If you are experiencing red eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes you may be suffering from spring eye allergies. For some, spring is pollen season, marking the onset of uncomfortable symptoms such as red eyes, itchy eyes, stinging, burning and watery eyes. Spring eye allergies are caused by an influx of tree and flower pollen into the atmosphere and can cause a severe impact on quality of life for those that experience them
How can you defend your eyes during allergy season? If at all feasible, try to reduce exposure to pollen by staying indoors, especially when the pollen count is high. Closing windows, cooling off with air conditioning and wearing full-coverage shades when going outside can also help to protect your eyes from allergens in the air. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter can be used clear irritants from the air inside your home or office.
Since most of us have to go outside on occasion, there are medications that can treat symptoms such as red eyes, watery eyes or itchy eyes. It’s possible that a basic over-the-counter lubricating eye drop is all that’s needed to moisturize and alleviate itchy eyes or red eyes and remove allergens. Products containing antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers will reduce irritation of the eyes as well as other symptoms such as stuffed or runny nose and sneezing. Drops often work more quickly and effectively than oral products to treat eye problems.
Approximately 54 million people have allergies, almost 50% of which are eye allergies. Eye allergies often run in families and result from an over-sensitivity to a substance in the eye regardless of whether is it harmful. The eye releases histamines and other immune mediators which result in excessive tears, itching, burning, redness and irritation.
Most importantly, don’t rub red, itchy. This will only exacerbate the inflammation. Due to the fact that often products that work to alleviate symptoms do require a prescription, if over-the-counter solutions do not help, see your optometrist.
Dr Facchiano and Dr Phelps are certified to evaluate and treat allergic ocular disease. Don’t suffer through another season with itchy eyes or let allergy eye complications interfere with your contact lens wear .