While eye allergies are more commonly talked about in the spring, a large number of people suffer during the fall months as well. In addition to nasal symptoms such as sneezing and congestion, symptoms that affect the eyes can severely impede one's ability to go about one's normal functions.
When suffering from allergies, the eyes can become itchy, swollen, and red and often sting or water. Vision can often be affected as well by blurriness or sensitivity to light. These effects can make it so uncomfortable for those affected that they prohibit an individual's ability to perform in work, school, sports and leisure activities.
Allergic reactions happen when an individual is exposed to a substance he is sensitive to which causes the immune system to release histamines to fight the allergen. This defense by the hypersensitive immune system results in typical allergic symptoms which include general symptoms as well as those related to the eyes.
For contact lens users symptoms can often be worse since contact lenses can often attract pollen. Additionally, when our eyes are itchy, our first reaction is to rub them which can result in even more irritation for contact lens users. throughout the duration of allergy season. If you wear contacts and experience eye allergies, it could help you to try a different brand of contacts, particularly if you aren't using daily disposables which reduce the likelihood of allergen collection. If you are experiencing discomfort from your contacts, schedule an appointment at our Bloomington, IL eye care practice to discuss your condition.
Regardless of whether you wear contacts or not, here are a few ways to minimize exposure and symptoms of autumn ocular allergy discomfort:
- Avoid outdoor activities when pollen levels are highest (usually mid-morning and early evening)
- Wear big sunglasses to help block allergens from entering your eyes.
- Use a clothes dryer rather than hanging clothing out to dry whenever possible.
- Instead of a broom, use a damp mop to clean floors, which is more effective at cleaning away allergens.
- Try not to rub your eyes. Use a cool compress for soothing irritation or itchiness.
- Eliminate mold in your home by keeping the house dry and using a dehumidifier if necessary.
If over the counter medications are not helping a prescription medication may be more effective. In this case, schedule a visit to your eye care professional now to discuss your options and begin proper treatment. Our Bloomington, IL eye care office is here to help you in regaining your comfort this fall!