Spring is here once again, which means pollen is here too. Spring is a beautiful time of year, but it can be a nightmare for those with allergies. Sneezing and watery, itchy eyes are some of the most common symptoms of spring allergies.
If you’re struggling to cope with seasonal allergies, there are several things you can do to relieve your symptoms and still take advantage of the beautiful spring weather. In this post, your eye doctor at Progressive Eyecare discusses eight ways you can relieve yourself of eye allergies for the spring season.
1. Avoid Allergens – One way to relieve yourself of eye allergies is simply to avoid the allergens that cause it, such as pollen. If pollen is the reason you have eye allergies and you have to go outside, then wear sunglasses or eyeglasses and drive with your windows closed and with the air conditioner turned on.
Alternatively, you can also stay indoors as much as possible and run the air conditioner to filter the air around you. Replace your filters frequently as well to avoid contamination.
2. Over-the-Counter Eye Drops – Eye allergies can make your eyes red, watery and itchy. If your eye allergies are fairly mild, then over-the-counter eye drops may be the relief you’re looking for. This is less costly compared to other medication and prescription eye drops. If you’re having difficulties choosing a brand, ask your eye doctor to recommend one for you.
3. Avoid Pet Dander – Yes, petting your cats or dogs can be quite therapeutic but it can also cause allergy problems. This is because pet dander can trigger your allergies. Wash your hands after spending time with your pets to minimize the effect of your allergies.
4. Remove Contact Lenses – While your previous eye exams determined that you need to wear contact lenses to help you see better, it’s important that you remove the lenses every now and again. Contact lenses can attract and build up airborne allergens that can irritate your eyes, making removal and cleaning important. You can also purchase daily disposable lenses if you’re concerned about allergens and debris build-up on your lenses. Another good option is to wear eyeglasses until your allergies improve.
5. “Mite-Proof” Bedding and Dehumidifiers – During your eye exams, your doctor has no doubt told you that dust is another leading cause of allergies. No matter how thoroughly and how often you clean your home, dust will always be present. In your bed, dust mites can pose a problem since they can also irritate your eyes.
With that in mind, mite-proof bedding covers can help limit your exposure to dust mites if needed. Another way to avoid eye allergies is with a dehumidifier, which helps prevent mold growth.
6. Ask About Immunotherapy – Getting sick of sneezing all the time and struggling to find relief? Maybe it’s time to ask your eye doctor about immunotherapy. In this treatment, an allergy specialist injects you with small amounts of the allergens to help you build up an immunity little by little and decrease your allergic reactions.
While this method might take a while, should your body react positively to the treatments, the relief will no doubt be of great comfort to you in the long run.
7. Prescription Medications – Eye allergies often go hand-in-hand with dry eye disease. With that in mind, there are various prescription medications to combat severe allergic reactions. It’s one of your best alternatives if over-the-counter eye drops no longer work and you need a quick-acting solution. There are three main prescription medicines that can help relieve you of eye allergies.
The first are antihistamines, which are considered the classic choice. The body’s natural allergic response is releasing histamine, which dilates blood vessels and the main cause of runny noses and itchy, watery eyes. Antihistamines can reduce your allergic reactions by blocking the attachment of histamine to the cells in the body that produce the allergic response. Note, however, that some oral antihistamines may dry your eyes out further and make your symptoms worse. If this occurs, consult a doctor immediately.
Decongestants can also provide relief from severe allergic reactions. Difficulty in breathing can also cause watery, itchy eyes. Decongestants help shrink the swollen nasal passages, allowing you to breathe easier.
Finally, steroids — specifically corticosteroid eye drops — may provide relief. Steroids are only prescribed to relieve patients from acute eye allergy symptoms. There are some risks involved in steroids that your eye doctor will go over with you during your eye exams, including high eye pressure, glaucoma and cataracts. Therefore, corticosteroid eye drops are only prescribed for short-term use.
For the best optical health services this spring, turn to Progressive Eyecare. We are your number one provider of eyeglasses and family eyecare services. Give us a call at (702) 744-8005 (North Las Vegas) and (702) 357-8202 (Southwest Las Vegas) or fill out our contact form to make an appointment here if you’re from North Las Vegas and here if you live in Southwest Las Vegas. We serve clients in North Las Vegas, Southwest Las Vegas and other areas of NV.