Just something in my eye...
Spring brings new life, flowers, grasses, and the scourge of seasonal allergies. Unfortunately, the most beautiful sights of Spring are to blame for the marked increase in the pollen and allergens in the air.
While seasonal allergies are generally understood to coincide with Spring, you can be impacted any time and any place. Allergens such as pet dander, dust, dirt and cigarette smoke are just a few of the many things that can cause a similar reaction to plant allergies.
What are eye allergies?
Eye allergies are the result of your body’s immune system reacting to allergens by releasing histamines that cause your eyes and skin to become sensitive and itchy. For many people, allergies can be particularly intense and seeing an allergist would be prudent course of action. In most cases, there are things you can do to reduce their severity and even avoid symptoms altogether.
What can you do when you are suffering from eye allergies?
By making some minor changes to your environment and activities, you can significantly reduce the amount of allergens you come in contact with, which would reduce the severity of the symptoms.
- Keep windows closed, keep your air filters in your home and car clean during high pollen seasons.
- Wear glasses, sunglasses or goggles when outdoors in an effort to keep irritants from direct contact with your eyes.
- Use artificial tears to keep your eyes moist and less susceptible to the impact of allergens.
(Note: A word of caution, many turn to eye drops with tetrahydrozolineto take out the redness. These drops are decongestants and work by constricting the blood vessels in the eye. While these drops reduce redness, they do not eliminate the cause and long-term use can make the problem worse.)
- Thoroughly wash your hands after touching any animal, plant or tree.
- Frequently wash bed linens to prevent against possible exposure to dust mites.
- If you live in a humid environment, consider using a dehumidifier that will make your environment less hospitable for mould and bacteria.
Seasonal allergies can be an unfortunate fact of life for many, but hopefully we’ve given you enough info to help reduce or even eliminate their impact on your eyes. If allergy symptoms are prolonged or get worse, consult with your optometrist to determine the best course of action.
This article has been provided by VSP. CBHS members have a range of benefits of discounts with VSP which you can find here.
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