While many correlate seasonal allergies with the arrival of spring, a large number of people suffer during the autumn months as well. In addition to nasal symptoms such as sneezing and congestion, ocular allergies can significantly impair one's ability to go about one's normal functions.
When suffering from allergies, the eyes can become itchy, puffy, and irritated and often sting or water. Often vision becomes blurry or eyes become sensitive to light. These effects can be so debilitating for those affected that they interfere with work, school, sports and leisure activities.
When an individual with allergies is exposed to an allergen he has a sensitivity to, the immune system releases histamines to defend against the ''invader''. This reaction by the oversensitive immune system results in the symptoms we all know such as sneezing, couching and congestion as well as eye related symptoms.
For contacts users symptoms are sometimes worse since contacts can often attract allergens such as ragweed. Additionally, when our eyes are itchy, our first instinct is to rub them which can cause even more discomfort for those wearing contacts. until the season ends. If you wear contacts and experience fall allergies, you may want to consider switching brands, particularly to single use, daily disposables which minimize the potential for pollen accumulation. If you are experiencing discomfort from your contacts, visit our San Diego, CA optometry practice to talk to a professional about your options.
For anyone suffering here are some tips to minimize autumn eye allergy discomfort:
- Check the local pollen count and stay indoors when counts are high, particularly at peak times such as midday.
- Close windows when possible, especially when driving.
- Use a clothes dryer rather than hanging clothing out to dry whenever possible.
- Rather than sweeping, use a damp mop to clean floors, which is more effective at getting rid of allergens.
- Use chilled eye drops or use cool compresses for extra soothing.
- Shower every night to clean yourself of any pollen you may have collected throughout the day.
While over the counter medications and eye drops can sometimes help relieve symptoms, a prescription medication may be more effective. In this case, make a visit to your optometrist as soon as possible to discuss your options and begin effective treatment. Our San Diego, CA optometry office would be happy to help your eyes feel their best despite allergy season!