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Home » What's New » Defending Your Eyes During Allergy Season

Defending Your Eyes During Allergy Season

If you are experiencing red eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes it could be due to spring eye allergies. For some of us, March is the start of pollen season, which means uncomfortable symptoms such as itchy eyes, watery eyes or stinging, red eyes. Seasonal eye allergies are caused by the release of tree and flower pollen into the atmosphere and can cause a severe impact on quality of life for those that suffer from them.

What can you do to defend your eyes this pollen season? If at all feasible, try to decrease exposure to allergens which means staying indoors, especially on days with a high pollen count. Keeping windows shut, using air conditioning and wearing full-coverage sunglasses when exposed to the elements may also help to protect your eyes from allergens in the atmosphere. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter can be used clear irritants from the air when you are inside.

Since most of us must go outside on occasion, there are medicines that can treat symptoms such as itchy eyes, red eyes or watery eyes. It's possible that a basic eye drop will soothe and relieve itchy eyes or red eyes and cleanse the eye of allergens. Products with antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers are made to allay redness and swelling of the eyes and treat non-eye related symptoms such as cold-like symptoms. Drops are sometimes recommended because they can work more quickly and effectively than pills or liquid medications to treat eye problems.

Contact lens wearers often find that they suffer more from eye allergies due to the fact that allergens are more likely to enter the eye and accumulate on the exterior of the lens, triggering irritation. Further, oral antihistamines can dry out the eyes, compounding the situation. Contact lens wearers should take measures to ensure eyes are moist and replace contacts on time. Some optometrists suggest the use of daily disposable lenses, because replacing your contact lenses each day lowers the chances of buildup and inflammation.

One of the most important things to remember is, don't rub irritated eyes. Doing so will only exacerbate the irritation. Since many of the products that work to alleviate symptoms do need a prescription, if over-the-counter solutions are not working for you, book an appointment with your optometrist.

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