Do you have red eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes? If yes, you may be suffering from spring eye allergies. For many of us, March is the beginning of eye allergy time, marking the onset of uncomfortable symptoms such as red eyes, itchy eyes, stinging, burning and watery eyes. Seasonal eye allergies are caused by the release of tree and flower pollen into the air and can cause a severe impact on quality of life for those that suffer from them.
How can you defend your eyes this allergy season? If at all feasible, try to decrease exposure to allergens by staying indoors, especially when the pollen count is high. Closing windows, using air conditioners and putting on full-coverage shades when exposed to the elements may also help to reduce exposure to irritants in the air. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter can be used cleanse allergens from the air inside your home or office.
Since most of us have to leave the house on occasion, certain medications can reduce symptoms such as itchy eyes, red eyes or watery eyes. It's possible that a simple over-the-counter eye drop is sufficient to moisturize and alleviate itchy eyes or red eyes and remove allergens. Medications containing antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers will reduce irritation of the eyes as well as non-eye related symptoms such as cold-like symptoms. Drops often work better than pills or liquid medications to treat eye problems.
Contact lens wearers sometimes find that they suffer more during eye allergy season due to the fact that irritants can enter the eye and stick to the surface of the lens, triggering irritation. Further, oral antihistamines can dry out the eyes, worsening the situation. Individuals who wear contacts are advised to take measures to ensure eyes are lubricated and switch lenses on time. Some eye doctors suggest switching to daily disposable lenses, since changing your contact lenses each day lessens the opportunity for allergens to accumulate.
Most importantly, don't rub red, itchy. Doing so can only exacerbate the irritation. Because many of the effective medications do need a prescription, if over-the-counter solutions are not working for you, see your eye doctor.