Allergies + Sinusitis
Allergies cause itchy, watery eyes and sinusitis. This inflammation of the white covering of the eye imitates viral pink eye; some patients may think they have an eye infection and use antibiotic eyedrops. These eyedrops are ineffective, and some will irritate the eye, adding to the discomfort. As well, sinusitis often leads to a feeling of pain or pressure usually behind one eye and can also disrupt near focus and natural tear production. The increased pollen in the air this year seems to be a contributing factor to an increase in styes seen by Dr. Workman. These are best treated with warm compresses; topical antibiotic is ineffective, but oral antibiotics can be prescribed by Dr. D. for the more stubborn styes.
Allergic conjunctivitis is especially uncomfortable for contact lens wearers. Dr. Workman may recommend changing contact lens solutions, a temporary break from contact lens wear, or switch to daily disposables ‑ trial lenses are available at NDEC.
For symptomatic relief patients can use over‑the‑counter (OTC) antihistamine pills although these can cause side effects of drowsiness; allergy eyedrops avoid this side effect. For chronic ocular allergy, prescription (Rx) eyedrops such as Pataday are safer and more effective without the side effects of dry eye, or drowsiness with allergy pills. They are also far more effective than OTC allergy eyedrops, and need to be used only once a day in the morning. Overall, allergy eyedrops are the most frequent drug Rx written by Dr. Workman.
For any red eye or allergy, Dr. Workman provides prompt ocular health assessment using a slit lamp (basically a large, table‑mounted microscope with a chin rest) with a yellow dye. This instrument is essential to properly diagnose any pink eye, but is not available in your walk-in clinic. It is crucial that more serious conditions, such as iritis are ruled out; accurate diagnosis leads to proper treatment and resolution. Like most local optometrists, in addition to testing for ocular diseases such as pink eye, dry eye and glaucoma, Dr. Workman is also certified to prescribe the medication to treat them, thus, providing continuity of care without the need to involve another eye doctor for a simple Rx.
Choose your eye doctor based on reputation and quality of care - ensure they are certified to prescribe medication for eye disease.