At the end of the summer, many individuals begin to experience symptoms of seasonal eye allergies such as hay fever. In addition to nasal symptoms such as sneezing and congestion, ocular allergies can significantly impair one's ability to function normally.
When suffering from allergies, the eyes are often itchy, swollen, and red and often burn or tear. Often vision becomes blurry or eyes become sensitive to light. These symptoms can make it so uncomfortable for those affected that they prohibit an individual's ability to perform in all aspects of everyday life – from work to play.
Allergic reactions occur when a person is exposed to an allergen he has a sensitivity to which causes the immune system to overreact by releasing histamines. This hypersensitive immune response results in typical allergic symptoms which include general symptoms as well as eye related symptoms.
For contacts users symptoms are often worse since contact lenses can often attract allergens such as ragweed. Further, we tend to rub itchy eyes, which can result in even more irritation for contact wearers. throughout allergy season. If you wear contacts and experience eye allergies, you may want to consider switching brands, particularly to single use, daily disposables which reduce the likelihood of allergen accumulation. If you are experiencing problems from your contacts, visit our Myrtle Beach, SC eye care practice to discuss your condition.
Regardless of whether you wear contacts or not, here are a few tips to minimize autumn ocular allergy discomfort:
- Stay indoors when pollen levels are highest (usually mid-morning and early evening)
- Close windows when possible, especially when driving.
- Use a clothes dryer rather than hanging clothing out to dry whenever possible.
- Clean floors with a damp mop instead of sweeping which tends to stir up rather than get rid of allergens.
- Try not to rub your eyes. Use a cool compress for soothing irritation or itchiness.
- Shower at night to clean yourself of any allergens you may have collected throughout the day.
While over the counter medications and eye drops can sometimes help relieve symptoms, a prescription medication may be what you need. If this is the case, schedule a visit to your eye care professional now to talk about your options and begin proper treatment. Our Myrtle Beach, SC eye care practice is here to help your eyes feel their best despite allergy season!