April is approaching and you know what that means: allergy season. If you aren’t already sneezing and itching, you’ll be experiencing it soon enough. To help you better understand allergies (specifically seasonal) and their relationship to your eye health, here are the basics.
Spring has arrived and so has the pollen, meaning the days ahead are going to be full of itchy, puffy, and watery eyes. This happens when your body is reacting to foreign substances, known as allergens. Examples of allergens that can affect your eyes are pollen, grasses, weeds, pet dander, etc. If the allergen enters your body and your immune system overproduces antibodies to fight it off, then an allergic reaction occurs. Source:Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
Allergies can affect anyone. Your immune system responds to these allergens in a variety of ways, but your eyes are a strong indicator of their effect. As mentioned above, the swelling and itching of your eyes is one of the main indicators of an allergic reaction. That being said, the symptoms of eye allergies vary in their severity and affect each individual differently. While some might only experience slight itching, others could experience redness, burning, and watery discharge.
Eye allergies trigger everyone differently. Look out for allergic conjunctivitis, an ocular allergy, this time of year. This form of allergy is most common during Spring due to seasonal allergens, such as pollen and mold spores. In more severe cases, allergic rhinitis, or hay fever, could be present and worsen in the presence of pollen. Source: American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology
Just as you would with anything else, you should be paying attention to the severity of your eye allergies. Is anything worsening? Do you need non-prescription medication, or something more?
There are endless over-the-counter remedies for keeping your allergic reactions at bay during this time of year, but if your symptoms worsen, it’s wise to seek out treatment on how to manage your eye allergies from a professional. There are ample treatments available to manage eye allergies, ranging from decongestant eye drops to oral antihistamines and immunotherapies. You just have to know what you need. Source: American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
In the meantime, we recommend that you take preventative measures such as avoiding touching your eyes, wearing sunglasses when outdoors, and reducing your use of fans that could spread seasonal allergens throughout your home.
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