Over 50 million people suffer from allergy symptoms in the United States alone. Red, watery or itchy eyes and swollen or puffy eyelids are all triggered by common allergens such as dust, pollen and ragweed. This can make daily activities truly miserable for people prone to eye allergies. Seasonal allergies are typically worse during the spring, late summer and autumn months and when the pollen counts are high.
When your eyes come in contact with an allergen, such as pollen or ragweed, special cells in your eyes go on alert. These cells, called mast cells, then release various chemical substances. This is actually a protective mechanism but for some people it can cause eye allergy symptoms. Other irritants include dirt, smoke, chemicals and chlorine.
EYE ALLERGY SYMPTOMS
► Itchy, red or watery eyes
► Runny nose
► Itchy nose, mouth or throat
► Sinus headaches
EYE ALLERGY RELIEF
The best way to manage your eye allergies is to control the source of the allergen. This means reducing or eliminating contact with the allergens that irritate your eyes. Here’s what you can do:
► Wash your hands, face and hair frequently to keep them allergen-free
► Keep hands and fingers away from your eyes
► Avoid or reduce outdoor activities when pollen counts are high
► Close windows and doors to keep allergens out
► Avoid touching or rubbing swollen itchy eyes, as this may worsen your symptoms
If allergies are severe, your eye doctor may prescribe eye drops to reduce the inflammation and get you back to your active lifestyle. If you are experiencing eye allergies, contact one of our 13 convenient locations to schedule an appointment today or click here to request an appointment online.