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Home » News and Events » A Guide to Dealing with the Effects of Eye Allergies

A Guide to Dealing with the Effects of Eye Allergies

If you are experiencing red eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes you may be suffering from seasonal eye allergies. For some, spring time is eye allergy time, which means uncomfortable symptoms such as itchy eyes, watery eyes or stinging, red eyes. Spring eye allergies are largely due to the release of tree and flower pollen into the atmosphere and can greatly inhibit everyday functioning for those that suffer from them.

What can you do to defend your eyes this allergy season? If at all feasible, try to limit exposure to allergens which means remaining inside, in particular when the pollen count is high. Closing windows, using air conditioning and putting on full-coverage shades when going outside may also help to protect your eyes from allergens in the air. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter is also an effective way to remove irritants from the air when you are inside.

Since most of us must go outside on occasion, certain medications can alleviate symptoms such as itchy eyes, red eyes or watery eyes. It's possible that a simple over-the-counter eye drop will moisturize and alleviate itchy eyes or red eyes and flush out allergens. Medicines containing antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers can reduce irritation of the eyes as well as non-eye related symptoms such as cold-like symptoms. Eye drops often work better than pills or liquid medications to treat eye symptoms.

Contact lens wearers often experience greater discomfort from eye allergies since irritants tends to enter the eye and stick to the exterior of the lens, bringing about irritation. This is made worse when oral antihistamines are taken which have a drying effect on the eyes. Contact lens wearers should take steps to ensure eyes are lubricated and switch lenses on time. Many eye care professionals recommend switching to daily disposable contacts, since replacing your contact lenses daily reduces the chances of buildup and inflammation.

One of the most important things to remember is, don't rub irritated eyes. Doing so can only exacerbate the irritation. Since often effective medications do require a prescription, if over-the-counter solutions do not help, see your optometrist.

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