As the end of summer approaches, many people begin to experience symptoms of ragweed allergy or hay fever. Above nasal symptoms such as sneezing and congestion, ocular allergies are often a significant cause of discomfort.
When suffering from allergies, the eyes are often itchy, swollen, and irritated and often sting or tear. Often vision becomes blurry or eyes become sensitive to light. These symptoms can make it so uncomfortable for those affected that they prohibit an individual's ability to perform in work, school, sports and leisure activities.
If you wear contact lenses, symptoms are often exacerbated since contact lenses can often collect pollen. Further, when our eyes are itchy, we usually rub them which can result in even more irritation for those wearing contacts. Lens wearers experiencing ocular allergies often find themselves using rewetting drops more frequently or even restricting the use of their lenses or switching to glasses. If you wear contacts and experience ocular allergies, it could help you to try switching brands, particularly to single use, daily disposables which minimize the potential for allergen accumulation. You don't have to suffer from your contacts – schedule an appointment at our Philadelphia, PA eye care practice to talk to a professional about your options.
Whether you wear contacts or not, here are some tips to minimize fall ocular allergies:
- Check the area pollen count and remain indoors when counts are high, particularly at peak times such as midday.
- Wear large sunglasses to help block the pollen from entering your eyes.
- Wash carpets and curtains often to remove pollen that has entered the house.
- Instead of a broom, use a damp mop to clean floors, which is more effective at cleaning away allergens.
- Use chilled eye drops or use cold compresses for extra soothing.
- Shower each night to remove 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 more effective. In this case, schedule an appointment with your eye care professional as soon as possible to discuss your options and begin effective treatment. Our Philadelphia, PA eye care practice would be happy to help your eyes feel their best despite allergy season!