Doctors see increase in eye irritation, red tide concerns

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Several doctors in Southwest Florida say patients are coming to their offices with eye irritation that could be connected to red tide exposure.

“I had a pretty similar personal experience where my eyes, my dry eye problem got much worse. Burning lid redness, tearing,” said Doctor Jeffrey Robin.

Robbin says the recent influx of eye irritation problems is getting personal.

“I think it’s pretty challenging.”

His patients are experiencing something similar, that looks like an allergic reaction and can feel like worsening dry-eye symptoms.

For Kim Hick and her family friends who traveled down to Southwest Florida from Cleveland for a wedding, the symptoms had some running to the drugstore to grab eye drops.

“The first day we got there, she had to go find drops right away.”

Doctor Robin says over-the-counter eye drops can be a quick relief.

“We have patients chill their tear drops. They can put them in the fridge. Cold packs, gel packs they can put in the freezer can frequently provide some symptomatic relief. ”

Anything to keep the red tide out of sight.

Doctors say one of the best things you can do is to take eye drops before heading out to the beach.

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