Although seasonal allergies are more commonly talked about in the spring, a large number of individuals experience symptoms during the autumn months as well. Above nasal symptoms such as sneezing and congestion, ocular allergies can cause a great level of discomfort.
When suffering from allergies, the eyes are often 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 interfere with work, school, sports and leisure activities.
When an individual with allergies is exposed to a substance he has a sensitivity to, the immune response is to send out histamines to defend against the ''intruder''. This reaction by the hypersensitive immune system results in typical allergic symptoms which include general symptoms as well as those related to the eyes.
For contacts users eye allergies are frequently worse because lenses can often attract allergens. In addition, when our eyes are itchy, we tend to rub them which can cause even more discomfort for lens wearers. Contact wearers experiencing eye allergies often find themselves using rewetting drops more frequently or even reducing the use of their lenses or switching to eyeglasses. If you wear contacts and experience eye allergies, you may want to consider a different brand of contacts, particularly if you aren't using daily disposables which minimize the likelihood of pollen collection. You don't have to suffer from your contacts – visit our Tupelo, MS eye care practice to talk to a professional about your condition.
For anyone suffering here are some ways to reduce autumn ocular allergy discomfort:
- Check the area pollen count and stay indoors when counts are high, particularly at peak times such as midday.
- Close windows as much as possible, especially when driving.
- Use a clothes dryer rather than hanging clothing out to dry whenever possible.
- Clean floors with a damp mop instead of sweeping which can often stir up rather than clean away allergens.
- Use chilled eye drops or use cold compresses for soothing irritation.
- Take a shower each night to remove any allergens you may have collected throughout the day.
While over the counter medications and eye drops can sometimes help relieve symptoms, you may need something stronger. In this case, schedule a visit to your optometrist now to discuss your options and begin proper treatment. Our Tupelo, MS optometry practice is here to help your eyes feel their best despite allergy season!