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Spring Allergies and Eye Care in Canberra

Springtime in Canberra comes with seasonal worries, such as allergic eye conditions. This is due to the body’s immune response to increased pollen and dust. In some cases, these allergies can even play a role in other eye conditions such as conjunctivitis.

Allergic conjunctivitis is IgE mediated hypersensitivity reactions. The allergen causes cross-linkage of membrane-bound IgE that causes mast cells to degranulate. This causes a release and cascade of allergic and inflammatory mediators, such as histamine leading to various symptoms with itching as the primary one whereby the patient is constantly rubbing their eyes with temporary relief. The eyelids and conjunctiva become oedematous and diffusely hyperaemic. Patients may present with bilateral swollen watery eyes because of the systemic nature of the disease.

So, what are the best ways to help manage eye allergies during this season?

  • Avoid Allergens
  • Artificial tears to dilute allergens
  • Cool compresses / ice packs
  • Frequent clothes washing and bathing/showering before bedtime
  • Visit your optometrist who would confirm your diagnosis and prescribe some topical antihistamine or mast-cell stabilizers medications.
  • Your optometrist may refer you for allergy or dermatology consultation for those who are not adequately controlled with topical medications and oral antihistamines.

Contact us Junic Eyecare on 02 6152 8585 to see one of our optometrists with ophthalmic prescribing endorsement or visit of website for more info

Author: Juliet Menakaya, O.D MPH

CANBERRA OPTOMETRIST Juliet obtained her Doctor of Optometry degree from the University of Benin, Nigeria in 2006. She completed an internship programme before migrating to Australia, where she completed a master’s degree in public health at the University of Sydney in 2014. Following this, Juliet obtained a Master of Orthoptics from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) in 2017. Juliet has completed her competency in optometry examination with OCANZ (Optometry Council of Australia and New Zealand), and obtained her ophthalmic prescribing rights from ACO (Australian College Of Optometry Victoria). Juliet has worked in various positions, including retail Optometry, the Ophthalmology Department at Canberra Hospital, and more recently, at the John Curtin School of Medical Research (ANU). As a dedicated Canberra optometrist, Juliet is passionate about helping people with low vision, and binocular vision anomalies hence her interests in Low Vision Rehabilitation, Eccentric Viewing Training and Paediatric optometry.