While seasonal allergies are most frequently associated with the spring, a large number of people endure symptoms during the autumn as well. Above nasal symptoms such as sneezing and congestion, symptoms that affect the eyes can severely impair one's ability to go about one's normal functions.
Eye allergy symptoms include tearing, itching, swelling and burning. Often vision becomes blurry or eyes become sensitive to light. These symptoms 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.
When an individual with allergies comes into contact with an allergen he is sensitive to, the immune response is to release histamines to defend against the ''intruder''. This hypersensitive immune response results in typical allergic symptoms which include general symptoms as well as eye related symptoms.
If you wear contacts, symptoms are frequently exacerbated since lenses can often collect allergens. Additionally, when our eyes are itchy, our first reaction is to rub them which can result in even more irritation for those wearing contact lenses. Lens users suffering from ocular allergies often find themselves using rewetting drops more frequently or even reducing the use of their lenses or primarily wearing eyeglasses. If you wear contacts and experience seasonal allergies, you may want to consider a different brand of contacts, particularly if you don't use daily disposables which minimize the likelihood of allergen accumulation. You don't have to suffer from your contacts – schedule an appointment at our Philadelphia, PA optometry practice to discuss your condition.
For anyone suffering here are a few ways to reduce exposure and symptoms of fall ocular allergy discomfort:
- Avoid outdoor activities when pollen levels are highest (usually mid-morning and early evening)
- Close windows as much as possible, especially when driving.
- Wash carpets and draperies often to get rid of pollen that has entered the house.
- Rather than sweeping, clean floors with a damp mop, which is more effective at cleaning away allergens.
- Try not to rub your eyes. Use a cool compress for soothing irritation or itchiness.
- 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, you may need something stronger. In this case, make an appointment with your eye doctor as soon as possible to talk about your options and begin proper treatment. Our Philadelphia, PA eye care office is here to assist your eyes feel their best despite allergy season!