William S Goldstein, MD Blog

My eyes ITCH! Itchy eyes and allergies.

June 23, 2011 — by William Goldstein
Tags: Itchy Eyes Allergy Eyes Allergies Allergic Conjunctivitis

NBC's 'Nightly News' recently teased one of their stories with the statement that this year may be our worst year for allergies EVER. The story went on to explain that high levels of rain lead to more plant growth, and thus more pollen and other allergens in the air.
My staff and I can certainly lend some credence to the statements made on that TV show! We are seeing a very high frequency of allergic conjunctivitis or 'allergy eyes' in our office this spring.
Allergies cause a pretty classic set of symptoms, of which itching is the most common. Redness of the white of the eye, and eyelids is also pretty typical, along with a white discharge and some tearing. Both eyes are usually equally involved, and there may also be light sensitivity in some patients.
Treatment consists of cool compresses to ease the itching and artificial tears to rinse out the mucous and the pollens and other allergens that may be the cause of the problem. Prescription eyedrops are more effective th

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Blepharitis: The most common diagnosis for itchy eyes

June 3, 2011 — by William Goldstein
Tags: Allergy Eyes Allergies Itching Blepharitis Allergic Conjunctivitis

In an eye doctor's office, not a day goes by without a patient complaining of itchy eyes. This is because itching is the most common way in which the eye indicates inflammation, regardless of the cause. Allergic conjunctivitis, blepharitis, and contact lens-related inflammation can all cause itching.
The most common cause of itching is blepharitis, which is inflammation of the eyelids and eyelashes. Patients will often indicate that the eyelids are also slightly swollen and red. They will also have crusting or mattering at the base of the eyelashes. Some patients call this 'crystalized eyelids', and they will often need a warm washrag to clean their eyelids when they wake up in the morning.
Blepharitis may be linked to allergies, normal bacteria that we all have on our eyelids, skin conditions such as excema or rosacea, or may not have an obvious cause.
The first-line therapy for blepharitis is to cleanse the eyelids daily with a dilute solution of baby shampoo. Commerci

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