The birds are chirping and the flowers are blooming! For most people, these signs of spring are a welcomed treat after the cold winter months. For others, however, these are a sign of something else: allergy season! Our eyes are often one of the most affected areas by allergens and can leave them red, itchy and watery.
While certain medicines may be beneficial in alleviating allergy symptoms, we’ve compiled a few practical suggestions on how to best help your eyes.
- Don’t rub your eyes. Rubbing your eyes may provide temporary relief from itchiness, but it may make things worse. Rubbing can spread the allergens throughout your eye, or could damage the lens of the eye or cornea, causing long-term discomfort.
- Wear sunglasses. It’s always important to protect your eyes from UV rays, but wearing sunglasses can help protect eyes from allergens floating in the air.
- Check and clean your air conditioning filters. Be sure that these are working properly to filter out irritants.
- Apply a cool compress to your eyes. Dampen a washcloth with cold water and lay across your eyes. This will help soothe the eyes and reduce itchiness.
- Remove contact lenses. If you start to experience red, itchy eyes, it is best to remove your contact lenses. Contacts reduce the amount of oxygen your eye gets which can dry them out. In addition, allergens can inflame the eye and prevent contacts from fitting properly.
If you have severe eye allergy symptoms, be sure to speak to your eye care provider. They may be able to suggest or prescribe an eye drop that is best for you.