Spring has Sprung! Managing Seasonal Eye Allergies
Spring is finally here, but with it comes the challenge of seasonal allergies. Many people experience red, itchy and watery eyes during Spring and Summer.
This is due to the body’s immune response to increased pollen and dust. In some cases, these allergies can even play a role in other eye conditions such as conjunctivitis.
So what are the best ways to help manage eye allergies during this season?
Avoid Allergens (if possible)
Sometimes easier said than done. But if you are aware of allergens that you are sensitive to, the best way to prevent a reaction is to avoid the allergen altogether.
For example, if pollen is an issue, try to avoid prolonged periods outside on days when the pollen count is high.
Sunglasses are also a helpful tool when outdoors as they help act as a shield against airborne allergens.
There are a number of non-prescription eye drops available that can help prevent and relieve the symptoms of eye allergies.
These range from simple lubricating eye drops through to eye drops which contain decongestants that reduce the size of blood vessels on the white of the eye (reducing redness) and antihistamines that reduce allergic reactions by blocking the attachment of histamine to cells in the body that produce an allergic response.
Remember to always consult with your pharmacist or eye doctor before starting any medicated eye drops as some cannot be used if you have glaucoma or other eye conditions.
In addition to using eye drops, there are a number of over-the-counter medications available to help relieve allergy symptoms.
Talk to your pharmacist to determine which medication is suitable to treat your allergy symptoms and remember to always inform your eye doctor of any medications you are taking.
Remove Contact Lenses
If possible, try wearing glasses instead of contact lenses during allergy season.
The reason for this is that the surface of contact lenses easily attracts airborne allergens, which build up over time.
If avoiding contact lenses is not an option, consider swapping to single use lenses that are less likely to accumulate a build-up of allergens.
See you Eye Doctor
Most of the time eye allergies are merely an inconvenience and not something that will adversely affect your long-term eye health.
However, if symptoms include pain in the eye or blurred vision, it is always a good idea to have an eye health professional examine your eyes to make sure no other eye conditions are present.
If you would like to make an appointment to speak with an eye specialist at Northern Eye Centre, our clinics are located in Heidelberg, Epping, Swan Hill and Mildura. Call 9459 5133 today.