While many associate seasonal allergies with the arrival of springtime, a large number of individuals endure symptoms during the autumn months as well. In addition to sneezing and congestion, ocular allergies can significantly impede one's ability to go about one's normal functions.
When suffering from allergies, the eyes can become itchy, swollen, and irritated and often burn or water. Often vision becomes blurry or eyes become sensitive to light. These symptoms can make it so uncomfortable for allergy sufferers that they interfere with work, school, sports and leisure activities.
Allergic reactions happen when an individual comes into contact with an allergen he or she has a sensitivity to causing the immune system to release histamines to fight the allergen. This reaction by the oversensitive immune system results in typical allergic symptoms which include general symptoms as well as eye related symptoms.
If you wear contacts, eye allergies can frequently be exacerbated since contact lenses can often attract allergens. Further, when our eyes itch, our first instinct is to rub them which can result in even more discomfort for contact lens wearers. Use of artificial tears can sometimes reduce symptoms but many lens wearers choose to reduce the use of their contacts. If you wear contacts and experience seasonal allergies, it could help you to try a different brand of contacts, particularly if you don't use daily disposables which minimize the likelihood of pollen accumulation. If you are experiencing discomfort from your contacts, visit our Frederick, MD eye care practice to talk to a professional about your condition.
For anyone suffering here are a few ways to reduce fall eye allergies:
- Check the local pollen count and remain indoors when counts are high, particularly at peak times such as midday.
- Keep windows closed when possible, especially when driving.
- Use a clothes dryer rather than hanging clothing out to dry whenever possible.
- Rather than sweeping, use a damp mop to clean floors, which is more effective at cleaning away allergens.
- Try not to rub your eyes. Use a cool compress for soothing irritation or itchiness.
- Shower each night to clean yourself of any pollen you may have collected throughout the day.
If over the counter medications are not helping you may need something stronger. In this case, schedule a visit to your optometrist as soon as possible to discuss your options and begin effective treatment. Our Frederick, MD optometry office would be happy to help your eyes feel their best despite allergy season!