Although many associate seasonal allergies with the arrival of spring, a large number of individuals endure symptoms during the autumn months as well. In addition to sneezing and congestion, eye allergies are often a significant cause of discomfort.
When suffering from allergies, the eyes can become itchy, puffy, and red and often burn or water. Often vision becomes blurry or eyes become sensitive to light. These symptoms can be so debilitating for allergy sufferers that they prohibit an individual's ability to perform in work, school, sports and leisure activities.
When an individual with allergies comes into contact with an allergen he is sensitive to, the immune system sends out histamines to combat the ''invader''. This defense by the oversensitive immune system results in the symptoms we all know such as sneezing, couching and congestion as well as eye related symptoms.
If you wear contacts, eye allergies are often exacerbated because contacts can often attract allergens such as ragweed. In addition, we tend to rub itchy eyes, which can cause even more irritation for contact lens wearers. Use of rewetting drops can sometimes reduce symptoms but many contact wearers decide to limit the use of their lenses. If you wear contacts and experience seasonal allergies, you may want to consider a different brand of contacts, particularly if you aren't using daily disposables which minimize the potential for allergen accumulation. You don't have to suffer from your contacts - schedule an appointment at our Squamish or Vancouver, BC optometry practice to talk to a professional about your condition.
Whether you wear contacts or not, here are some ways to reduce fall ocular allergy symptoms:
- Stay indoors during midday and early evening when the pollen levels are highest.
- Close windows when possible, especially when driving.
- Use a clothes dryer rather than hanging clothing out to dry whenever possible.
- Instead of a broom, use a damp mop to clean floors, which is more effective at getting rid of allergens.
- Try not to rub your eyes. Use a cool compress for soothing irritation or itchiness.
- Eliminate mold in your home by keeping the house dry and using a dehumidifier if necessary.
While over the counter medications and eye drops can sometimes help relieve symptoms, a prescription medication may be what you need. In this case, make an appointment with your optometrist now to discuss your options and begin effective treatment. Our Squamish and Vancouver, BC eye care offices are here to assist you in regaining your comfort this fall!