Warm weather months bring many unpleasant sensations for seasonal allergy sufferers, such as sneezing, coughing, itchy red eyes, irritated or watery eyes, itchy and runny nose and throat.
Surprisingly, the best way to battle the bothersome symptoms of seasonal allergies is to reduce your allergen exposure from early spring until late fall.
How can we do that, when allergens seem to be everywhere?
- Wear a hat and glasses when outdoors, to prevent pollen from getting into your eyes and hair.
- Limit outdoor time throughout mid-morning and early evening, when allergens move around most.
- Regulate the temperature of your home with air conditioning, instead of opening the windows.
- Remove your shoes before entering your home, and wash flooring on a regular basis.
- Shower before bed (to avoid transferring outdoor allergens from your face and hair onto your bedding) and wash your pillowcases and sheets frequently with hot water.
- Use a clothes dryer to dry your laundry, instead of hanging garments outdoors.
How can we avoid making matters worse, when suffering from a reaction?
- Avoid rubbing or touching your eyes, as this will increase the irritation.
- Carefully wash your hands, face, eyelids and hair, and launder the clothing worn throughout your contact with the allergens.
- Use a nasal rinse, available at your local pharmacy, to flush out pollen and mold spores from within your nasal passages. (Be sure to carefully follow all instructions!)
- Gently apply a cool compress to the affected eye(s), such as a cold wrap or wash cloth, taking care to not apply ice directly or for more than 20 minute intervals.
Your eyes may experience uncomfortable symptoms due to numerous potential issues such as allergies, dry eye syndrome, reaction to contact lenses or infection. Severe ocular allergies may need to be treated with antihistamine or prescription eyedrops, according to your eye doctor’s diagnosis. Our optometrists strongly recommend that all eye problems be addressed with an eye exam, and after thoroughly assessing your ocular health they will provide appropriate treatments as needed.