If you are experiencing red eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes it could be due to seasonal eye allergies. For some, spring time is pollen season, marking the onset of uncomfortable symptoms such as itchy eyes, watery eyes or stinging, red eyes. Springtime eye allergies are often a result of an influx of pollen from trees and flowers into the atmosphere and can result in a severe impact on everyday functioning for those that experience them.
What can you do to defend your eyes this allergy season? If at all feasible, try to reduce exposure to allergens by remaining indoors, particularly on days with a high pollen count. Closing windows, cooling off with air conditioning and putting on full-coverage sunglasses when going outside may also help to limit exposure to irritants in the air. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter is also an effective way to clear allergens from the air when you are inside.
Since most of us have to leave the house on occasion, there are medications that can treat symptoms such as red eyes, watery eyes or itchy eyes. It's possible that a simple rewetting drop is all that's needed to soothe and relieve itchy eyes or red eyes and remove irritants. Products with antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers will reduce irritation of the eyes as well as non-eye related symptoms such as congestion and sneezing. Eye drops are sometimes recommended because they can work more quickly and effectively than pills or liquid medications to treat eye symptoms.
Contact lens wearers sometimes experience greater discomfort from eye allergies since irritants are more likely to enter the eye and accumulate on the exterior of the lens, triggering irritation. This is made worse when oral antihistamines are taken which have a drying effect on the eyes. Contact lens wearers should take steps to ensure eyes are moist and replace lenses on time. Many optometrists recommend the use of daily disposable lenses, since replacing your contact lenses daily greatly diminishes the chances of buildup and inflammation.
One of the most important things to remember is, don't rub irritated eyes. Doing so can just increase the irritation. Because some of the effective medications do require a prescription, if over-the-counter solutions are not working for you, book an appointment with your optometrist.