Eye Allergies

With the beautiful blooms of spring comes the dreaded allergy season. Part of allergy season is itchy, watery eyes. How can you tell what is simply an eye allergy or something that needs medical care?

Eye allergy symptoms include:

  • Itchy eyes (you will notice your child frequently rubbing their eyes)
  • Increase in tearing
  • Red or pink eyes
  • Mild swelling of the eyelids
  • No sticky, mucus discharge
  • No pain or fever
  • Other allergy or hay fever symptoms may accompany the eye allergies (sneezing, running/itching nose)

If your child has these symptoms you can wash the allergens off the face by using a wet washcloth to clean the eyelids. You can also use an antihistamine such as benadryl.

If your child wears contacts, you may want to switch them to glasses temporarily to allow the eyes to heal faster.

You should contact us during office hours if:

  • You think your child needs to be seen.
  • Blisters on eyes or inner lids
  • Eyelids are swollen shut
  • Discharge that is not cleared after taking allergy medications for 2 days
  • Discharge that is mucus or sticky


Penicillin Allergy

Question: If you were allergic to Penicillin as a child, can you outgrow it?

Answer: Yes, children usually do outgrow it. It’s important to note, however, that most children who are thought to have the allergy by their parents actually do not (when tested by an allergist). An even higher percentage – perhaps 80 to 90 percent – of adults who think they are allergic to Penicillin are incorrect. As a result, instead of tried and true Penicillin, they usually end up with a broad-spectrum antibiotic that’s not only more expensive but may have more side effects and be less effective. If you think you are allergic to Penicillin, you can be tested by an allergist to confirm it.

Excerpt from: University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter Special Spring/Summer Issues 2014.