If you are experiencing red eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes it could be due to pollen-induced eye allergies. For many of us, spring time is eye allergy season, marking the onset of uncomfortable symptoms such as itchy eyes, watery eyes or stinging, red eyes. Seasonal eye allergies are often a result of an influx of tree and flower pollen into the atmosphere and can greatly inhibit everyday functioning for those that suffer from them.
What can you do to guard your eyes this pollen season? Well the most obvious answer would be to limit contact with pollen by staying indoors, especially when the pollen count is high. Keeping windows shut, cooling off with air conditioners and wearing full-coverage shades when going outside may also help to protect your eyes from allergens in the atmosphere. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter is also known filter allergens from the air inside your home or office.
Nevertheless, for those of us that must go outside, certain medications can alleviate symptoms such as red eyes, watery eyes or itchy eyes. It's possible that a simple over-the-counter rewetting drop will soothe and relieve itchy eyes or red eyes and cleanse the eye of allergens. Products with antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers will alleviate inflammation of the eyes and treat non-eye related symptoms such as cold-like symptoms. Drops are sometimes recommended because they can work more quickly and effectively than pills or liquid medications to alleviate eye symptoms.
Contact lens wearers sometimes find that they suffer more during eye allergy season due to the fact that allergens tend to accumulate on the exterior of the lens, bringing about an allergic reaction. This is compounded when oral antihistamines are taken which further dry out the eyes. Contact lens wearers should make sure to ensure eyes are lubricated and replace lenses as directed. Some eye care professionals suggest the use of daily disposable contacts, since replacing your lenses daily lowers the chances of buildup and irritation.
Most importantly, don’t rub red, itchy eyes. This will just increase the inflammation. Since many of the products that work to alleviate symptoms do require a prescription, if over-the-counter solutions do not help, schedule an appointment with your optometrist.