At the end of the summer, many people begin to suffer from seasonal eye allergies such as hay fever. In addition to nasal symptoms such as sneezing and congestion, symptoms that affect the eyes are often a significant source of discomfort.
When suffering from allergies, the eyes are often itchy, swollen, and red and often sting or water. Often vision becomes blurry or eyes become sensitive to light. These symptoms can be so debilitating for those affected that they interfere with work, school, sports and leisure activities.
Allergic symptoms occur when a person comes into contact with a substance he has a sensitivity to which causes the immune system to overreact by releasing histamines. This hypersensitive immune response results in the symptoms we all know such as sneezing, couching and congestion as well as eye related symptoms.
For contacts users symptoms are frequently worse since contacts can often attract allergens such as ragweed. In addition, we tend to rub eyes that itch, which can result in even more discomfort for those wearing contact lenses. Use of rewetting drops can sometimes reduce symptoms but many contact lens wearers decide to reduce the use of their lenses. If you wear contacts and experience ocular allergies, it could help you to try a different brand of contacts, particularly if you don't use daily disposables which reduce the likelihood of allergen collection. If you are experiencing problems from your contacts, visit our Kenosha optometrists to talk to a professional about your options.
For anyone suffering here are some ways to reduce exposure and symptoms of autumn eye allergies:
- Check the local pollen count and stay indoors when counts are high, particularly at peak times such as midday.
- Keep windows closed as much as possible, especially when driving.
- Keep pets inside when possible as they can transport pollen into the house.
- Clean floors with a damp mop rather than sweeping which can often stir up rather than get rid of allergens.
- Try not to rub your eyes. Use a cool compress for soothing irritation or itchiness.
- Eliminate mold in your home by keeping humidity under 50% and using a dehumidifier if necessary.
If over the counter medications are not helping a prescription medication may be more effective. If this is the case, make a visit to your eye care professional as soon as possible to discuss your options and begin proper treatment. Our Kenosha, WI eye care office would be happy to help your eyes feel their best despite allergy season!