Toward the end of the summer, many individuals start to suffer from seasonal eye allergies such as hay fever. In addition to nasal symptoms such as sneezing and congestion, eye allergies can be the greatest sources of discomfort.
When suffering from allergies, the eyes can become itchy, swollen, and irritated and often sting or tear. Vision can often be affected as well by blurriness or light sensitivity. These effects can be so debilitating for those affected that they prohibit an individual's ability to perform in all aspects of everyday life – from work to play.
If you wear contact lenses, symptoms are frequently exacerbated because contacts can often attract allergens such as ragweed. In addition, when our eyes are itchy, our first reaction is to rub them which can result in even more discomfort for lens users. Use of rewetting drops can sometimes reduce discomfort but many contact wearers decide to switch to glasses. If you wear contacts and experience seasonal allergies, it could help you to try a different brand of contacts, particularly if you don't use daily disposables which reduce the potential for allergen accumulation. You don't have to suffer from your contacts – visit our Bronx, NY eye care practice to discuss your options.
For anyone suffering here are a few tips to reduce exposure and symptoms of fall eye allergies:
- Avoid outdoor activities when pollen levels are highest (usually mid-morning and early evening)
- Wear large sunglasses to block the pollen from entering your eyes.
- Use a clothes dryer rather than hanging clothing out to dry whenever possible.
- Clean floors with a damp mop rather than a broom which can often stir up rather than clean away allergens.
- Try not to rub your eyes. Use a cool compress for soothing irritation or itchiness.
- Take a shower every night to clean yourself of any pollen you may have collected throughout the day.
If over the counter medications are not helping a prescription medication may be more effective. In this case, make an appointment with your optometrist as soon as possible to discuss your options and begin proper treatment. Our Bronx, NY eye care practice would be happy to help your eyes feel their best despite allergy season!