Spring has sprung, but so have those familiar, telltale symptoms. Itchy, red and watery eyes; it can only mean one thing — just when you thought they’d never return, your eye allergies are back in full force.
It may be a beautiful time of year, but for many people, it’s also when those pesky seasonal allergies can be a real pain. Eye allergies, aka allergic conjunctivitis, are caused by a number of factors depending on the season and climate. For springtime, this usually means your eyes are reacting to pollen from trees, grass and flowers carried into the air by the wind, which can make them difficult to avoid.
If you’re someone who suffers from eye allergies in the springtime, here are five avenues you can take to combat them:
Keep Windows and Doors Closed
One of the better ways to reduce your exposure to allergens is to keep windows and doors closed, especially during the hours when pollen counts are highest (usually in the morning). If opening the windows is a must, consider using air conditioning or a HEPA filter to help keep allergens out of your home. Stay indoors on days when pollen counts are higher, and wash hair, clothes and your pets after spending time outside.
Sunglasses not only shield your peepers from the sun’s harmful UV rays; they can also help protect you from allergens by keeping them from blowing directly into your eyes. They can also help reduce the amount of pollen and other allergens that land on your eyes and eyelashes, potentially triggering allergy symptoms. You might also consider removing your contact lenses during allergy season and switching to prescription eyeglasses or sunglasses, since the surface of your contacts can attract airborne allergens.
Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes
When your eyes are itchy and irritated, it can be tempting to rub them, but this can actually exacerbate allergic conjunctivitis symptoms. Rubbing your eyes can cause allergens to penetrate deeper into the eye, and it can also cause your eyes to produce more histamine (the chemical that causes allergic reactions), making them itchier and making the problem worse. If the urge to rub is uncontrollable, use cold compresses over your eyes, and always wash your hands often in case they come near your eyes.
Use Over-the-Counter Eye Drops
There are a number of non-prescription eye drops that can help relieve the symptoms of eye allergies by reducing inflammation, relieving itching and reducing redness. Be sure to read the label carefully and follow the instructions for use. Unsure which one to pick up at the store? Bausch + Lomb, Systane, Similasan and ALCON are all good choices.
Consider Seeing an Allergist
If your eye allergies are severe or don’t respond to over-the-counter treatments, consider seeing an allergist. They can help identify the specific allergens that are causing your symptoms and develop a treatment plan that’s tailored to your needs. Treatment options may include prescription eye drops, immunotherapy (allergy shots), or oral medications.
Eliminate Eye Allergies at Complete Eye Care of Medina
Eye allergies can be a real problem during spring, but by taking a few simple steps, you can help reduce your symptoms and enjoy the beauty of the season. With a little bit of effort, you can make springtime a lot more comfortable for your eyes.
If your eyes are sensitive to seasonal allergies and your vision or quality of life are affected, schedule an appointment with us. We can get to the heart of the matter with a personal, consultative approach to your total eye health and determine the best course of actionable treatment to take to keep allergies at bay and your eyes healthy.
Contact us today to book your appointment.