Allergies & Dry Eye Treatment

Atkinson Family Eye Care: John Atkinson, O.D., PLLC

Optometry located in Kannapolis, NC

If you have allergies or dry eyes, your eyes probably feel uncomfortable most of the time. Dr. Atkinson and the caring team at Atkinson Family Eye Care in Kannapolis, North Carolina, understand that having itchy, watery, or dry eyes can make daily life difficult, and they can help you find the relief you’ve been seeking. To learn more about treatments for allergies and dry eyes, call or email the office, or schedule an appointment online.

Allergies & Dry Eye Treatment Q & A

Atkinson Family Eye Care: John Atkinson, O.D., PLLC

What causes eye allergy symptoms?

People often think allergies mean sneezing and runny noses, but common allergies can also cause eye symptoms, including:

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Watering
  • Swelling
  • Light sensitivity
  • Sore, burning or painful eyes

Some common allergens that can affect your eyes are:

  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Pet dander
  • Makeup

What treatments can help for allergies?

There are some things you can do at home to reduce your exposure to allergens, like keeping windows closed during high pollen counts, minimizing dust in your home and using an allergy cover on your mattress and pillows to keep dust mites away from you while you sleep.

Over-the-counter and prescription medications can help with eye allergies. Dr. Atkinson can also give you a prescription eyewash and special drops that can reduce the inflammation that causes allergy symptoms in your eyes.

What causes dry eyes?

It’s incredibly frustrating when dry eyes prevent you from wearing your contacts and affect your quality of life. The first step to alleviating dry eyes is to find out what is causing them.

Some common reasons for dry eyes include:

  • The natural aging process
  • Medication side effects
  • Diseases that prevent tear production (Sjogren’s syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, and others)
  • Incomplete blinking or difficulty keeping eyes closed
  • You may need to ask your medical doctor to help you determine what is causing your dry eyes so you can choose a treatment option that will work for your condition.

What treatment options are available for dry eyes?

Once you know what is causing your dry eye condition, Dr. Atkinson will partner with your medical doctor to find a solution that provides you with as much relief as possible.

Treatment options include:

  • Artificial teardrops
  • Lubricating ointment
  • Steroid eye drops to reduce inflammation

The doctor may also recommend punctal plugs, which block tear drainage to preserve moisture.

How effective are punctal plugs for dry eyes?

Punctal occlusion, or punctal plugs, can be quite effective. Punctal plugs prevent tears from following their natural path of drainage from the eyes. Some plugs dissolve over time; others are more permanent. If Dr. Atkinson determines you are a good candidate for punctal plugs, he can insert them during a short office visit.

Atkinson Family Eye Care accepts Medicare, Medicaid, and most insurance plans. For more information, call or email the office, or make an appointment online.