If you are experiencing red eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes you may be suffering from spring eye allergies. For many, March is the start of pollen season, which means uncomfortable symptoms such as itchy eyes, watery eyes or stinging, red eyes. Seasonal eye allergies are often a result of the release of tree and flower pollen into the atmosphere and can result in a severe impact on everyday functioning for those that experience them.
How can you protect your eyes this pollen season? Well the most obvious answer would be to decrease contact with pollen by staying indoors, particularly when the pollen count is high. Closing windows, cooling off with air conditioning and wearing wrap-around sunglasses when exposed to the elements may also help to reduce contact with allergens in the atmosphere. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter is also an effective way to remove particles from the air when you are inside.
Since most of us must leave the house on occasion, there are medicines that can alleviate symptoms such as red eyes, watery eyes or itchy eyes. Often times a basic over-the-counter rewetting drop will soothe and alleviate itchy eyes or red eyes and remove allergens. Products with antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers are made to reduce irritation of the eyes and treat other symptoms such as stuffed or runny nose and sneezing. Drops often work more quickly and effectively than pills or liquid medications to alleviate eye symptoms.
Those who wear contact lenses often experience greater discomfort from eye allergy season because irritants tends to stick to the outer surface of the lens, bringing about inflammation. This is made worse when oral antihistamines are taken which have a drying effect on the eyes. Contact lens wearers are advised to take measures to ensure eyes are moist and switch contacts on time. Some optometrists recommend the use of daily disposable lenses, because replacing your contact lenses more frequently lowers the opportunity for allergens to build up.
When your eyes are irritated, don't rub them. This will only worsen the irritation. Since many of the effective medications do need a prescription, if over-the-counter options do not help, schedule a visit with your eye doctor.