Fighting & Preventing Eye Allergies
Not everyone gets excited when the temperature begins to rise and the snow starts to melt. For some, this is a sign that spring is around the corner. For others, this can only mean one thing: allergy season.
Red, swollen, watery eyes that make you want to scratch them out with your fingernails – we know the symptoms of eye allergies all too well. Fortunately for you, we also know how to fight them or prevent them in the first place.
Fighting Eye Allergies
Allergens, an allergy sufferer’s worst enemy, trigger the allergic reactions that cause itchy, red, watery eyes that are sometimes accompanied by sneezing and a runny nose. The most common airborne allergens that cause eye allergies are pollen, mold, dust and pet dander.
Finding relief for your eye allergies may be easier than you think. Consider the list below for our professional opinion on the best methods for fighting allergies.
Due to how common eye allergies are, a number of different brands of eye drops are available in the market. From grocery stores to convenience stores, any retail location that carries medication is likely to carry eye drops.
Using over-the-counter eye drops for relatively mild symptoms is alright for two weeks or less. If your symptoms last any longer than that, prescription drops are much safer and more effective. Visit our Optometrist to get your prescription.
During the appointment, patients should be clear as to what medical ingredients may cause them to have an allergic reaction. If not, our Optometrist may inadvertently prescribe a brand of eye drops that will result in a more severe reaction than what is already being experienced.
In addition to eye drops, some medications may be taken orally to relieve the patient of their symptoms. Like eye drops, over-the-counter medications are available for relatively mild symptoms.
For more severe cases, prescription medications may be necessary. These medications may come in the form of antihistamines, decongestants, mast cell stabilizers, anti-inflammatory drugs, or topical steroids. Although any oral medications must be prescribed by a general practitioner, our Optometrist will be able to provide more information on how each type works.
Preventing Eye Allergies
Perhaps you’re more interested in learning how to prevent allergic reactions in the first place as opposed to how to treat them. If so, not to worry. Take a look at a few approaches we feel work best:
- Avoiding Allergens. Although not always possible, the best way to prevent an allergic reaction is to avoid your allergens by doing things such as closing the windows in your home or vehicle. Seems like common sense, doesn’t it?
- Removing Your Contacts. The surface of your contact lenses can attract and accumulate airborne allergens. Because of this, you may be experiencing more reactions than normal. Try only wearing eyeglasses during allergy season.
- Purchase a Pair of Wraparound Sunglasses. Wraparound sunglasses protect your eyes from allergens when worn by acting as a shield from pollen. Instead of coming into contact with your eyes, the allergens will accumulate on the sunglasses. Simply clean the glasses after each use to avoid any reactions.
- Immunotherapy. A longer approach, but nonetheless effective. Immunotherapy consists of being injected with small amounts of allergens, or taking oral pills, to help you gradually build up an immunity to them. After some time, your allergic reactions will likely stop or lessen.
Still Can’t Get Any Relief?
If you’ve tried our preventative approaches and experimented with some of the over-the-counter medications above, yet still can’t find relief, it may be time to visit one of our Optometrists. Our staff is equipped with both the knowledge and the tools necessary to provide you with exceptionally professional and accurate care.