Don’t Let Itchy Eyes Become an Issue Again This Fall
Everyone knows that spring is prime allergy season, but those who suffer from seasonal allergies know that fall allergies can be just as brutal as the spring variety. In the end, it’s really all about pollen. While spring and the blooming of new flora can bring lots of pollen to the air, a warm summer can bring high pollen counts too, which can linger and combine with the dry air of fall to give those who suffer from eye allergies fits.
Eye allergies, like all allergies, occur when your immune system responds to something that is not normally a threat, but that your body responds to as such. Your body responds by releasing something called histamines. When a response is directed at a foreign body coming into contact with the mucous membranes of the eyes, this can result in redness, itching, and other problems.
There is no reason why allergies should be a serious threat to your eyes or your vision, but they can be extremely unpleasant. Itchy, watery, red eyes can be very uncomfortable. For many people, it is all too tempting to rub them, which usually just makes the situation worse. With this in mind, here are some tips for taking care of your eyes during the fall season, and for dealing with itchy allergy eyes.
Practical Fall Eye Allergy Tips
The first tip, as alluded to above, is: do not rub your eyes. This will only agitate the irritation and simply exacerbate the problem. If the itching is intolerable, try putting a cold compress over your eyes.
Over-the-counter allergy medications like Allegra or Benadryl may calm the histamines in your system and alleviate your symptoms. If this is not effective, your eye doctor may be able to prescribe combination antihistamine-mast cell stabilizers and corticosteroids that can relieve more aggressive allergy symptoms.
You may also wish to consider switching to daily or weekly disposable contact lenses, as long-term lenses may collect allergens and continue to re-irritate your eyes every time you put them in.
While eye drops that get red out can feel good in the short term, if they are decongestant drops that work by constricting the blood vessels of the eye, they can ultimately make the problem worse.
Fall Allergies and the Environment
When you are susceptible to fall eye allergies, it’s important to do what you can to control your environment. Try to avoid going out when pollen counts are the highest, which is usually in the mid-morning and early evening. When indoors, keep windows closed at night, vacuum frequently to collect dust and pollen and other irritants in the house, and be sure to use a HEPA filter. You may also want to consider having your air ducts professionally cleaned.
Although the symptoms of eye allergies should not cause any long-term damage to your eyes, they may mimic or mask other symptoms that are signs of actual eye health issues. The best and safest thing to do is to come into your local eye care professional for regular comprehensive eye exams.
In the Portland area, the place to go for reliable eye care is Beaumont Vision. We offer caring, highly qualified optometric physicians with state-of-the-art eye examination equipment working in a friendly, comfortable environment. To schedule your eye exam, or to ask any questions about dealing with eye allergies, please call 503-331-3937 today and we will be more than happy to assist you.