If you are experiencing red eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes it could be due to seasonal eye allergies. For some of us, March is the start of pollen season, which means uncomfortable symptoms such as itchy eyes, watery eyes or stinging, red eyes. Springtime eye allergies are largely due to an influx of pollen from trees and flowers into the atmosphere and can greatly inhibit quality of life for those that suffer from them.
What can you do to guard your eyes this allergy season? Whenever possible decrease contact with allergens by remaining indoors, in particular when the pollen count is high. Keeping windows shut, cooling off with air conditioners and putting on full-coverage shades when going outside may also help to protect your eyes from irritants in the air. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter can be used filter irritants from the air when you are inside.
Since most of us must leave the house on occasion, there are medicines that can treat symptoms such as red eyes, watery eyes or itchy eyes. It's possible that a simple over-the-counter eye drop will moisturize and alleviate itchy eyes or red eyes and remove irritants. Products containing antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers are made to alleviate irritation of the eyes as well as non-eye related symptoms such as cold-like symptoms. Eye drops often work better than pills or liquid medications to treat eye symptoms.
Approximately 20% of Americans are affected by allergies, almost half of which are eye allergies. Eye allergies often run in families and result from an over-sensitivity to a particle in the eye regardless of whether it is harmful. The eye releases 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. This will only increase the inflammation. Due to the fact that many of the products that work to alleviate symptoms do need a prescription, if over-the-counter solutions are not working for you, see your eye doctor.