Oral & Vision Health Blog

Spring Allergies: How to Protect Your Eyes

With the changing of seasons come new and irritating allergens. You step outside to enjoy the ever-warmer weather only to find that your eyes begin to itch and get teary. It is possible you have seasonal allergies that are affecting your eyes. As budding plants begin to release pollen, your eyes can start to really act up. If you wear contact lenses, the situation can worsen as pollen can bind to your lenses! 

Most common ways the eyes are affected by allergies:

  • Itchy eyes 
  • Eye redness
  • Burning
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Watery eyes
  • Puffy or swollen eyes

According to WebMD, “The immune system mistakenly sees the pollen as a danger and releases antibodies that attack the allergens. This leads to the release of chemicals called histamines into the blood. Histamines trigger the runny nose, itchy eyes, and other symptoms.”  So, when the body starts attacking the pollen as a threat, it causes the symptoms we associate with allergies. 

Although there is not a simple cure for seasonal allergies, you can find relief from spring eye allergies and the uncomfortable symptoms. 

Suggestions on how to protect your eyes from spring allergies:

  • Use eye drops to help protect and soothe your eyes. This can offer relief from discomfort. They are available over-the-counter and can help to relieve many different symptoms. 
  • Avoid wearing contacts. Wear your glasses instead to avoid pollen getting stuck to your contact lenses. Your glasses will also help keep pollen from getting into your eyes. 
  • Try a cold compress or a cool tea bag to help soothe itchy or red eyes.
  • Beware of windy days. Keep your windows closed and minimize your time outside. 
  • Keep it clean. Frequently wash your hands and wipe down your windows, tables, and other surfaces that can collect pollen or dust. 

If you try the above ideas, you are sure to survive allergy season. If your symptoms seem to get worse contact your health care professional.