Seasonal Allergies and Your Eyes

Seasonal allergies occur when airborne allergens, like pollen or dander, cause your body to release histamine and other compounds used to help your immune system. These compounds cause allergic conjunctivitis, which comes with many symptoms such as irritation and itching of the eyes, red eyes, light sensitivity, and watery eyes.

While these responses are the body’s way of protecting your eyes, it can make the spring, summer, and fall frustrating for those who suffer from seasonal allergies. If you are experiencing seasonal allergies and eye irritation, here are a few practical solutions that you can use to help relieve these symptoms.

Avoid Allergens

One of the best ways to prevent red, watery eyes and irritation is to avoid the allergens that trigger these symptoms. On days when there is a high pollen count, try your best to stay indoors. While inside, keep your windows closed, run your air-conditioner, and wash your hands frequently, especially if you have pets. Keep your floors clean and dust your furniture in order to minimize your exposure to allergens.

If you must go outside, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from airborne allergens and try to stay away from trees, grass, and weeds. Avoid wearing contacts, which do not offer protection from sunlight or airborne allergens, and do not rub your eyes. When you come back inside, wash your hands well and rinse your eyes with cold water to flush out any allergens.

Use Eye Drops

Over-the-counter eye drops can ameliorate the symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis. These eye drops can soothe irritation and provide relief if your symptoms are not too severe. They are also a relatively inexpensive solution to an incredibly frustrating problem. Eye drops are a great way to wash out any allergens that are irritating your eyes.

Prescription Eye Drops or Medication

If your seasonal allergy symptoms become so severe that you find it difficult to be comfortable, you might want to try stronger prescription medication for relief. Your doctor can provide prescription eye drops that will be more effective at relieving your symptoms than over-the-counter eye drops.

Your doctor might also prescribe some antihistamine pills or eye drops that will help eliminate the itchiness and redness in your eyes caused by the release of histamine. Prescription medication will often be able to provide the relief you need.

See a doctor if your seasonal allergies symptoms persist over a few days or significantly disrupt your daily routine.

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