Spring is in the air and taking full effect. As the beautiful flowers begin to bloom and trees start to bud, many of us Texas locals dread the approach of allergy season. High counts of pollen, cedar, mold, and many other allergens floating in the air can easily cause many to suffer from allergies. Our eyes are one of the areas affected most by allergies. They can become itchy, red, and watery. Everyone should be able to enjoy the outdoors while the sun is shining and nature is blossoming without feeling miserable. We’ve got some tips for you. Here are some steps to help keep your eyes comfortable and happy this allergy season:
Preventative Home Care:
If you are prone to developing bad allergic reactions during this season or would like to avoid having reactions at all, one of the first things you can do is lower the amount of exposure to allergens or other irritants in your home. The air inside your home can potentially be more polluted than the actual air outside. Therefore it is suggested that air conditioner filters be checked, cleaned and/or replaced frequently to prevent the accumulation of allergens circulating in the home. Depending on the type of allergen that triggers your body, there are other ways to safeguard the home as well. Cleaning with a damp cloth or mop can trap allergens rather than pushing them around or bringing them into the air. Washing your sheets in hot water and using dust-mite-proof covers on your bedding, pillows, and mattress will help avoid dust and bugs. If you are a pet owner, it is preferable to keep the bedroom a pet-free zone to help maintain an allergen free environment in which to sleep.
Avoiding the outdoors is almost impossible to do, especially with all the activities Spring brings. Whether you go outside every day or just when an event occurs, there are some practices that will help you feel more comfortable wherever your day brings you. Be prepared for your outdoor time this season by wearing sunglasses. They not only protect your eyes from ultra-violet (UV) rays, but also from allergens in the air. Stay indoors when possible during mid-morning and early evening when pollen counts are the highest.
Treating Eye Allergies:
Some of the eye symptoms include: redness, watering, itching, burning, and sometimes inflammation. These actions stated below can help minimize these symptoms from occurring:
Avoid Rubbing your eyes. This causes them to be more irritated and can cause an allergy response of more inflammation and itching to occur. Rubbing may also lead to a scratch which prolongs your discomfort.
Remove Contact Lenses when symptoms occur. Sometimes your contact lenses prevent oxygen from getting to your eyes. This causes dryness. Allergies may also make eyes swell, making contacts not fit properly. This leads to irritation.
Artificial Tears provide temporary relief by removing allergens from the eye. They alleviate dryness and itching by providing moisture. These are available over-the-counter and also preservative-free. Avoid drops that “get the red out”. These drops can make redness symptoms worse.
Antihistamines block histamines and help with watery and itching eyes. Oral antihistamines can help symptoms, but over usage may sometimes cause dry eyes and worsen allergy symptoms. Antihistamine eye drops combined with mast-cell stabilizer help relieve and prevent symptoms from occurring.
Talk with your doctor if any of these practices have not helped your eye allergies. Your condition may possibly be something more serious than a seasonal allergy or you may need a prescription more compatible to your needs.