Do you have red eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes? If yes, it could be due to seasonal eye allergies. For many, March begins eye allergy time, which means uncomfortable symptoms such as red eyes, itchy eyes, stinging, burning and watery eyes. Springtime eye allergies are largely due to the release of tree and flower pollen into the air and can greatly inhibit everyday functioning for those that suffer from them.
How can you guard your eyes during allergy season? If at all feasible, try to limit contact with pollen which means staying indoors, particularly when the pollen count is high. Keeping windows closed, cooling off with air conditioners and wearing full-coverage shades when going outside can also help to protect your eyes from irritants in the atmosphere. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter is also known cleanse allergens from the air inside your home or office.
Nevertheless, for those of us that must go outside, certain medications can alleviate symptoms such as red eyes, watery eyes or itchy eyes. Often times a simple over-the-counter lubricating eye drop will moisturize and relieve itchy eyes or red eyes and remove allergens. Medications containing antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers will reduce redness and swelling of the eyes and treat non-eye related symptoms such as stuffed or runny nose and sneezing. Eye drops are sometimes recommended because they can work more quickly and effectively than oral products to treat eye problems.
Contact lens wearers sometimes experience greater discomfort from eye allergy season due to the fact that irritants tend to accumulate on the outer surface of the lens, bringing about inflammation. This is compounded when oral antihistamines are taken which have a drying effect on the eyes. Individuals who wear contacts should take measures to keep their eyes lubricated and switch contacts as directed. Some eye care professionals prefer the use of daily disposable contacts, because changing your contact lenses each day reduces the opportunity for allergens to accumulate.
Most importantly, don’t rub red, itchy eyes. Doing so can just increase the inflammation. Due to the fact that often products that work to alleviate symptoms do need a prescription, if over-the-counter medications are not working for you, book a visit with your optometrist.