Allergies can cause congestion, headaches, head pressure and in some cases can affect your eyes. Allergies are caused by airborne allergens such as dust, mold, animal dander and pollen. When spring rolls around and the plant pollen starts, it greatly increases allergy symptoms. Approximately 20 million people in the United States suffer from seasonal itchy, swollen, red eyes caused by allergies. Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, or hay fever, is the most common allergic eye problem by far.
Try to stay inside to avoid these allergens such as pollen but as we all know this may be impossible. Remaining indoors in the morning when the outdoor pollen levels are highest may help control symptoms. Antihistamines, eye drops and sprays can soothe your irritated eyes. If you know approximately when your allergy season starts, you can start taking medication before you experience any symptoms. This may lessen the severity of allergies. Applying cool compresses to the eyes helps decrease swelling and itching. Artificial tears dilute the allergens and may form a protective barrier over the surface of the eye. Avoid rubbing the eyes, which makes symptoms worse. If seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is a problem, we can prescribe several safe and effective anti-allergy drops. Certain over the counter eye drops can help reduce allergy symptoms. In some cases, oral medications are needed. If you are experiencing itchy, running or watery eyes you should see your Optometrist. In most cases we can reduce the itching and make your eyes feel more comfortable. We could also make sure that your symptoms are not being caused by a more serious problem. Please always consult with a health care provider for any treatment. You can give us a call at our Eye Care Center Eye Mechanix to see Optometrist Dr Randall Ricketts for an eye exam if you are having any of these symptoms.