If you are experiencing red eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes you may be suffering from pollen-induced eye allergies. For some, spring is eye allergy time, marking the onset of uncomfortable symptoms such as red eyes, itchy eyes, stinging, burning and watery eyes. Springtime eye allergies are largely due to an influx of tree and flower pollen into the atmosphere and can greatly inhibit everyday functioning for those that suffer from them.
How can you defend your eyes during allergy season? Whenever possible reduce contact with allergens which means staying indoors, particularly when the pollen count is high. Closing windows, using air conditioners and putting on wrap-around shades when going outside can also help to protect your eyes from irritants in the air. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter is also an effective way to remove irritants from the air inside your home or office.
Nevertheless, for the majority of us that can't stay indoors the entire spring season, there are medications that can treat symptoms such as red eyes, watery eyes or itchy eyes. It's possible that a simple over-the-counter eye drop will soothe and relieve itchy eyes or red eyes and cleanse the eye of allergens. Medicines containing antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers can reduce irritation of the eyes and treat other symptoms such as congestion and sneezing. Eye drops are sometimes recommended because they can work more quickly and effectively than pills or liquid medications to alleviate eye symptoms.
Those who wear contacts sometimes find that they suffer more from eye allergy season because irritants can stick to the exterior of the lens, bringing about irritation. Further, oral antihistamines can dry out the eyes, worsening the situation. Individuals who wear contacts are advised to take measures to ensure eyes are moist and switch contacts on time. Some eye care professionals prefer the use of daily disposable contacts, since changing your lenses daily reduces the chances of buildup and irritation.
If your eyes are irritated, don't rub them. This can just increase the irritation. Because many of the products that work to alleviate symptoms do require a prescription, if over-the-counter options are not working for you, see your eye doctor.