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:
Taking these preventive measures is often just the first step to controlling seasonal allergies. For many people, the next step is discussing with their doctor possible allergy drugs to help relieve their symptoms. There are many effective medications to help eliminate allergy symptoms, and by making a trip to the doctor for an eye allergy evaluation, he or she can prescribe the correct medication to help prevent irritation or itchiness from occurring.
Over-the-counter allergy drugs can also be purchased to help an eye allergy sufferer with mild symptoms. The medicine is usually less expensive than prescription medications and can clear up mild irritation. Eye drops are also available that can help wash out the eyes. The drops usually contain antihistamines and decongestants that help calm eye allergies.
Regardless of whether your medication is over-the-counter or prescribed, be sure to follow the directions exactly as stated by the label or by your doctor. If you have any questions about your medication, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Reviewed by the doctors at The Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute.
Last Editorial Review: 12/19/2007