihistamine may be necessary for relief.

  1. Avoid rubbing your eyes as this intensifies the symptoms.
  2. One of the prime seasonal allergens that most disturbs eyes is pollen. Stay indoors when pollen counts are high, especially in the mid-morning and early evening.
  3. Wear sunglasses outside to protect your eyes, not only from UV rays, but also from allergens floating in the air.
  4. Check and clean your air conditioning filters.
  5. Use a humidifier or set out bowls of fresh water inside when using your air conditioning to help humidify the air and ensure that your eyes don’t dry out.
  6. Take a shower or bath to help maintain skin and eye moisture and improve your resistance to allergens.
  7. Allergy proof your home:
    • use dust-mite-proof covers on bedding and pillows
    • clean surfaces with a damp implement rather than dusting or dry sweeping
    • remove/ kill any mold in your home
    • keep pets outdoors if you have pet allergies.
  8. Remove contact lenses as soon as any symptoms appear.
  9. Use artificial tears to keep eyes moist.

Here's a list of the most challenging places to live with eye allergies in the US: http://www.aafa.org/pdfs/FINAL_public_LIST_Spring_2014.pdf

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Dear Patients,

As of Tuesday evening, March 17th, the CDC has recommended that all routine eye care be deferred until further notice, in order to slow the transmission of COVID-19 through our community.

Please be assured that we are still available to triage all urgent and emergent calls during this challenging time.

We are officially closing our offices effective at 3:00pm today, March 20 th and tentatively plan to reopen on April 1 st . We are rescheduling all routine visits and are available by phone to triage ocular emergencies.

Our phone lines will be open:

Monday the 23 rd and 30 th : 10:00am to 5:00pm

Tuesday-Friday (24 th -27 th and the 31 st ): 9:00am to 3:00pm

What does this mean?

1) If you are scheduled for an annual eye examination we will tentatively reschedule you starting April 1 st

2) If you are running out of a medication please contact us and we can transmit a refill electronically to your pharmacy.

3) If you have an issue which cannot wait for an office visit, contact us and we will schedule a Telephone appointment with one of our doctors. Medicare has temporarily relaxed its telehealth rules to allow this type of communication during the pandemic crisis. Other insurers may follow suit and allow for reimbursement of virtual care costs. The consultation must be initiated at your request.

4) If you have an ocular emergency we are, as always, available to help you at any time. Call 1-850-455-0120 andwait for instructions at the end of the message.

Dr. Leonard or Dr. Charbonneau will discuss your condition by phone and make the best treatment decision for you on a one on one basis.

5) Please remember that 80% of COVID-19 cases are mild and resolve within a week. However, if you feel your symptoms are worsening, call ahead before visiting your doctor’s office or emergency department and tell them you have or may have COVID-19. This will help the office protect themselves and other patients.

The CDC has many wonderful resources. Arming yourself and your family with clear information will help you avoid undue stress.

https://bit.ly/2WxWYIe and https://bit.ly/33FBlXZ

Together we will weather this storm.

With sincerest wishes for your continued good health we remain at your service,

Dr. Clare L Leonard

Dr. Mary Charbonneau