How Spring Allergies Can Affect Your Eyes
Millions of Americans suffer from seasonal allergies, whose symptoms can flare up when spring is in bloom. Are your eyes itchy, red, tearing or burning? You may have eye allergies, also known as allergic conjunctivitis, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. You may treat your nasal allergies to stop your runny, tickling nose, but what about treating your watery eyes? Don’t they deserve relief too?
While many of us fall victim to allergies in the spring, fact is, allergic rhinitis (also known as hay fever) can occur in spring, summer or early fall. Allergic rhinitis is characterized by stuffy nose, sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose, and itching of the eyes, nose, and even the roof of the mouth.
Many things can bring on an allergic attack in the spring. Think about it: there’s so much in the air thanks to the flowers blooming, trees budding and lawns growing. All that life that was dormant during the long winter is now bursting free for everyone to see – and smell. It can be a very uncomfortable time for allergy sufferers, as their symptoms can be triggered by any of the following:
- Outdoor allergens: Pollen from trees, flowers, weeds and grass
- Indoor allergens: Pet dander, mold, dust
- Environmental irritants: Cigarette and cigar smoke, car exhaust and perfume
Managing Spring Allergies
In many cases, keeping your seasonal allergies under control simply takes a few adjustments to your lifestyle, such as:
- Washing hands after touching animals and pets.
- Keeping windows closed during times of peak pollen counts. Use AC instead.
- Wearing glasses or sunglasses during these times as well to avoid too much pollen entering the eyes.
- Avoiding touching or rubbing your eyes.
- Buying mite-proof pillows and bedding to keep dust mite exposure to a minimum.
- Replacing carpets and rugs with hardwood, tile or linoleum to keep dander and dust mites at bay.
- Cleaning floors with a damp rag or mop instead of dusting or sweeping.
Often times, it becomes necessary to use over-the-counter or prescription medications, such as:
- Artificial tears
- Eye drops (decongestant, corticosteroid, NSAID)
- Oral antihistamines
- Prescription medication or shots (also called immunotherapy)
Anticipating and managing spring allergies involves staying on top of your regular eye visits. If you suffer from spring allergies, we can help. If you live in Wilmington, Newark, Bear, Middletown and nearby Delaware communities, call to make an appointment with Simon Eye Associates at 302-239-1933.