Vision Source Help You Figure Out the Differences in Allergy Eyes, Dry Eyes and the Common Cold

Ragweed and redroot account for 75 percent to 90 percent of the pollen spores released in the air from August to October. Allergy, dry eyes and common cold symptoms are surprisingly similar.
By: Sara Talesfore
 
 
Dr. Victoria Mar
Dr. Victoria Mar
Sept. 14, 2011 - PRLog -- LAS VEGAS — Is it allergies, a common cold or dry eyes? When the winds of fall kick up in Las Vegas, it may be your allergies talking instead of a common cold that starts with coughing and sneezing. Las Vegas is the 55th worst city for fall allergies.  Ragweed and redroot account for 75 percent to 90 percent of the pollen spores released in the air from August to October.  Allergy, dry eyes and common cold symptoms are surprisingly similar.

“One of the biggest problems with fall allergies is that typical allergy symptoms, such as red watery eyes, sneezing and a runny nose, are often confused with having a cold,” explains Dr. Victoria Mar, an optometrist from Vision Source Rhodes Ranch. “The sooner you identify an allergy, the faster we can treat it so you can be comfortable again.  There are some very effective prescription eye drops that can help with ocular allergy symptoms. Some of these medications are only dosed once daily and are very easy to use.”

Dry eyes syndrome, on the other hand, occurs when the eye is not properly lubricated. In order to function properly, eyes need tears to refresh and protect the eye from foreign objects. When this doesn’t happen, tiny wounds or “micro-traumas” develop on the cornea, the transparent part of the eye that covers the iris and pupil, that leads to severe discomfort and if left untreated can create infections, inflame the eye, leave scars on the cornea and can even create ulcers. Common symptoms associated with dry eyes are redness, itching, burning and, despite the name “dry eyes,” excessive tearing.

Studies show an estimated 50 million Americans are allergic to airborne triggers that cause symptoms of allergies.  In Las Vegas, weed pollen tends to concentrate because of the city’s location in a valley where hot, dry and windy weather presents optimum conditions for pollen to spread.

According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, proper prevention and treatment from an optometrist can help sufferers avoid the common symptoms of hay fever, also known as fall allergies.

Vision Source optometrists urge locals to take control and follow these two steps to minimize the symptoms and enjoy the fall season:

Avoid allergens that trigger symptoms
- Keep windows closed prevent pollen from drifting into your home.
- Minimize early morning activity when pollen is usually emitted, between 5 a.m. and 10 a.m.
- Stay indoors when the pollen count is reported to be high and on windy days when pollen may be present in higher amounts in the air.

Talk to optometrist about allergy treatment
- Over-the-counter antihistamines can offer relief for some allergy symptoms; they often fail to treat the symptoms that affect the eyes. In many cases, they even make symptoms worse by drying out the eyes.
- Allergens can form film deposits that can become trapped on contact lenses. Lens wearers who experience severe allergy eyes should consider wearing glasses on days when the pollen counts are high or if allergy symptoms persist.
- Contact lenses should also be avoided while allergy symptoms are present because symptoms can cause discomfort with contact lenses.
- If you notice your eyes becoming increasingly itchy, red or watery, be sure schedule a comprehensive eye exam with your optometrist.

Red, irritated, tired or painful eyes may also be a symptom of dry eye, a malady that effects 10 percent to 20 percent of the population. Nearly six million women and three million men  in the United States have moderate or severe symptoms of the condition  and Las Vegas is the No. 1 U.S. city for dry eye, according to the National Women’s Health Resource Center. The next four cities named are all in Texas. It is important that patients see an eye care professional to determine whether or not they have allergy eyes or dry eye and to determine the appropriate therapy for the condition.

Vision Source Rhodes Ranch is located at 7415 S. Durango Drive, 702-736-8883

About Vision Source
Vision Source Las Vegas is a network of optometrists that provides patients with personal care and service while offering advanced medical technology and innovative products to promote eye health. Vision Source doctors are committed to continuing education, and offering patients the most innovative procedures to detect and correct eye conditions. As a group, Vision Source is dedicated to educating the community through special events and programs about eye health issues and the importance of annual eye exams. Founded in 1991, the Vision Source network includes 2,000 offices and more than 4,000 doctors in all 50 states and in Canada. Vision Source Las Vegas started in 2003, and now includes 18 optometrists at 13 locations in the Las Vegas area. For more information, call 1-800-EYES-911 or visit www.visionsourcevegas.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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Vision Source Las Vegas is a network of board-certified optometrists that provides patients with personal care and service while offering advanced medical technology and innovative products to promote eye health. http://www.visionsourcevegas.com.
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