As the end of summer approaches, many people start to experience symptoms of ragweed allergy or hay fever. In addition to nasal symptoms such as sneezing and congestion, symptoms that affect the eyes can result in a great amount of discomfort.
Eyes are often itchy, swollen, and red and often burn or water. Vision can often be affected as well by blurriness or sensitivity to light. These symptoms can be so debilitating for those affected that they prohibit an individual's ability to perform in all aspects of everyday life - from work to play.
When an individual with allergies comes into contact with an allergen he or she is sensitive to, the immune system sends out histamines to combat the ''intruder''. This hypersensitive immune response results in typical allergic symptoms which include general symptoms as well as eye related symptoms.
If you wear contacts, eye allergies are sometimes worse since contact lenses can often collect allergens such as ragweed. Additionally, when our eyes itch, our first reaction is usually to rub them which can cause even more discomfort for those wearing contact lenses. until the season ends. If you wear contacts and experience seasonal allergies, you may want to consider a different brand of contacts, particularly if you don't use daily disposables which minimize the likelihood of pollen collection. You don't have to suffer from your contacts - visit our North Reading, MA eye care practice to discuss your options.
Regardless of whether you wear contacts or not, here are some tips to minimize autumn ocular allergy symptoms:
- Check the area pollen count and stay indoors when counts are high, particularly at peak times such as midday.
- Keep windows closed as much as possible, especially when driving.
- Use a clothes dryer rather than hanging clothing out to dry whenever possible.
- Instead of sweeping, use a damp mop to clean floors, which is more effective at getting rid of allergens.
- Try not to rub your eyes. Use a cool compress for soothing irritation or itchiness.
- Eliminate mold in your home by keeping the house dry 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, make an appointment with your eye care professional now to talk about your options and begin effective treatment. Our North Reading, MA optometry practice would be happy to assist you in regaining your comfort this fall!