It’s estimated that seasonal allergies affect around 50 million people each year. Pollen is the most common allergen that causes problems during the spring. Trees and grass release this airborne substance that can travel for miles, floating in the wind and stirring up symptoms if you’re sensitive.
Getting relief involves partnering with an optometrist who can develop a plan that works for you. At Michigan Eye & Contact Lens, Dr. Alexandra Williamson offers comprehensive treatment to help soothe your symptoms and prevent future attacks.
Limit your exposure
Reducing your exposure to allergens that trigger eye symptoms is the best way to get relief. Because pollen is in the air, it’s not always possible to completely avoid it. However, regularly checking the pollen forecast and limiting your outdoor activities on high pollen days goes a long way. When you’re outdoors, wearing sunglasses or eyeglasses on windy days when pollen counts are up can help prevent pollen from getting into your eyes.
Purify indoor air
When you’re indoors, create a safe haven where you’re least likely to trigger your eye allergies. Improving your indoor air quality is the best way to do this. If you don’t have a high-quality air purifier, it’s helpful to purchase one. They trap particles that float around in the air of your home like dust, dander, and pollen.
An air purifier that includes a HEPA filter is one of the most effective ways to allergy-proof your home. Quality purifiers with HEPA filters are capable of trapping 99.97% of microscopic particles that pass through the filter. Additionally, many air purifiers are portable, so taking yours to the office is a breeze. With improved air quality, your irritated eyes feel better.
Leave allergens at the door
Pollen tends to cling to clothing and hair. Strategies to reduce the amount of pollen you bring into your home include changing your clothing when you come in from outside and taking your shoes off at the door.
To help you sleep soundly, it’s a good idea to shower and wash your hair before bed. This way, you avoid transferring pollen to your bed and pillows and triggering a restless night of sneezing and eye rubbing.
Spring allergies tend to make your eyes very dry. Adding moisture is a good way to soothe irritation, and it also helps flush out allergens. Look for preservative-free artificial tears. The drops are available over the counter, and you can use them as often as needed when symptoms spike.
Take medication if symptoms are severe
Severe eye allergies can get in the way of work, school, social activities, and your ability to sleep. Sometimes conservative interventions like avoiding triggers isn’t enough to bring relief. If this is the case, talk to Dr. Williamson about medication.
Many people with eye allergies respond to antihistamines, corticosteroids, or a combination of the two. These medications are available in the form of eye drops, and they help relieve itching, redness, pressure, and swelling.
If you’ve tried everything without satisfactory relief from spring eye allergies, stop by to talk Dr. Williamson to discuss immunotherapy shots. This treatment involves getting a regular series of shots that introduces a tiny amount of allergen into your body.
With each shot, your body becomes less sensitive to the allergen. It retrains your immune system so that eventually the allergen no longer triggers symptoms.
Eye allergies don’t have to make you miserable this spring. Schedule an appointment at Michigan Eye & Contact Lens in Novi, Michigan, by phone or online to get effective control of your symptoms and start enjoying spring again.