Do you have red eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes? If yes, it could be due to seasonal eye allergies. For many, spring time is pollen season, which means uncomfortable symptoms such as itchy eyes, watery eyes or stinging, red eyes. Springtime eye allergies are often a result of an influx of pollen from trees and flowers into the air and can cause a severe impact on quality of life for those that experience them.
What can you do to defend your eyes this pollen season? Well the most obvious answer would be to limit contact with pollen by remaining inside, particularly when the pollen count is high. Closing windows, using air conditioners and putting on full-coverage sunglasses when going outside can also help to reduce contact with allergens in the air. 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, certain medications can treat symptoms such as itchy eyes, red eyes or watery eyes. Often times a basic eye drop is sufficient to soothe and alleviate itchy eyes or red eyes and flush out allergens. Medications with antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers are made to reduce irritation of the eyes as well as other symptoms such as congestion and sneezing. Eye drops are sometimes recommended because they can work better than pills or liquid medications to alleviate eye symptoms.
Individuals that wear contact lenses often have worse symptoms during eye allergy season because irritants are more likely to stick to the surface of the lens, triggering an allergic reaction. This is made worse when oral antihistamines are taken which further dry out the eyes. Those who wear contacts should take steps to keep their eyes moist and replace contacts on time. Some optometrists suggest the use of daily disposable lenses, because changing your contacts each day reduces the opportunity for allergens to build up.
One of the most important things to remember is, don't rub irritated eyes. This will just exacerbate the inflammation. Since often products that work to alleviate symptoms do require a prescription, if over-the-counter options are not working for you, see your eye doctor.