While many associate eye allergies with the arrival of springtime, a large number of people endure symptoms during the autumn months as well. In addition to sneezing and congestion, ocular allergies can significantly impede one's ability to function normally.
Ocular allergy symptoms include tearing, itchiness, swelling and stinging. Vision can often be affected as well by blurriness or light sensitivity. These symptoms can make it so uncomfortable for allergy sufferers that they prohibit an individual's ability to perform in all aspects of everyday life - from work to play.
When an individual with allergies comes into contact with an allergen he or she is sensitive to, the immune response is to send out histamines to fight off the ''intruder''. This hypersensitive immune response results in typical allergic symptoms which include general symptoms as well as those related to the eyes.
For contacts wearers symptoms are frequently exacerbated because contact lenses can often collect allergens such as ragweed. Further, we tend to rub eyes that itch, which can result in even more irritation for contact lens wearers. during allergy season. If you wear contacts and experience fall allergies, it could help you to try switching brands, particularly to single use, daily disposables which minimize the potential for pollen accumulation. If you are experiencing discomfort from your contacts, schedule an appointment at our Potomac, MD eye care practice to discuss your condition.
Regardless of whether you wear contacts or not, here are some tips to reduce fall eye allergy discomfort:
- Check the area pollen count and stay indoors when counts are high, particularly at peak times such as midday.
- Wear large sunglasses to help block the pollen from entering your eyes.
- Use a clothes dryer rather than hanging clothing out to dry whenever possible.
- Clean floors with a damp mop instead of sweeping which can often stir up rather than clean away allergens.
- Refrigerate eye drops or use cool compresses for soothing irritation.
- Shower each night to remove any pollen 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 eye care professional as soon as possible to discuss your options and begin effective treatment. Our Potomac, MD optometry office is here to help your eyes feel their best despite allergy season!