Although many correlate seasonal allergies with the arrival of springtime, just as many individuals suffer during the fall months as well. Above nasal symptoms such as sneezing and congestion, ocular allergies can result in a significant level of discomfort.
Eyes can become itchy, puffy, and irritated and often sting or tear. Vision can often be affected as well by blurriness or light sensitivity. These symptoms can make it so uncomfortable for those suffering that they prohibit an individual's ability to perform in all aspects of everyday life – from work to play.
When an individual with allergies is exposed to an allergen he is sensitive to, the immune system sends out histamines to defend against the ''invader''. This hypersensitive immune response results in the symptoms we all know such as sneezing, couching and congestion as well as eye related symptoms.
If you wear contacts, eye allergies are frequently worse because lenses can often attract allergens such as ragweed. Further, we tend to rub eyes that itch, which can cause even more discomfort for those wearing contacts. Contact lens wearers experiencing seasonal allergies often find themselves using rewetting drops more frequently or even limiting the use of their contacts or primarily wearing glasses. If you wear contacts and experience eye allergies, it could help you to try a different brand of contacts, particularly if you aren't using daily disposables which minimize the potential for allergen collection. If you are experiencing problems from your contacts, visit our Ramsey, NJ eye care practice to discuss your options.
For anyone suffering here are some ways to minimize exposure and symptoms of fall ocular allergy discomfort:
- Check the area pollen count and stay indoors when counts are high, particularly at peak times such as midday.
- Close windows as much as possible, especially when driving.
- Clean carpets and curtains frequently to get rid of allergens that have entered the house.
- Clean floors with a damp mop rather than a broom which can often stir up rather than get rid of allergens.
- Use chilled artificial tears or use cool compresses for soothing irritation.
- Take a shower at night to wash off any allergens you may have collected throughout the day.
If over the counter medications are not helping you may need something stronger. In this case, make a visit to your optometrist as soon as possible to discuss your options and begin proper treatment. Our Ramsey, NJ eye care office is here to assist you in regaining your comfort this fall!