At the end of the summer, many people begin to suffer from seasonal eye allergies such as hay fever. Above nasal symptoms such as sneezing and congestion, symptoms that affect the eyes can significantly impede one's ability to function as desired.
When suffering from allergies, the eyes can become itchy, puffy, and irritated and often burn or water. Often vision becomes blurry or eyes become sensitive to light. These effects can be so debilitating for those suffering that they prohibit an individual's ability to perform in work, school, sports and leisure activities.
Allergic reactions occur when a person is exposed to a substance he or she is sensitive to which causes the immune system to release histamines to fight the allergen. This hypersensitive immune response results in typical allergic symptoms which include general symptoms as well as eye related symptoms.
For contact lens users eye allergies are frequently worse because lenses can often attract allergens such as ragweed. Further, we tend to rub itchy eyes, which can result in even more discomfort for those wearing contacts. Use of artificial tears can sometimes reduce discomfort but many lens wearers choose to switch to glasses. If you wear contacts and experience ocular allergies, you may want to consider a different brand of contacts, particularly if you aren't using daily disposables which reduce the likelihood of pollen accumulation. You don't have to suffer from your contacts – visit our Long Beach, CA eye care practice to discuss your condition.
Regardless of whether you wear contacts or not, here are some ways to minimize fall ocular allergies:
- Check the area pollen count and remain indoors when counts are high, particularly at peak times such as midday.
- Keep windows closed as much as possible, especially when driving.
- Clean carpets and draperies frequently to get rid of pollen that has entered the house.
- Rather than sweeping, use a damp mop to clean floors, which is more effective at cleaning away allergens.
- Try not to rub your eyes. Use a cool compress for soothing irritation or itchiness.
- Eliminate mold in your home by keeping humidity under 50% and using a dehumidifier if necessary.
While over the counter medications and eye drops can sometimes help relieve symptoms, a prescription medication may be more effective. If this is the case, schedule a visit to your eye doctor as soon as possible to discuss your options and begin effective treatment. Our Long Beach, CA optometry office is here to assist you in regaining your comfort this fall!