As the end of summer approaches, many individuals start to experience symptoms of ragweed allergy or hay fever. In addition to nasal symptoms such as sneezing and congestion, symptoms that affect the eyes can severely impair one's ability to go about one's normal functions.
Symptoms of ocular allergies include tearing, itching, swelling and burning. Often vision becomes blurry or eyes become sensitive to light. These symptoms can be so debilitating for those suffering that they prohibit an individual's ability to perform in work, school, sports and leisure activities.
If you wear contacts, symptoms are frequently exacerbated because contacts can often collect pollen. Additionally, when our eyes itch, we usually rub them which can cause even more discomfort for those wearing contact lenses. Use of artificial tears can sometimes reduce discomfort but many contact lens wearers decide to limit the use of their contacts. If you wear contacts and experience fall allergies, it could help you to try switching brands, particularly to single use, daily disposables which reduce the likelihood of pollen accumulation. If you are experiencing problems from your contacts, visit our North Vancouver, BC eye care practice to talk to a professional about your options.
Whether you wear contacts or not, here are some tips to reduce exposure and symptoms of autumn eye allergies:
- Check the local pollen count and stay indoors when counts are high, particularly at peak times such as midday.
- Close windows when possible, especially when driving.
- Use a clothes dryer rather than hanging clothing out to dry whenever possible.
- Instead of sweeping, use a damp mop to clean floors, which is more effective at cleaning away allergens.
- Refrigerate artificial tears or use cold compresses for soothing irritation.
- Shower at night to remove any allergens you may have collected throughout the day.
If over the counter medications are not helping a prescription medication may be more effective. If this is the case, make an appointment with your eye care professional now to discuss your options and begin proper treatment. Our North Vancouver, BC optometry office is here to help your eyes feel their best despite allergy season!