Toward the end of the summer, many people begin to experience symptoms of ragweed allergy or hay fever. In addition to sneezing and a stuffy or runny nose, symptoms that affect the eyes can severely impair one's ability to go about one's normal functions.
Symptoms of eye allergies include tearing, itching, swelling and stinging. Vision can often be affected as well by blurriness or light sensitivity. These symptoms can be so debilitating for allergy sufferers that they prohibit an individual's ability to perform in all aspects of everyday life - from work to play.
Allergic reactions occur when a person is exposed to a substance he is sensitive to which causes the immune system to release histamines to fight the allergen. This reaction by the oversensitive immune system results in typical allergic symptoms which include general symptoms as well as eye related symptoms.
If you wear contact lenses, eye allergies are frequently worse since contact lenses can often collect allergens. In addition, we tend to rub eyes that itch, which can result in even more irritation for contact lens users. throughout allergy season. If you wear contacts and experience eye allergies, it could help you to try switching brands, particularly to single use, daily disposables which reduce the potential for allergen accumulation. If you are experiencing discomfort from your contacts, schedule an appointment at our Olathe, KS optometry practice to talk to a professional about your condition.
For anyone suffering here are some ways to minimize exposure and symptoms of autumn ocular allergy discomfort:
- Stay indoors during midday and early evening when the pollen count is highest.
- Wear big sunglasses to help block allergens from entering your eyes.
- Use a clothes dryer rather than hanging clothing out to dry whenever possible.
- Instead of sweeping, clean floors with a damp mop, which is more effective at getting rid of allergens.
- Refrigerate artificial tears or use cool compresses for extra soothing.
- Take a shower at night to clean yourself of any pollen you may have collected throughout the day.
While over the counter medications and eye drops can sometimes help relieve symptoms, a prescription medication may be what you need. If this is the case, schedule a visit to your eye doctor as soon as possible to talk about your options and begin effective treatment. Our Olathe, KS optometry practice is here to assist your eyes feel their best despite allergy season!