While most people look forward to spring, others dread it because of allergies. Spring allergies cause uncomfortable symptoms like congestion and itchy eyes that can impair your daily activities. Family eye care specialist Park Slope Eye discusses how you and your family can manage seasonal eye allergies.
Consult With an Allergist — Knowing what triggers your allergies can help you better manage them. While pollen is the most common seasonal allergen, mold and mildew can also be present and can trigger similar symptoms. An allergist can determine which allergens you are sensitive to and can recommend treatments such as immunotherapy.
Minimize Exposure to Allergens — The best approach to managing eye allergy symptoms is to reduce your exposure to allergens. Stay indoors on days when the pollen count is high. Use your dryer and avoid hanging your laundry on the clothesline. Wash your hair and clothes as well as your pets, if they spend time outside. Maintain good indoor air quality by regularly cleaning or replacing your HVAC system filters.
Remove Your Contacts — The surface of your contact lenses can attract airborne allergens, so avoid wearing contacts during allergy season. If doing so impairs your ability to perform your daily tasks, consider switching to eyeglasses at least until after the season. Your local eye doctor can help you pick the lenses and frames that will look best on you.
Over-the-Counter Eye Drops — You can buy eye drops specifically formulated for eye allergies without a prescription. For relatively mild symptoms, this is a quick and cost-effective solution. Ask your allergist if they can recommend a specific brand for your allergies.
Prescription Medication — If over-the-counter products don’t work, your allergist or eye care specialist can prescribe stronger medication. If you haven’t been taking antihistamines, this is likely what will be prescribed to you. Decongestants, mast cell stabilizers or anti-inflammatory medication may also be prescribed.