When spring arrives, I feel hopeful and happy, uplifted by the colors and weather. That is until… my eyes start to itch and my nose starts to tickle. Yes, despite the daffodils and rising temperatures, spring means allergies for me, and I’m guessing if not for you, someone close to you.
So, as your vision benefits provider, we want to make sure you protect your eyes this allergy season. Here are 6 tips to get you started:
- Avoid exposure
Try to minimize your exposure to allergens by keeping windows closed and wearing sunglasses with as much coverage as possible. Whether at home or in your car, air conditioning, filtering the air, can provide some relief.
There are many brands, so consult your eye doctor for a recommendation. Allergy eye drops will reduce the histamine in your eye tissues, so this might be a good option to directly help your swollen, watery, red and itchy eyes. You can try over-the-counter for your mild symptoms, but if you don’t see improvement, see your eye doctor for prescription eye drops.
- Remove contact lenses
During allergy season, wearing your eyeglasses instead of your contact lenses may help with eye allergies. The surface of your contact lenses can collect allergens.
- Treat with medications
Again, if over-the-counter eye drops aren’t enough, oral medications can relieve your eye allergy symptoms. Antihistamines, decongestants, and other options can be prescribed by your doctor or bought over the counter.
- Don’t itch!
Although it might provide temporary relief, rubbing your eyes can lead to thinning of the cornea and a risk of eye infections. Also, when you rub your allergy eyes, the itching releases more histamines, worsening the symptoms. When the itching becomes unbearable, grab the eye drops instead.
- Try other remedies
Immunotherapy, steroids and mast cell stabilizers are examples of other treatments you can discuss with your doctor. At home remedies, like a cold washcloth or compress, cucumber slices or tea bags placed on your eyelids can be soothing. Changing your clothes when you get home and showering before bedtime are some other strategies.
If you do struggle with the seasonal allergies of spring, we hope you still get to enjoy the positive offerings of the season.