The sun is shining, birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, and your eyes are itchy and uncomfortable. Sound familiar? If you’re like millions of people, spring is here and so are your seasonal allergies. There’s nothing worse than waking up every morning and not being able to breathe. But are your eyes ready for seasonal allergies too? Learn how allergies could be hurting your eyes and how to keep them healthy!
For allergy sufferers, spring is often the worst season of the year. In just a day, you can go from being completely comfortable to miserable and unable to breathe. So what symptoms should you be looking out for? Common symptoms that could affect your eyes include:
● Sensitivity to light
If you find your eyes becoming difficult to deal with, consider some of these ways to treat your allergies. When your eyes get dry, itchy, and sensitive, antihistamine eye drops can help. These eye drops can bring your eyes much needed moisture, while removing the allergens that are causing irritation. Antihistamine pills like Zyrtec and Benadryl are great for over the counter options for quick relief, since they help with multiple allergy symptoms besides sensitive or irritated eyes.
If you find that your eyes are dry but manageable, it never hurts to have artificial eye drops on hand during allergy season. Artificial eye drops help replace the moisture that your eyes may have lost, without the antihistamine benefit. If you suffer from dry eye syndrome, your eyes may need a little bit of TLC during allergy season. Pollen and dander can exacerbate existing dryness and make symptoms intolerable.
As the weather gets nicer, pollen levels in the air start to increase as well. For allergy sufferers, things like increased pollen and grass clippings can make your allergies worse. Because there is increased pollen in the air, make sure to wear sunglasses when you are outside. This will help reduce the amount of pollen that your eyes are exposed to. Your sunglasses will act as a shield against pollen and other common allergens.
Although it may seem impossible, do not rub your eyes! Rubbing your swollen eyes will actually make things worse, because it will rub the irritant further and further into your eyes. Instead, if your allergies are unbearable, get a cold washcloth or compress and cover your eyes. The cold temperature will help the swelling go down, and will give you relief, at least temporarily.
If you wear contacts and have seasonal allergies, consider giving your eyes a break from them. When contacts are worn, it is easy for pollen to get underneath your contact and aggravate your eyes. At the height of allergy season, glasses are going to be a good way to protect your eyes from pesky pollen!
If you find your allergies are hurting your eyes, please schedule an appointment at Mid Ohio Eye with one of our talented doctors!