While many associate seasonal allergies with the arrival of spring, a large number of people endure symptoms during the fall months as well. Above sneezing and a stuffy or runny nose, ocular allergies are often a significant cause of discomfort.
Eyes are often itchy, swollen, and irritated and often burn or tear. Often vision becomes blurry or eyes become sensitive to light. These symptoms can be so debilitating for those affected that they interfere with work, school, sports and leisure activities.
Allergic reactions happen when a person is exposed to an allergen he has a sensitivity to which causes the immune system to overreact by releasing histamines. This reaction by the oversensitive immune system results in typical allergic symptoms which include general symptoms as well as those related to the eyes.
If you wear contacts, eye allergies are sometimes exacerbated because lenses can often attract pollen. Further, when our eyes itch, we usually rub them which can result in even more irritation for those wearing contacts. Use of rewetting drops can sometimes alleviate discomfort but many contact lens wearers decide to switch to glasses. If you wear contacts and experience eye allergies, you may want to consider switching brands, particularly to single use, daily disposables which reduce the potential for pollen collection. You don't have to suffer from your contacts – visit our Boynton Beach, FL eye care practice to discuss your condition.
Regardless of whether you wear contacts or not, here are a few tips to minimize exposure and symptoms of fall ocular allergies:
- Stay indoors when pollen levels are highest (usually mid-morning and early evening)
- Keep windows closed as much as possible, especially when driving.
- Use a clothes dryer rather than hanging clothing out to dry whenever possible.
- Clean floors with a damp mop rather than sweeping which tends to stir up rather than clean away allergens.
- Try not to rub your eyes. Use a cool compress for soothing irritation or itchiness.
- Reduce mold in your home by keeping humidity under 50% and using a dehumidifier if necessary.
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 eye care professional as soon as possible to discuss your options and begin effective treatment. Our Boynton Beach, FL eye care office is here to assist you in regaining your comfort this fall!