If you are experiencing red eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes you may be suffering from seasonal eye allergies. For many, spring time is pollen season, which means uncomfortable symptoms such as red eyes, itchy eyes, stinging, burning and watery eyes. Spring eye allergies are largely due to the release of tree and flower pollen into the atmosphere and can cause a severe impact on everyday functioning for those that experience them.
What can you do to protect your eyes this pollen season? Whenever possible reduce contact with pollen by staying inside, in particular when the pollen count is high. Keeping windows closed, using air conditioners and putting on wrap-around sunglasses when going outside may also help to protect your eyes from allergens in the atmosphere. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter can be used cleanse particles from the air inside your home or office.
Nevertheless, for the majority of us that can't stay indoors the entire spring season, certain medications can alleviate symptoms such as itchy eyes, red eyes or watery eyes. It's possible that a simple over-the-counter lubricating eye drop will soothe and relieve itchy eyes or red eyes and remove allergens. Medicines containing antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers will reduce redness and swelling of the eyes and treat non-eye related symptoms such as cold-like symptoms. Drops are sometimes recommended because they can work more quickly and effectively than pills or liquid medications to treat eye problems.
Contact lens wearers sometimes find that they suffer more from eye allergy season due to the fact that allergens can enter the eye and stick to the outer surface of the lens, bringing about irritation. This is compounded 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 as directed. Many optometrists prefer switching to daily disposable contacts, because replacing your contacts each day lowers the opportunity for allergens to accumulate.
One of the most important things to remember is, don't rub red, itchy. Doing so can only worsen the inflammation. Due to the fact that many of the effective medications do require a prescription, if over-the-counter options are not working for you, schedule a visit with your optometrist.