Seasonal allergies: a review

selective focus photography of woman and toddler on flower bed. Unfortunately for some, flowers contribute to seasonal allergy symptoms
Photo by Tuấn Kiệt Jr. on Pexels.com

Everything has a season, incluing seasonal allergies.

In our area near Philadelphia, we associate spring with the Phillies opener and also with the onset of spring allergies.

Here is a nice summary of how to treat allergies, from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (note that one of your Two Peds was a contributor). And following are some of our prior posts that can help you treat your child’s seasonal allergies this spring:

The Best Allergy Medicine for Kids

The Best Allergy Medicine for Kids aged 2-5 years old

Allergy Eyes: when spring rubs you the wrong way

How to tell the difference between Covid (or any viral cold) and allergies

We hope this post answers all that you are itching to know about seasonal allergies.

Julie Kardos, MD and Naline Lai, MD

©2023 Two Peds in a Pod®

Itchy allergy eyes- what to do

allergy eyes

Keeping an eye on allergies

We see people posting photos of beautiful spring blossoms across social media, which also means it’s pollen season. Click here if your kids are rubbing their itchy allergy eyes!

Julie Kardos, MD and Naline Lai, MD

©2019 Two Peds in a Pod®


Allergy eyes: When spring rubs you the wrong way

allergy eyes

allergy eyes: note the dark circles, heavy lids and slight redness of the white of the eyes.

It seems like all of the patients we saw this past week had “allergy eyes.” Their eyes looked watery and red, some had crusty stuff in their eyelashes, their eyelids looked mildly swollen, and the kids spent at least half of the office visit rubbing  their eyes.

So what to do? Pollen directly irritates eyes, so start with washing the pollen off. One parent told me they applied cool compresses to their child’s eyes. This is not enough- get the pollen off. Plain tap water works as well as a saline rinse. Have your child take a shower. Filter the pollen out of your house by running the air conditioning and close the windows. Pollen counts tend to be higher in the morning, so plan outdoor activities for later in the day. Some people will leave shoes outside the house and wipe the paws of their dogs in order to keep the green stuff (pollen) from tracking into the house.

Oral medications do not help the eyes as much as topical eye drops. Over-the-counter antihistamine drops include ketotifen fumarate (eg. Zatidor and Alaway). Prescription drops such as olopatadine hydrochloride (brand names Pataday and Patanol) add a second ingredient called a mast cell stabilizer. Avoid use of a product which contains a vasoconstictor (look on the label or ask the pharmacist) for more than two to three days to avoid rebound redness. Contacts can be worn with some eye drops– first check the package insert. Place drops in a few minutes before putting in contacts and avoid wearing contacts when the eyes are red.

If your child’s eyes lids seem tender and red, especially if their eyes are not itchy, consider that they may not have “allergy” eyes. Perhaps they have an infection in the skin around the eye (periorbital cellulitis), or a stye. Infections in the skin around the eye are particularly worrisome because infection can spread back into the eye socket. Ask your child’s doctor if you are not sure.

Hopefully allergy season will blow through soon. After all, as a couple teens pointed out-prom is around the corner and allergies can make even the young look haggard. One teen male told his mom that he shaved one morning during allergy season because having a beard and blood shot eyes made him look THIRTY years old. Miserable allergies!

Naline Lai, MD with Julie Kardos, MD
rev 2019 Two Peds in a Pod®