Do you have red, itchy eyes?
If you’re suffering eye allergies, you’re not alone.
An estimated 1 in 5 Americans deals with the annoyance of eye allergies, or ocular allergies also known as allergic conjunctivitis. While the symptoms caused by eye allergies can be bothersome, they almost never present a permanent threat to eyesight.
However, it’s important to note that itching, redness, burning sensations and puffiness can also be signs of infection. In cases of infection, see your doctor if the symptoms don’t improve with time or with treatment such as over-the-counter remedies.
If you think you may have eye allergies, here are some helpful tips on how to get relief from your red, itchy, and watery eyes.
- Avoiding allergens: Keep an eye on pollen count forecasts. If the count is going to be high, consider staying indoors. Replacing the filters in the air conditioner and/or furnace will help trap allergens while creating a more comfortable environment.
- Resist the temptation to rub itchy eyes! While rubbing itchy eyes may feel natural, the contact to the eyes will actually release more histamine and aggravate the symptoms. In other words, rubbing itchy eyes may make the problem worse.
- Remove your contacts: Did you know that the surface of contact lenses can attract and accumulate airborne allergens? Allergy season may be a good time to break out that forgotten pair of glasses. Also, consider switching to disposable lenses. This way, your contacts aren’t accumulating allergens over a period of days.
- Over-the-counter eye drops: Your local pharmacy has many types of over-the-counter eye drops that may provide relief for your red, watery, and itchy eyes. This approach isn’t only convenient, but also budget friendly. Your doctor can help you find the best brand for your symptoms.
- Prescription medications: If eye drops are not providing relief for moderate to severe, symptoms, it may be a good time to talk to your doctor about what prescription options are available.