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    Experts offer top allergy tips

     

    Len Koh, OD, PhD

    Spokane, WA

    1. Avoid allergens.

    • Pollen: Pay attention to pollen counts; they are highest in mid-morning and early evening. Glasses or sunglasses can reduce pollen exposure to the eyes. Close windows to minimize pollen getting in.

    • Mold: Keep humidity low (30 to 50 percent) to prevent mold growth with dehumidifier use as needed. Clean high-humidity areas, basements, bathrooms, and kitchens regularly.

    • Dust: Use allergen-reducing covers for bedding. Wash bedding frequently in hot water temperatures >130° F to kill dust mites. Use damp mop or rag instead of dry dust mop or broom to trap allergens.

    • Pets: Keep them outdoors as much as possible, and not in the bedroom. Use hardwood or tile flooring in the home. Wash hands and clothing often.

    2. Suggest patients incorporate eye washes, such as a cool water wash with or without a washcloth or a cold compress with ice cube in plastic bag.

    3. Treatment.

    • Recommend artificial tears as needed if Step 2 does not offer relief.

    • Suggest over-the-counter Zaditor (ketotifen fumarate, Alcon) bid if wash and artificial tears do not offer relief.

    • Prescribe Pataday (olopatadine hydrochloride 0.2%, Novartis), Pazeo (olopatadine hydrochloride 0.7%, Novartis),, Lastacaft (alcaftadine, Allergan) qd.

    • Prescribe Lotemax (loteprednol etabonate 0.5%, Bausch + Lomb) or Pred Forte (prednisolone acetate, Allergan) for vernal or atopic allergic conjunctivitis

    Up next: Michael Raizman, MD

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