If you are experiencing red eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes it could be due to spring eye allergies. For many of us, March is the beginning of pollen season, which means uncomfortable symptoms such as itchy eyes, watery eyes or stinging, red eyes. Springtime eye allergies are often a result of an influx of tree and flower pollen into the atmosphere and can greatly inhibit quality of life for those that suffer from them.
What can you do to guard your eyes during pollen season? If at all feasible, try to reduce exposure to pollen which means remaining inside, in particular on days with a high pollen count. Closing windows, using air conditioners and putting on full-coverage shades when going outside can also help to reduce contact with allergens in the air. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter is also known clear particles from the air inside your home or office.
Since most of us have to go outside on occasion, certain medications can reduce symptoms such as red eyes, watery eyes or itchy eyes. Often times a basic over-the-counter lubricating eye drop will soothe and relieve itchy eyes or red eyes and remove allergens. Medicines containing antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers will alleviate irritation of the eyes and treat non-eye related symptoms such as cold-like symptoms. Drops often work better than pills or liquid medications to treat eye symptoms.
Contact lens wearers often have worse symptoms during eye allergy season due to the fact that irritants tends to accumulate on the exterior of the lens, triggering irritation. This is compounded when oral antihistamines are taken which have a drying effect on the eyes. Contact lens wearers should make sure to ensure eyes are moist and switch lenses on time. Some optometrists recommend switching to daily disposable contacts, because changing your contacts each day lowers the opportunity for allergens to build up.
One of the most important things to remember is, don't rub irritated eyes. This can just exacerbate the irritation. Because many of the effective medications do need a prescription, if over-the-counter medications do not help, schedule a visit with your optometrist.