Keeping an Eye on Allergies
It’s that time of year again! The weather is warm, flowers are blooming, and your eyes are an itchy, watery mess. Your seasonal allergies have made yet another appearance. You’re not alone—according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, about 50 million Americans suffer from allergies. Along with sneezing and a runny nose, many people experience the discomfort of red, itchy, watery eyes. The good news is that relief is possible and the eye doctors at Chester County Eye Care can help.
Let’s first explain what causes eye allergies. There are two types- seasonal and perennial. Seasonal eye allergies are triggered by particles in the air from the likes of pollen—grass, trees, and weeds—and mold spores. Perennial eye allergies are caused by things like dust mites and pet dander. Other irritants like cigarette smoke, perfume, and cosmetics can also play a role.
It’s important to visit your eye doctor to determine if you truly have eye allergies. Allergy symptoms can be similar to other eye problems such as eye infections so you want to ensure you have the correct diagnosis.
The best way to find relief may be obvious but you should do your best to avoid what triggers your eye allergies in the first place.
- Stay indoors when the pollen count is high. Close your windows and instead run the air conditioner to prevent the pollen from entering your house.
- If you do go outside, wear sunglasses or eyeglasses to act as a barrier between your eyes and the pollen in the air.
- Don’t drive with your windows down, use the air conditioner instead.
- Use hypoallergenic bedding and pillow cases to help protect from dust mites
- Wash your bedding frequently
- Wash your hands immediately after petting an animal
Many patients have also found relief from over-the-counter medications like artificial tears or oral antihistamines. Make sure you discuss with your doctor which medications may work best for you. If your allergies are severe, a prescription medication may be considered.
So don’t despair! There are solutions available to get relief from your eye allergies. Consult with us and you’ll be back to enjoying the warm weather in no time—without the itchy watery eyes.