If you are experiencing red eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes it could be due to pollen-induced eye allergies. For many of us, spring time is pollen season, which means uncomfortable symptoms such as red eyes, itchy eyes, stinging, burning and watery eyes. Spring eye allergies are often a result of an influx of tree and flower pollen into the atmosphere and can greatly inhibit everyday functioning for those that suffer from them.
What can you do to guard your eyes this allergy season? If at all feasible, try to decrease contact with allergens which means staying indoors, especially on days with a high pollen count. Keeping windows closed, cooling off with air conditioning and wearing full-coverage sunglasses when going outside may also help to protect your eyes from allergens in the atmosphere. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter is also an effective way to filter particles from the air inside your home or office.
However, for the majority of us that must go outside, certain medications can reduce symptoms such as red eyes, watery eyes or itchy eyes. Often times a simple rewetting drop is all that's needed to soothe and relieve itchy eyes or red eyes and flush out allergens. Medications with antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers will reduce redness and swelling of the eyes as well as other symptoms such as cold-like symptoms. Drops often work better than pills or liquid medications to alleviate eye symptoms.
Nearly 20% of Americans are affected by allergies, nearly half of which are allergic eye disease. Eye allergies can be hereditary and are the result of a hyper-sensitivity to a substance that has entered the eye even when it is not necessarily harmful. The eye releases histamines and other immune mediators which result in excessive tears, itching, burning, redness and irritation.
If your eyes are irritated, don't rub them. This can only increase the irritation. Due to the fact that some of the products that work to alleviate symptoms do require a prescription, if over-the-counter solutions do not help, see your eye doctor.