The Optical Boutique Blog

News and information about eye care products, eye care services and eyewear from The Optical Boutique.

"As Eye SEE It" --- Fall Allergies

Written by Dr. Brandon Nelms on .

If you're a native of Memphis, you know that fall means allergies.  According to an article in USA Today, Memphis once again ranks in the top five worst cities for fall allergies.  This is mostly due to a high concentration of ragweed pollen in our air.  Along with sinus and nasal problems, our eyes can respond to these allergies.  Itching, redness and watering are some of the most common symptoms of ocular allergies.  Many patients believe that their allergies are just part of living in this area and that they should just "deal with it".  However, there are several treatment options available that can provide relief for ocular allergy sufferers.

Treatment for ocular allergies varies according to patient symptoms and severity of the allergic response.  In general, there are three main treatments for ocular allergies:

1)  Oral Antihistamines -  This group includes drugs like Benadryl, Allegra and Claritin.  These medications are especially useful for relieving nasal and sinus symptoms.  Yet, they are not always as effective against eye symptoms.

2)  Topical Antihistamines - This group has become my go-to treatment for ocular allergies.  It includes drugs like Pataday, Lastacaft and Bepreve.  Most of these medications offer itch relief within 5-10 minutes of instilling the drop.  In addition, if used regularly, they can prevent itching from occuring before it starts.

3)  Topical Steroids - Steroids are a class of anti-inflammatory medications.  They can relieve symptoms of inflammation due to allergies.  They are an excellent option for patients experiencing severe ocular allergies.

Refuse to believe that seasonal ocular allergies are just part of life as a Memphian.  Relief is available!  Make an appointment and we'll discuss the best way to relieve your allergy symptoms.

"As Eye See It" --- Back to School

Written by Dr. Brandon Nelms on .

It's that time of the year again.  Time to put away the swimsuits and dust off the school uniforms.  It's back to school!  This time of the year has become known for collecting all the tools that our students may need for the upcoming semester.  We purchase books, pencils, clothing and even computers.  But admist all the hustle and bustle, let's not neglect one of our most important  learning tools -- the eyes.

For most people, vision is our primary source of gathering information.  This especially holds true in the classroom.  Vision in the classroom is more than just seeing clearly.  Students need optimal eye focusing and eye teaming skills in order to perform optimally.  This quote by The Vision Council says it all,

"It may be common sense that poor vision interferes with a child's ability to learn. But what is lesser known is that vision problems are the fourth most prevalent class of disability in the United States and one of the most prevalent conditions in childhood. This is an extremely important statistic considering that 80 percent of what children learn comes through their visual processing of information and that many children – nearly two in three according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – enter school without ever having had a vision screening."

Like most parents, I want to equip my children with every tool for success.  Vision is a tool that needs to be properly and regularly cared for.  So, as the school buses begin to run, don't forget learning begins with the eyes.