As the end of summer approaches, many individuals start to experience symptoms of seasonal eye allergies such as hay fever. In addition to nasal symptoms such as sneezing and congestion, symptoms that affect the eyes can be the greatest sources of discomfort.
Ocular allergy symptoms include tearing, itching, swelling and burning. Often vision becomes blurry or eyes become sensitive to light. These effects can make it so uncomfortable for those suffering that they interfere with work, school, sports and leisure activities.
Allergic reactions occur when a person comes into contact with an allergen he or she is sensitive to causing the immune system to release histamines to fight the allergen. This hypersensitive immune response results in the symptoms we all know such as sneezing, couching and congestion as well as those related to the eyes.
If you wear contact lenses, eye allergies can often be worse since contacts can often attract allergens. In addition, when our eyes itch, our first reaction is usually to rub them which can result in even more discomfort for contact wearers. until the season ends. If you wear contacts and experience eye allergies, it could help you to try a different brand of contacts, particularly if you don't use daily disposables which minimize the potential for allergen accumulation. You don't have to suffer from your contacts – schedule an appointment at our Calgary, AB optometry practice to discuss your options.
For anyone suffering here are some tips to reduce exposure and symptoms of autumn eye allergies:
- Stay indoors during the middle of the day and early evening when the pollen count is highest.
- Wear large sunglasses to block the pollen from entering your eyes.
- Clean carpets and draperies frequently to remove pollen that has entered the house.
- Clean floors with a damp mop instead of sweeping which tends to stir up rather than get rid of allergens.
- Apply chilled artificial tears or use cool compresses for soothing irritation.
- Shower each night to wash off 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. If this is the case, make an appointment with your optometrist now to discuss your options and begin effective treatment. Our Calgary, AB eye care office is here to assist your eyes feel their best despite allergy season!