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Allergies and your eyes

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you know that it isn’t just May’s buds and blooms that trigger itchy eyes and sneezing. Throughout the late summer and fall there are a whole set of new irritants like ragweed, pollens in the grass and moulds growing on falling leaves and other vegetation as Mother Nature continues her cycle.

So, what can you do to get through this allergy season? Here are a few ideas on how to reduce your exposure to allergy triggers.

Use a dehumidifier because it will reduce the moisture in your home and inhibit the growth of fall moulds.

Have a quick shower in the evening to rinse of the pollens that have been captured in your hair and on your skin.

Avoid hanging your clothing outside to dry even though you love line-dried freshness you don’t want to be wearing pollen and allergens throughout the day.

Of course it would be perfect if we could just avoid contact, but pollen and mould spores are airborne so that isn’t possible.

How to relieve allergic reactions

Burning red and watery eyes, tingling and itching in the back of the throat and nose, sneezing and headaches are not just unpleasant. These symptoms of seasonal allergies can prevent us from resting well at night, and functioning fully alert throughout the day.

For mild allergic reactions, cold compresses on the eyes bring soothing relief. You could also try artificial tears. For more severe reactions, medication may be necessary. Antihistamines may take some time to provide relief and it is recommended to use this medication in the form of eye drop, which works faster to relieve your symptoms.

There are many types of eye drops for allergies on the market. Your optometrist can evaluate your symptoms, determine the severity of your allergic reaction and prescribe you the appropriate eye drops. It’s important to be aware that long-term use of over the counter eye medication may bring on undesirable effects, such as recurrent redness. The best way to ensure that you are using the right anti-allergen available, even if it's over-the-counter, is to discuss it with a healthcare professional such as your IRIS optometrist, doctor or pharmacist.

This way you can enjoy the transition of the seasons and the colors of fall to the fullest.

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