According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, 50 million people have eye allergies affecting 30% of adults and 40% of children. When allergens affect the eyes it causes red, itchy, and watery eyes. The most common allergens that cause eye allergies are pollen, mold, dust, and pet dander.
What can you do to survive allergy season?
1. Try to avoid or limit your exposure to allergens. If you are outdoors, wear wraparound sunglasses and drive with the windows up. If the pollen count is high, try to stay indoors with the air conditioner running.
2. Use artificial tears or over-the-counter antihistamine eye drops to help reduce itchy and swelling of the eyes. Ask your eye doctor which type of treatment is best for you.
3. Try not to rub your eyes because this causes more itching! Rubbing your eyes causes histamine to be released and causes runny nose and itchy eyes.
4. If you are a contact lens wearer, consider switching to daily disposable contact lens wear. Allergens adhere to the lenses which are disposed at the end of the day with daily disposable contact lenses.
5. Make sure you wash your face and take a shower before bedtime to remove dirt and allergens from your eyes and face.
If over-the-counter medications do not reduce eye allergies, prescription strength eye drops can be prescribed in severe cases. See your eye doctor to determine which medicated treatment is most effective in treating your eye allergies.