Are you experiencing red eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes? If yes, you may be suffering from pollen-induced eye allergies. For many of us, spring time is eye allergy season, which means uncomfortable symptoms such as itchy eyes, watery eyes or stinging, red eyes. Springtime eye allergies are caused by the release of pollen from trees and flowers into the atmosphere and can result in a severe impact on quality of life for those that suffer from them.
How can you protect your eyes during pollen season? Whenever possible decrease exposure to pollen which means remaining inside, especially on days with a high pollen count. Closing windows, using air conditioners and putting on full-coverage sunglasses when going outside can also help to reduce exposure to irritants in the atmosphere. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter is also an effective way to cleanse particles from the air inside your home or office.
Nevertheless, for the majority of us that must go outside, certain medications can treat symptoms such as itchy eyes, red eyes or watery eyes. It's possible that a basic rewetting drop is enough to soothe and alleviate itchy eyes or red eyes and cleanse the eye of allergens. Medicines with antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers will reduce redness and swelling of the eyes and treat other symptoms such as stuffed or runny nose and sneezing. Drops often work better than oral solutions to treat eye problems.
Contact lens wearers sometimes have worse symptoms from eye allergies due to the fact that irritants can enter the eye and accumulate on the outer surface of the lens, triggering irritation. Further, oral antihistamines can dry out the eyes, compounding the situation. Contact lens wearers should make sure to ensure eyes are moist and switch contacts on time. Many eye doctors prefer the use of daily disposable lenses, because changing your lenses more frequently lowers the opportunity for allergens to accumulate.
When your eyes are irritated, don't rub them. Doing so will only increase the irritation. Since some of the effective medications do require a prescription, if over-the-counter options are not working for you, see your optometrist.