As the leaves change color and the temperature drops, many of us are getting ready to stock up on tissues and eye drops. It is estimated that 50 million Americans experience seasonal allergies, which often come with an array of eye irritation including excessive tearing and itchiness.
If you are prone to eye allergies, the trusted vision experts at Mack Eye Center have compiled the following list of tips to help keep your eyes happy and comfortable all season long.
Stock up on eye drops. There are a variety of eye drop brands available to treat eye allergy symptoms. While these can treat mild symptoms, they may not be able to treat more stubborn cases. If over-the-counter eye drops are not helping, visit your eye doctor for prescription eye drops. Your eye doctor may also prescribe another form of medication based on the type and severity of your eye symptoms.
Shower before bed. This is especially important after spending a lot of time outdoors. Make sure to wash your hair thoroughly so you don’t transfer allergens to your bed.
Wash your sheets. Speaking of your bed, it’s a good habit to wash your sheets and pillowcases once a week to keep them free of allergens. Wash your sheets using hot water and dry them on a hot dryer circle.
Wear sunglasses. Sunglasses are important year round. Not only do they protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful UV rays, they also keep pollen, dust and other allergens from reaching your eyes. For best protection, wear wraparound sunglasses.
Use an air purifier. One survey found that six or more allergens (e.g., pollen, dust mites, mold) were found in more than 50 percent of homes. You can significantly reduce the amount of allergens present in your home by using an air purifier. For best results, keep your air purifier on 24 hours a day and close doors and windows that lead outside.
Wear glasses instead of contact lenses. Pollen and other irritants can build up on contact lenses, leading to itchiness and dry eyes. You can minimize eye irritation by swapping your contact lenses for glasses, even if it is for only part of the day. Wearing glasses also helps block irritants floating in the air from reaching your eyes.
For more tips on how to combat eye allergies, or to schedule a routine eye exam, please contact Mack Eye Center.