Spring time is right around the corner.  The temperatures are warming. The trees are budding, and the flowers are growing.  It’s a wonderful time of year, but with it comes the dreaded allergy season.  Today, Dr. Smith talks about how you can prepare for allergy season.

Spring Allergies and Our Eyes

Airborne allergens, like the springtime pollen, can be unusually irritating to our eyes.  The heightened sensitivity our eyes experience to them can cause the following conditions:

  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Inflammation
  • Tearing

Even though allergy irritation isn’t permanently harmful to our eyes, the dryness, itchiness and inflammation can cause us to want to rub our eyes which can be harmful and damaging, potentially causing corneal scratching and infection.  We can’t change the amount of pollen in the air during allergy season, but we can take a few preventative measures to assist in relieving those allergy irritants.

Surviving the Allergy Season

Of course, we recommend you continue to take any medication you normally would for your allergies, but here are a few extra tips that just might relieve your eyes during this difficult season.  Here are a few things you can do to prepare for allergy season and reduce symptoms.

  • Use artificial tears.  Applying drops of artificial tears can flush out the allergens from off your eyes.  It’s cleansing and refreshing and can be repeated as often as necessary without any harm to your eyes. Artificial tears are usually inexpensive and easy to find over the counter at your local pharmacy.
  • Wash your hands, face and clothing often.  Keeping the eye clean is important during allergy season.  In order to do this, it’s necessary to also keep your hands, face and clothing as clean as possible from pollen.
  • Apply a cold compress.  If your eyes get swollen and irritated with allergies, applying a cold compress to them can feel oh so nice!  It will help to reduce the heat and swelling and give you some much needed relief.  We offer cold compress eye masks in the clinic if you need one.
  • Take out your contacts.  When your allergies get really bad, remove those contact lenses for a little while.  The pollen and irritants can get trapped in between the contact lens and your eye.  This can cause even more irritation as they constantly rub between the two, so taking out your contacts and wearing your glasses for a while will help your eye rid itself of some of irritation.
  • Replace air filters.  It is important to ensure that clean air is circulating through your home during allergy season, so make sure you replace your air filters in your home as necessary.
  • Eat natural antihistamine foods.  Certain foods carry natural properties of antihistamines.  These foods include foods high in Omega 3 fatty acids, such as fish and nuts, and Vitamin C, as in oranges, broccoli and strawberries.

These suggestions are intended to offer you some ideas on how to prepare for allergy season and bring relief, but if your eyes are continually irritated, don’t wait to have Dr. Smith look at them.  There are allergy specific treatments that can be implemented to help manage the symptoms of allergies.  Call our office today to schedule your appointment. 435.359.2020  Or visit our website to schedule online.

The content found on this blog is for information purposes only.  It is not intended to take the place of professional medical advice from your eye care provider.   Always seek treatment from a qualified health care provider with all your eye health and medical questions regarding your health.

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