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Logo - Lions Gate Optical Located at Lougheed Town Centre in North Vancouver, British Columbia

Lions Gate Optometry and Optical

Home » What's New » Guarding Your Eyes During Allergy Season

Guarding Your Eyes During Allergy Season

If you are experiencing red eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes you may be suffering from pollen-induced eye allergies. For many of us, spring time is pollen season, which means uncomfortable symptoms such as itchy eyes, watery eyes or stinging, red eyes. Springtime eye allergies are often a result of the release of tree and flower pollen into the atmosphere and can greatly inhibit quality of life for those that suffer from them.

What can you do to defend your eyes during pollen season? Well the most obvious answer would be to limit contact with pollen by remaining indoors, especially when the pollen count is high. Closing windows, cooling off with air conditioning and wearing wrap-around shades when going outside can also help to limit exposure to irritants in the air. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter is also an effective way to clear allergens from the air when you are inside.

Since most of us must leave the house on occasion, there are medications that can reduce symptoms such as itchy eyes, red eyes or watery eyes. Often times a simple lubricating eye drop will soothe and alleviate itchy eyes or red eyes and remove allergens. Medicines with antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers are made to alleviate inflammation of the eyes and treat other symptoms such as congestion and sneezing. Drops are sometimes recommended because they can work more quickly and effectively than oral medications to treat eye problems.

Contact lens wearers often find that they suffer more during eye allergy season since allergens can build up on the surface of the lens, bringing about an allergic reaction. This is compounded when oral antihistamines are taken which further dry out the eyes. Contact lens wearers are advised to make sure to keep their eyes lubricated and replace lenses as directed. Some eye doctors suggest the use of daily disposable lenses, because changing your contact lenses daily lowers the chances of buildup and inflammation.

One of the most important things to remember is, don't rub red, itchy. Doing so can only exacerbate the inflammation. Since many of the effective medications do require a prescription, if over-the-counter solutions are not working for you, book an appointment with your eye doctor.