If you are experiencing red eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes it could be due to spring eye allergies. For many of us, 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 caused by an influx of tree and flower pollen into the air and can greatly inhibit quality of life for those that suffer from them.
How can you defend your eyes this pollen season? If at all feasible, try to reduce exposure to pollen which means remaining indoors, in particular on days with a high pollen count. Keeping windows shut, cooling off with air conditioners and putting on wrap-around shades when going outside may also help to protect your eyes from allergens in the atmosphere. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter is also known cleanse allergens from the air when you are inside.
Since most of us have to go outside on occasion, certain medications 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 moisturize and relieve itchy eyes or red eyes and flush out allergens. Products with antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers are made to allay inflammation of the eyes as well as non-eye related symptoms such as congestion and sneezing. Drops are sometimes recommended because they can work more quickly and effectively than oral products to alleviate eye problems.
About 20% of the U.S. population, or 54 million people suffer from allergies, nearly 50% of which are eye allergies. Eye allergies are often genetic and result from an over-sensitivity to a particle that has entered the eye even when it is not necessarily harmful. The eyes then release histamines and other immune mediators which result in excessive tears, itching, burning, redness and irritation.
One of the most important things to remember is, don’t rub red, itchy eyes. Doing so can only exacerbate the irritation. Since many of the effective medications do require a prescription, if over-the-counter solutions are not working for you, book an appointment with your eye doctor.