Ocular allergies are a combination of allergic reactions that the eyes have to uncomfortable stimuli. The allergies cause itching, dryness, redness, tearing, lid swelling, and a burning sensation. A person may also develop eye fatigue, light sensitivity, grittiness, and swelling. Symptoms like these reduce the quality of life. Fortunately, you can protect yourself from these allergies.
Allergies come up after contact with allergens. So, the first prevention tactic is to limit your exposure to them. Examples of allergens include ragweed, pollen, mold spores, dust mites, and pet dander. Diesel exhaust, cigarette smoke, and some perfumes may irritate your eyes.
Limit going outdoors when the pollen level is high, especially during the plants’ flowering season. If you must go out, plan your outdoor activities around the times when pollen count falls. On average, the pollen count is high in the morning, peak midday, then start falling in the afternoon. Going by this, the best times to go out are early in the morning before dawn, and late in the afternoon, up to the evening. When you go outside, put on some sunglasses or eyeglasses to block allergens’ entry into your eyes.
When home, shut your windows, especially when the pollen count is high. Get rid of dust mites and pet dander through regular cleaning and aeration. Avoid dampness as it promotes mold growth. Mold produces spores and releases them into the air. The spores are notorious allergens. If anyone around you smokes, ask them to do it outside. Also, watch for how your eyes react around some perfumes and diesel exhaust. If these things irritate you, keep off.
In case of infection, here are some treatment options:
When your eyes get dry, some artificial tears may help relieve the dryness symptoms. The tears moisten the eyes and wash out the allergens. The best kind is the one without preservatives. Use the drops as many times as needed throughout the day for the entire allergy season.
Decongestant eye drops are useful for reducing redness and itchiness that the allergens cause. You may buy them over-the-counter at your local pharmacy. Long-term use of decongestants may produce side effects. So, only use them for the recommended number of days.
You may take oral antihistamines to relieve eye irritation. But, for some people, medicine worsens the symptoms. If that happens to you, doctors recommend getting a comprehensive eye exam to determine the allergy cause.
However, if you wish to try your luck before the exam, buy a mast-cell stabilizer from your local drugstore. It has an antihistamine content that may relieve your symptoms.
Sometimes, the allergies are aggressive and cannot be controlled using eye drops or antihistamines. When this happens, your eye doctor may recommend some immunotherapy shots. The shots work like vaccines. They contain small amounts of allergens that prompt your body to produce antibodies to fight them. The doctor gradually increases your dose with each shot. By the time you finish getting shots, your body will have developed resistance to the allergens.
Protecting your eyes from allergens is the easiest way to avoid ocular allergies. However, there is a range of options from which you can get relief in case of infection. Consult an eye doctor to determine the treatment method that best suits you. Visit Wear Eyewear in Chicago or Orland Park, Illinois. You can also call (312) 626-0036 and (708) 349-9327 to book your appointment.