Although seasonal allergies are most frequently talked about in the spring, just as many individuals endure symptoms during the autumn months as well. In addition to nasal symptoms such as sneezing and congestion, eye allergies are often a significant cause of discomfort.
Symptoms of eye allergies include tearing, itching, swelling and stinging. Often vision becomes blurry or eyes become sensitive to light. These effects can be so debilitating for those suffering that they prohibit an individual's ability to perform in all aspects of everyday life - from work to play.
Allergic symptoms occur when a person comes into contact with a substance he has a sensitivity to causing the immune system to overreact by releasing histamines. This reaction by the oversensitive immune system results in the symptoms we all know such as sneezing, couching and congestion as well as those related to the eyes.
For contact lens wearers eye allergies are sometimes worse because contacts can often attract pollen. Additionally, when our eyes itch, we tend to rub them which can result in even more irritation for those wearing contact lenses. Lens users experiencing eye allergies often find themselves using rewetting drops more frequently or even reducing the use of their contacts or switching to eyeglasses. If you wear contacts and experience fall allergies, it could help you to try switching brands, particularly to single use, daily disposables which minimize the likelihood of pollen accumulation. If you are experiencing discomfort from your contacts, visit our Memphis, TN optometry 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 symptoms:
- Check the local pollen count and remain indoors when counts are high, particularly at peak times such as midday.
- Keep windows closed as much as possible, especially when driving.
- Wash carpets and curtains frequently to get rid of allergens that have entered the house.
- Clean floors with a damp mop instead of a broom which can often stir up rather than clean away allergens.
- Refrigerate artificial tears or use cool compresses for extra soothing.
- Take a shower at night to remove any allergens you may have collected throughout the day.
While over the counter medications and eye drops can sometimes help relieve symptoms, you may need something stronger. If this is the case, schedule an appointment with your optometrist as soon as possible to talk about your options and begin effective treatment. Our Memphis optometrist would be happy to assist your eyes feel their best despite allergy season!