Are you experiencing red eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes? If yes, it could be due to pollen-induced eye allergies. For some, March is the beginning of pollen season, marking the onset of uncomfortable symptoms such as itchy eyes, watery eyes or stinging, red eyes. Springtime eye allergies are caused by the release of pollen from trees and flowers into the atmosphere and can result in a severe impact on everyday functioning for those that experience them.
What can you do to guard your eyes during allergy season? Whenever possible limit contact with pollen which means staying inside, particularly when the pollen count is high. Closing windows, cooling off with air conditioners and putting on full-coverage sunglasses when going outside may also help to limit exposure to allergens in the atmosphere. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter is also an effective way to cleanse irritants from the air when you are inside.
Nevertheless, for the majority of us that must go outside, there are medicines that can treat symptoms such as red eyes, watery eyes or itchy eyes. Often times a simple over-the-counter eye drop will moisturize and relieve itchy eyes or red eyes and cleanse the eye of irritants. Medications containing antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers are made to allay redness and swelling of the eyes as well as other symptoms such as congestion and sneezing. Eye drops often work more quickly and effectively than pills or liquid medications to treat eye symptoms.
Those who wear contact lenses sometimes find that they suffer more from eye allergies because allergens tend to enter the eye and build up on the exterior of the lens, bringing about an allergic reaction. This is compounded when oral antihistamines are taken which have a drying effect on the eyes. Contact lens wearers are advised to make sure to keep their eyes moist and switch contacts as directed. Some optometrists prefer the use of daily disposable contacts, because changing your lenses more frequently lowers the chances of buildup and inflammation.
When your eyes are irritated, don't rub them. This will just worsen the inflammation. Due to the fact that often effective medications do require a prescription, if over-the-counter solutions do not help, see your eye doctor.