If you are experiencing red eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes you may be suffering from spring eye allergies. For some, spring time is eye allergy season, marking the onset of uncomfortable symptoms such as itchy eyes, watery eyes or stinging, red eyes. Seasonal eye allergies are largely due to the release of pollen from trees and flowers into the atmosphere and can greatly inhibit quality of life for those that experience them.
What can you do to defend your eyes during pollen season? If at all feasible, try to limit exposure to allergens by staying indoors, in particular on days with a high pollen count. Closing windows, using air conditioners and wearing wrap-around shades when exposed to the elements may also help to protect your eyes from allergens in the atmosphere. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter is also known filter irritants from the air inside your home or office.
Nevertheless, for the majority of us that must go outside, there are medicines that can reduce symptoms such as red eyes, watery eyes or itchy eyes. It's possible that a simple eye drop is sufficient to moisturize and alleviate itchy eyes or red eyes and remove irritants. Products containing antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers are made to allay redness and swelling of the eyes and treat other symptoms such as congestion and sneezing. Drops often work better than oral products to alleviate eye symptoms.
Individuals that wear contact lenses sometimes have worse symptoms as a result of eye allergy season since allergens can enter the eye and accumulate on the surface of the lens, triggering irritation. This is compounded when oral antihistamines are taken which further dry out the eyes. Individuals who wear contacts are advised to take steps to ensure eyes are moist and replace lenses as directed. Some optometrists recommend the use of daily disposable contacts, since replacing your lenses each day greatly diminishes the opportunity for allergens to build up.
Most importantly, don't rub red, itchy. Doing so will just worsen the irritation. Because often products that work to alleviate symptoms do require a prescription, if over-the-counter options are not working for you, book a visit with your optometrist.