If you are prone to allergies or have sensitive eyes, most seasons can feel like allergy season. In the spring, pollen from flowers and trees can affect your eyes and make them itch. In the summer, it’s the pollen from grass, and Ragweed pollen can sting your eyes and make them red in the fall.
If allergies cause your eyes too much suffering, Lens.com is here to help you. This post discusses how you can protect your eyes from allergies—regardless of the season.
- Consult your eye care professional (ECP).
Stay one step ahead of your eye allergies. Schedule an appointment with your eye care professional (ECP) before allergy season starts, and your allergy symptoms flare-up. You could be experiencing the symptoms of eye allergies, but you may not know the exact cause or how to avoid it.
Your ECP can diagnose your specific eye allergy and rule out other problems after you’ve described your symptoms and a thorough eye examination. Once your doctor determines your eye allergy, they’ll discuss treatment options with you, which can include lifestyle changes, eye drops, and oral medication.
- Limit your exposure to allergens.
If you know the cause of your eye allergies, the simplest way to avoid allergies is not to expose yourself to the allergen. This means limiting the time spent outside in environments with trees, flowers, or grass for seasonal allergies.
If you live in a house with a lawn, it’s ideal to hire a professional to mow your lawn. Most grass species only release pollen when they grow taller, so keeping your lawn trimmed and neat will minimize your exposure to pollen.
Unfortunately Max the cat and Fido can also prove to be serious allergens for many people. It’s usually impossible to limit allergens from family pets: your best strategy is to limit their presence in one room of the house, the allergy-free zone. And, of course, use eye rinses often to help.
- Wear protective eyewear when going outdoors.
A high-quality pair of sunglasses will protect your eyes from harmful UVA and UVB rays. However, your sunglasses are good for more than that. If you suffer from eye allergies, wearing sunglasses outdoors can reduce the number of allergens that get into your eyes by deflecting the allergens carried by the wind.
- Remove your contact lenses.
If you wear contact lenses, allergens can build up on your contact lenses and exacerbate your eye allergy symptoms. The solution is to cut down the time you wear your contact lenses.
If you wear contact lenses designed for overnight wear, avoid sleeping in your contact lenses for too many consecutive days. Remove and clean them at least every other day to eliminate any allergens accumulated on the contact lenses.
Another solution is to wear daily disposable contact lenses or dailies. When wearing dailies, you just remove and dispose of them before you sleep at the end of the day. You don’t have to worry about allergens building up on the contact lenses because you wear a fresh pair each morning.
- Use artificial tears or lubricant eye drops.
There are many over-the-counter (OTC) artificial tears or lubricant eye drops available in the market. These products contain ingredients that moisturize the eyes and alleviate eye irritation. OTC artificial tears are also effective at rinsing impurities like allergens away from the eyes and providing short-term relief from eye allergy symptoms.
These are not the same as antihistamine drops. These contain drugs and while relief can be achieved for short periods, prolonged use is contraindicated. It’s important to consult your physician or eyecare practitioner before using medicated eye drops for more than a few days.
Keep in mind that there are many brands out there, and they all have different ingredients. Your safest bet is to go with a brand that doesn’t contain any additives or preservatives that can make your symptoms worse. Furthermore, even though you can buy artificial tears without a prescription, it’s still a good idea to consult your ECP before using artificial tears. This way, they can advise you regarding the proper use of the product.
If you want your eyes to feel comfortable even during allergy season, follow the tips we’ve outlined here. However, if your symptoms persist, don’t hesitate to consult your ECP immediately.