Do you have red eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes? If yes, it could be due to pollen-induced eye allergies. For many of us, spring is eye allergy time, marking the onset of uncomfortable symptoms such as itchy eyes, watery eyes or stinging, red eyes. Spring eye allergies are often a result of an influx of tree and flower pollen into the atmosphere and can greatly inhibit quality of life for those that suffer from them.
How can you defend your eyes during pollen season? If at all feasible, try to limit exposure to allergens by remaining inside, particularly when the pollen count is high. Closing windows, cooling off with air conditioners and wearing wrap-around shades when going outside can also help to protect your eyes from irritants in the atmosphere. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter is also an effective way to clear allergens from the air inside your home or office.
Since most of us must leave the house on occasion, certain medications can alleviate symptoms such as itchy eyes, red eyes or watery eyes. Often times a basic over-the-counter eye drop is enough to soothe and relieve itchy eyes or red eyes and flush out allergens. Medications with antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers can reduce redness and swelling of the eyes and treat non-eye related symptoms such as stuffed or runny nose and sneezing. Eye drops often work better than pills or liquid medications to alleviate eye problems.
Contact lens wearers often have worse symptoms from eye allergies because irritants tends to stick to the exterior of the lens, bringing about an allergic reaction. This is compounded when oral antihistamines are taken which further dry out the eyes. Those who wear contacts are advised to take measures to ensure eyes are moist and replace contacts on time. Many eye care professionals suggest the use of daily disposable contacts, since replacing your contact lenses more frequently reduces the chances of buildup and irritation.
Most importantly, don't rub red, itchy. Doing so can just worsen the inflammation. Due to the fact that often products that work to alleviate symptoms do require a prescription, if over-the-counter medications do not help, book a visit with your eye doctor.