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9 Tips for Coping With Eye Allergy Season

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Spring is on the way. Soon the sun will be shining, the flowers blooming and allergy season will be upon us. If you have allergies, your eyes are often affected by the high pollen count along with other allergens floating in the fresh spring air. Tree pollens in April and May, grass pollens in June and July and mold spores and weed pollens in July and August add up to five months of eye-irritating allergens, leading to red, itchy, watery eyes, headache and sometimes fatigue.

Here are some practical tips on how to keep your eyes happy as the seasons change.

These are only a few steps you can take to make your eyes more comfortable. Remember to seek medical help from your eye care professional if symptoms persist or worsen.  Sometimes allergy medication or an antihistamine may be necessary for relief.

  1. Avoid rubbing your eyes as this intensifies the symptoms.
  2. One of the prime seasonal allergens that most disturbs eyes is pollen. Stay indoors when pollen counts are high, especially in the mid-morning and early evening.
  3. Wear sunglasses outside to protect your eyes, not only from UV rays, but also from allergens floating in the air.
  4. Check and clean your air conditioning filters.
  5. Use a humidifier or set out bowls of fresh water inside when using your air conditioning to help humidify the air and ensure that your eyes don’t dry out.
  6. Take a shower or bath to help maintain skin and eye moisture and improve your resistance to allergens.
  7. Allergy proof your home:
    • use dust-mite-proof covers on bedding and pillows
    • clean surfaces with a damp implement rather than dusting or dry sweeping
    • remove/ kill any mold in your home
    • keep pets outdoors if you have pet allergies.
  8. Remove contact lenses as soon as any symptoms appear.
  9. Use artificial tears to keep eyes moist.

Here's a list of the most challenging places to live with eye allergies in the US: http://www.aafa.org/pdfs/FINAL_public_LIST_Spring_2014.pdf

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