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Eye Allergy Season is Coming – Are You Ready?

Do you have red eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes? If yes, you may be suffering from spring eye allergies. For many, spring is eye allergy season, which means uncomfortable symptoms such as itchy eyes, watery eyes or stinging, red eyes. Spring eye allergies are often a result of the release of pollen from trees and flowers into the air and can greatly inhibit quality of life for those that suffer from them.

How can you protect your eyes this pollen season? If at all feasible, try to limit exposure to allergens by remaining indoors, in particular when the pollen count is high. Keeping windows closed, cooling off with air conditioners and putting on full-coverage shades when exposed to the elements may also help to protect your eyes from irritants in the air. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter can be used remove particles from the air when you are inside.

Nevertheless, for those of us that must go outside, certain medications can treat symptoms such as red eyes, watery eyes or itchy eyes. It's possible that a simple over-the-counter lubricating eye drop will soothe and alleviate itchy eyes or red eyes and cleanse the eye of allergens. Products with antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers will alleviate irritation of the eyes and treat non-eye related symptoms such as congestion and sneezing. Drops often work better than oral solutions to treat eye symptoms.

Those who wear contacts sometimes experience greater discomfort from eye allergies since allergens tends to accumulate on the exterior of the lens, causing an allergic reaction. This is compounded when oral antihistamines are taken which have a drying effect on the eyes. Contact lens wearers should make sure to keep their eyes lubricated and replace lenses as directed. Some eye doctors prefer the use of daily disposable contacts, since changing your contact lenses each day lowers the chances of buildup and inflammation.

If you are experiencing irritated, watery eyes, don't rub them. Doing so can just worsen the irritation. Because often effective medications do require a prescription, if over-the-counter medications are not working for you, see your optometrist.