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Seasonal Allergies and the Eye
- Posted on: May 20 2020
Now that spring is finally here and we’re venturing outside from coronavirus quarantine, the surroundings can be difficult to enjoy if you have seasonal allergies. The doctors of Tower Clock Eye Center are here to help!
Why do our eyes get itchy, puffy and red due to the season?
Allergies are cause by all sorts of things, such as pet dander, dust and personal products- and they’re not particular to a specific time of year. However, most of us notice they are worse in spring and fall – mainly due to pollen in the air. When plants pollinate in either the spring or fall, the air is filled with tiny particles that we breath in or that stick to our eyes. Pollen is so small that we don’t really notice the particles, yet our body’s immune system reacts to it causing congestion and red, itchy and watery eyes.
How the eye responds:
When the eye responds to allergies, such as pollen, it often causes eyes to become red, itchy and watery. It is also common for people to feel a gritty sensation in their eyes, or a burning sensation, which makes wearing contact lenses difficult. Decongestants can help, but often make the situation worse by further drying out the eyes, making them even more susceptible to airborne allergens. And as much as you want to, be sure to NOT to rub your eyes.
How to reduce allergy symptoms:
Staying hydrated is very important during allergy attacks, so be sure to drink plenty of water. Eye drops will also hydrate the eye and help to reduce eye irritation. This is even more important if you’re taking allergy medication that dries them out. Also, try to wear glasses rather than contacts as much as possible. Contacts can exacerbate problems as allergens can get trapped against the eye causing irritation. Another remedy is to wash your eyelids and eye lashes with baby shampoo regularly to reduce the amount of allergens in or near your eyes.
Best practices for allergy prevention:
While we cannot completely eliminate our exposure to pollen, there are things we can do to limit it. Something as simple as wearing glasses or sunglasses will offer some protection for your eyes. Staying indoors on windy days will help too. And while inside, be sure to keep your windows closed. Using a fan indoors is a bad idea as it could both dry eyes our further or cause the spread of more pollen. If you must be outside, try using a pollen mask.
Tower Clock Eye Center can help!
If you’ve had itchy, runny eyes and are unable to enjoy the outdoors, give us a call at 920 499-3102.