The Cleveland Clinic

Eye Health: Protecting Your Eyes During Allergy Season

For some people, it seems like every season is allergy season. In the spring, it is the tree and flower pollen; with summer's arrival the tree and flower pollen are joined by grass pollen; and in the fall it is weed pollen. The result? Red itchy eyes that also burn and sting. For some allergy sufferers in warmer parts of the country, these eye-aggravating allergies can be a bother for as many as 10 months out of the year.

How do I protect my eyes during allergy season?

Because seasonal allergies are most often caused by plant life that releases pollen into the air, they can be difficult to avoid. Nevertheless, there are some approaches that you can take to help lessen your allergy symptoms:

  • Pay attention to the pollen reports. Your local weather channel or weather-related Internet site regularly gives the pollen counts for your area of the country. When pollen counts are high, restrict your outdoor activities when possible.


  • Have someone else mow your grass when possible.


  • Limit your exposure to wooded areas.


  • Close your doors and windows and use your air conditioning during warmer months. However, because allergens are spread through the air, they can be circulated throughout the house through the air conditioning's filter. If you have severe reactions to pollens, the use of air conditioning may not be wise if flare-ups are severe during this time.


  • Consider purchasing a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. These filter systems are very effective at removing allergens from the air in your room or house.