As spring arrives, many people look forward to the warmer weather and blooming flowers. However, if you’re one of the millions of people who are allergic to pollen, the joys of this season can come at a price.
Pollen allergies cause a host of uncomfortable symptoms, including sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, and coughing as well as eye problems. Allergic conjunctivitis or “pink eye” is a common eye condition that can cause redness, itchiness, watering, and swelling of the eyes. Fortunately, there are several ways to protect your eyes from pollen.
1. Avoid pollen exposure
The first step in protecting your eyes from pollen allergies is to limit your pollen exposure. This means staying indoors during peak pollen hours, which are typically early morning and early evening. Keeping windows and doors closed can also help prevent pollen from entering your home. Additionally, it may be helpful to use an air purifier with a HEPA filter to capture airborne allergens.
2. Wear protective eyewear
When spending time outside, it’s important to wear protective eyewear, such as wraparound sunglasses or glasses with side shields. This will help prevent pollen from entering your eyes and causing irritation. Contact lens wearers should consider switching to eyeglasses during allergy season, as pollen can collect on the lenses and cause discomfort.
3. Use eye drops
Over-the-counter eye drops can help relieve symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis, such as itching, redness, and watery eyes. Your eye doctor can recommend the best eye drops for your symptoms and share guidance on how to use them.
4. Avoid rubbing your eyes
Rubbing your eyes can worsen your symptoms, as it can release more histamines and irritants into your eyes. Instead, it is better to use a cold compress to relieve itching and swelling.
5. Seek professional treatment
If your symptoms don’t respond to over-the-counter treatments, you should seek the advice of a qualified optometrist. Your eye doctor can prescribe stronger medications, such as antihistamine or steroid eye drops, to help alleviate your symptoms. They can also perform a comprehensive eye exam to rule out any other underlying conditions, such as an eye infection or disease, that could be causing or worsening your symptoms.
At Spectrum Eye Care in Colorado Springs, our eye care professionals can help alleviate red, itchy, and watery eyes associated with a pollen allergy. If you’re looking for relief from eye allergies, we’re ready to help with an expert diagnosis and personalized eye care. Contact us today to schedule your exam!