Healthy Living made simple.

Relief for dry eyes

Your optometrist’s solutions for allergy season

By Dr. L. Russell Margitza
Independent Doctor of Optometry
Sam’s Club #6382 Las Vegas, Nev.

Why did you begin working with Sam’s Club?

The main reason I decided to lease space from Sam’s Club was the tremendous exposure and walk-by traffic. I love working with the families and small business owners who make up Sam’s Club Members.

It’s allergy season. What contact lens options can you offer Members who complain of dry eyes?

Dry-eye discomfort, with or without contact lenses, is one of the most common complaints I encounter. Unfortunately, there is no magic solution. In general, choosing the right contact lens begins with a precise prescription to achieve the best possible vision.

The next step is lens choice. Most manufacturers offer silicone hydrogel lenses, which allow more oxygen to reach the eye. This is usually my first choice in addressing dry eye complaints, and in a great many cases this suffices.

For patients who experience no improvement, I recommend a dry-eye treatment regimen. There are a slew of eye drops available over the counter, but even the best drops can lose their effectiveness over time or can have counter-productive results, especially when used frequently. Therefore, many patients require treatment with more than just eye drops. Treatment options include the prescription drug Restasis®, vitamins and punctal occlusion (in which the tear drainage channel at the inside corner of the eyelid is blocked to slow tear drainage from the eyes). I have had success with all of these options.

What can people who suffer from itchy, watery eyes do to reduce symptoms and be more comfortable?

For allergy symptoms, there are several prescription medications available. These products combine antihistamines with mast cell stabilization, which acts to prevent histamine-related allergic reactions, and can be used year-round or seasonally.

What advice would you give to Members who want to find the perfect contact lens prescription out of all the choices?

There is no magic formula to choosing the right contact lens, but the first step is always having a thorough eye examination.

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