Spring is right around the corner, as the winter begins to wind down and the fresh, warmer air begins to rear its head. Unfortunately for many, it's often hard to enjoy nature's blooming beauty as the warmer weather also brings about the onset of itchy, watery eyes that come with spring eye allergies.
Seasonal eye allergies are the eyes' reaction to allergens such as pollen, mold, dust mites and pet dander that enter your eyes and cause inflammation of the tissue that lines the inner eyelid. In addition to causing significant discomfort, eye allergies can have an effect on many areas of daily life, from work to driving, to watching television.
Although the majority of individuals suffering from seasonal eye allergies use antihistamines to treat and alleviate itchy, watery eyes, it's best to speak to your optometrist about the most effective allergy relief. In most cases, allergies can be treated with prescription medications or over the counter eye drops. Cool compresses can alleviate itchiness and swelling - a towel and some cold water may be all you need to inhibit the allergic cascade reaction and curb the urge to rub your eyes.
In addition, here are a few tips to help you minimize the effect of spring allergens on your eyes.
- Don't rub your eyes as this actually makes the allergic reaction you are experiencing worse.
- Be sure to wash your hands often with soap and water and wash bed linens and pillowcases in hot water to minimize allergens.
- Avoid walking, exercise and outdoor activities in the early morning when pollen counts are high.
- Check your weather forecast for the daily pollen count and wait till midday if possible to go out.
- When maintaining your garden, it's preferable to have someone else mow your grass and limit your exposure to wooded areas.
- Keep windows closed and run your air conditioner, ensuring that it is properly filtered and clean. Alternatively, use a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. These filter systems are very effective at removing allergens from the air in your room or house.
- If you wear contact lenses, try to reduce your wearing time or talk to your optometrist about changing your cleaning method or using single-use contact lenses during allergy season.
Eye allergies can affect anyone, but don't let them prevent you from enjoying the gorgeous spring outdoors! Taking the proper preventative measures and finding the right treatment can make a huge difference in your comfort level and your ability to enjoy the nicer weather.