It is the time of year when the weather begins to change once again. As with the transition from Winter to Spring and from Summer to Autumn, it can bring a new wave of seasonal allergens lurking around every corner. Stepping outside for allergy sufferers can sometimes be a feat worse than death, leaving the sufferer in such discomfort they wish they could curl up in bed and sleep the day away. We all know about the sinus pressure and headaches that come with seasonal allergies. However, many times we forget about the eye irritation and overall dry eyes associated with this time of year. As with all other allergy symptoms, sometimes it is better to stay on top of the ailment and protect your eyes from seasonal allergies before you become a victim of them. Here are five ways to protect your eyes from seasonal allergies before they hit.
Avoid Allergens and Protect Your Eyes
Whenever there is a medical question, the first answer is always avoidance. When dealing with seasonal allergies, avoidance is a key component to protecting your eyes. This is not to suggest you should stay in your home throughout the entire allergy season. However, there are certain steps you can take to avoid over-exposure to allergens. Some of these steps include: keeping window and doors closed; wearing wraparound sound glasses when outdoors; and staying indoors during high pollen count times of days, like mid-morning and early afternoon.
Glasses, Instead of Contacts, Protect Your Eyes from Seasonal Allergens
Contacts can actually be among the worst perpetrators for irritating your eyes during allergy season. Allergens can become trapped between the contact lens and your eye, causing direct contact with the allergen and extreme irritation. To protect your eyes from seasonal allergens, leave the contacts at home when you know you will be outside for longer periods of time. Wear your glasses to make your eyes happy and far less irritated.
Don’t Touch Your Eyes
Whenever you are in pain, you are always told not to touch the affected area. Touching the affected area could actually make matters worse. The same is true when your eyes are irritated due to seasonal allergies. One of the worst ways to handle eye irritation during allergy season is to rub your eyes. This actually spreads the allergens to other areas of the eye and your nasal passages, making the overall allergy experience much worse.
Artificial Tears Help Protect Your Eyes During Allergy Season
We wash our hands to protect ourselves from exposure to germs. During allergy season, we must wash our eyes to protect our eyes from exposure to allergens. Artificial tears allow us to rinse allergens from our eyes without causing any damage to our eyes. It is best to talk to your optometrist to learn about the best artificial tears for your specific eye care needs.
Wash Away the Allergens
Showering before bed is another way to protect your eyes from seasonal allergens. After a long day of exposure to the outside elements, it is important to wash the allergens from your body to ensure you will not rub them into your eyes while you sleep. If you go to bed without showering, you are allowing the allergens that you encountered during the day to become part of your pillows and blankets, making it more difficult to reduce exposure in the future.
To learn more about protecting your eyes from seasonal allergies, contact the experts at Rittenhouse Eye Associates at (215) 525-6821.