Although eye allergies are more frequently associated with springtime, just as many people suffer during the fall as well. Above sneezing and congestion, ocular allergies can significantly impair one's ability to go about one's normal functions.
Ocular allergy symptoms include tearing, itching, swelling and stinging. Vision can often be affected as well by blurriness or sensitivity to light. These effects can be so debilitating for those suffering that they prohibit an individual's ability to perform in all aspects of everyday life – from work to play.
Allergic symptoms happen when a person comes into contact with a substance he or she is sensitive to causing the immune system to release histamines to fight the allergen. This reaction by the hypersensitive immune system results in typical allergic symptoms which include general symptoms as well as those related to the eyes.
If you wear contacts, eye allergies are sometimes worse because contacts can often attract allergens such as ragweed. In addition, when our eyes itch, our first reaction is to rub them which can result in even more discomfort for lens wearers. Contact users suffering from seasonal allergies often find themselves using wetting drops frequently or even limiting the use of their contacts or switching to glasses. If you wear contacts and experience ocular allergies, it could help you to try switching brands, particularly to single use, daily disposables which minimize the likelihood of pollen collection. You don't have to suffer from your contacts – schedule an appointment at our Scotts Valley, CA optometry practice to discuss your options.
Regardless of whether you wear contacts or not, here are some ways to minimize exposure and symptoms of autumn ocular allergies:
- Stay indoors during midday and early evening when the pollen levels are high.
- Keep windows closed as much as possible, especially when driving.
- Wash carpets and curtains often to remove pollen that has entered the house.
- Rather than a broom, clean floors with a damp mop, which is more effective at cleaning away allergens.
- Use chilled eye drops or use cool compresses for soothing irritation.
- Clean areas prone to mold frequently with a bleach solution.
While over the counter medications and eye drops can sometimes help relieve symptoms, a prescription medication may be what you need. In this case, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor as soon as possible to talk about your options and begin effective treatment. Our Scotts Valley, CA optometry practice is here to assist your eyes feel their best despite allergy season!