If you suffer from hay fever, you don’t need a calendar to tell you when it’s the first day of spring. The pink cherry blossoms and yellow acacia blooms may be beautiful, but the pollen combined with breezy weather (plus mold, dust, and pet dander) is the perfect storm for eye allergies.
There’s no need, however, to suffer through this lovely season with itchy, red, watery eyes. Here are several ways that you can prevent and treat eye allergies:
Use eye drops
Eye drops are most effective if you start administering them before allergy season hits. Ask your eye doctor for a recommended over-the-counter brand or a prescription if your allergies are severe. Whatever drops you use, always follow the instructions and use them consistently until you’ve finished the entire bottle for best results.
Switch to daily contacts (or glasses)
Contact lens wearers often suffer more from eye allergies because pollen and dust can accumulate on the lens and irritate your eye. If you wear monthly or bi-monthly contacts, try switching to a daily disposable lens for the allergy season. If your eyes are still irritated, you may need to favor your glasses until symptoms subside.
Ask your doctor for a custom allergy treatment plan
Antihistamines stop the production of mucous triggered by allergies. This means that oral allergy meds do a really good job at drying you out, which is what you want, right? While it’s great to get a reprieve from the constant nose drip, some oral medications can turn your eyes from watery to uncomfortably dry. Ask your eye doctor about a treatment plan that’s best for your symptoms. You may need eye drops in addition to oral allergy medication or a nasal spray.
Take a shower before bed
Pollen and dust can get caught in your luscious locks, so make a habit of washing your hair before bed to remove all allergens and get a better night’s sleep. If you don’t have time for a shower, just washing your face prior to lights out can also make a difference.
Avoid rubbing your eyes
When your eyes itch, it’s so tempting to rub them ferociously, hoping it will alleviate the discomfort. Have you noticed though that this usually just makes your eyes more irritated and red? This is because eye rubbing actually releases more histamine, amplifying your allergy symptoms rather than relieving them. When you get the urge to rub your eyes, hold a moist cold washcloth over your eyes for a minute or two. This will provide immediate relief and reduce redness and puffiness.
Buy an air purifier
Air purifiers can help with allergies to mold, pollen, dust, and pet dander. If you find that your allergies are worse when you’re at home, an air purifier could be a wise allergy relief investment.