Spring is around the corner, which brings warmer temperatures and increased pollen counts. This results in an increase of patients seen with eye allergies at our office. Pollen and mold are the two most common causes of allergies. Stay indoors if you can on high-pollen count days while keeping windows and doors closed. Make sure your air filter is changed out in your vehicle and your air conditioner at home. If you will be outside, the pollen count will be highest in the morning and will be lower after rain. Mold spores are found in shady, wooded areas, so if you plan to hike, plan accordingly.
What can be done?
Wear wraparound sunglasses to shield your eyes from allergens. If you were contact lenses, avoid wearing them during high-pollen times and switch to eyeglasses. Switching to daily disposable contact lenses are a great option as the allergens that adhere to the contact lens are thrown away at the end of the day. Allergens can attach themselves to fabric, shoes, and pets. More laundering, vacuuming, hand washing, and pet scrubbing will be necessary to reduce allergens in the home.
Over-the-counter eye drops may help reduce cases of mild or moderate itchy, scratchy, watery, and burning eyes due to allergies. Talk to your eye doctor first because symptoms of watery and red eyes might be caused by an eye infection. The treatment for eye allergies and eye infections differ. More severe eye allergies may require prescription eye drops. If spring time starts to take a toll on your eyes, do not hesitate to contact us!