As the end of summer approaches, many people begin to experience symptoms of seasonal eye allergies such as hay fever. Above sneezing and congestion, ocular allergies can severely impair one's ability to function as desired.
Eye allergy symptoms include tearing, itching, swelling and burning. Vision can often be affected as well by blurriness or sensitivity to light. These symptoms can be so debilitating for allergy sufferers that they interfere with work, school, sports and leisure activities.
Allergic reactions occur when an individual is exposed to a substance he is sensitive to causing the immune system to release histamines to fight the allergen. This hypersensitive immune response results in the symptoms we all know such as sneezing, couching and congestion as well as eye related symptoms.
For contacts wearers eye allergies can frequently be exacerbated since contacts can often collect pollen. Additionally, we tend to rub eyes that itch, which can result in even more discomfort for those wearing contacts. Contact lens wearers experiencing ocular allergies often find themselves using rewetting drops frequently or even reducing the use of their lenses or primarily wearing glasses. If you wear contacts and experience eye allergies, it could help you to try switching brands, particularly to single use, daily disposables which minimize the potential for pollen accumulation. You don't have to suffer from your contacts – visit our Westerville, OH eye care practice to discuss your condition.
Regardless of whether you wear contacts or not, here are a few ways to minimize exposure and symptoms of autumn ocular allergies:
- Check the local pollen count and stay indoors when counts are high, particularly at peak times such as midday.
- Keep windows closed as much as possible, especially when driving.
- Use a clothes dryer rather than hanging clothing out to dry whenever possible.
- Instead of sweeping, clean floors with a damp mop, which is more effective at cleaning away allergens.
- Refrigerate artificial tears or use cool compresses for soothing irritation.
- Clean areas prone to mold frequently with a bleach solution.
While over the counter medications and eye drops can sometimes help relieve symptoms, you may need something stronger. If this is the case, make a visit to your eye care professional now to talk about your options and begin proper treatment. Our Westerville, OH eye care office would be happy to help your eyes feel their best despite allergy season!