If you’re allergic to pollen, dust, mold or pet dander, you may struggle with watery, swollen, itchy eyes. Thankfully, at-home and prescription remedies are available. Here are some different approaches you can take to get relief from eye allergies.
At-Home Remedies for Preventing and Relieving Mild Eye Allergies
For many people, it’s possible to avoid allergy triggers and relieve symptoms with DIY methods. Here’s what to try first.
- Keep the windows shut, especially in the morning and evening when pollen counts tend to be at their highest.
- Cover pillows with hypoallergenic pillowcases to reduce your exposure to dust mites, and wash your bedding weekly in hot water.
- Keep your pet out of the bedroom to reduce your exposure to pet dander while you sleep.
- Dust and mop often to remove pet hair and dust from hard surfaces.
- Wear wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes from pollen when mowing the lawn or engaging in other outdoor activities.
- Remove your contact lenses, which can attract airborne allergens. Consider wearing eyeglasses throughout allergy season.
- Gently clean your eyelids before bed to remove pollen and other allergens that could irritate your eyes while you sleep.
- Place a cool washcloth on your eyes to relieve swelling and itching.
- Rinse your eyes with saline solution or artificial tears to help flush out allergens.
- Apply allergy eye drops to combat your symptoms. Wait at least 15 minutes before putting in contact lenses.
- Take oral antihistamines or other over-the-counter allergy medications.
Prescription Remedies for Moderate to Severe Eye Allergies
When DIY methods aren’t enough to combat your persistent symptoms, ask your eye doctor what other options are available. Here are some prescription eye drops and oral medications you may want to try.
- Antihistamines reduce eye allergy symptoms by blocking histamine cells that generate an allergic response.
- Decongestants help you breathe easier by shrinking swollen nasal passages. They also relieve redness by reducing the size of blood vessels in the whites of your eyes.
- Mast cell stabilizers prevent mast cells from releasing histamines. Because it takes weeks for mast cells to reach their full potential, you should take this medicine as a preventatives measure rather than a treatment for existing symptoms.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) eye drops decrease swelling caused by seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, also known as hay fever.
- Corticosteroid eye drops relieve acute eye allergy symptoms. They are designed for short-term use only because of the complications that can arise with prolonged use.
- Immunotherapy is a treatment for people with severe allergies. You achieve long-term relief after a few months of injections that help you build up immunity to certain
Eye allergies aren’t the other thing that can affect your eye health. Keep your vision clear with regular visits to Gerstein Eye Institute. To schedule an eye exam in Chicago, IL, please contact us at 773.596.9545 today. We have been offering preventative eye care since 1968.
If you suffer with seasonal allergies, you’re not alone. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, up to 30 percent of adults and 40 percent of children experience allergies each year.
Along with sneezing, runny nose and congestion, many seasonal allergy sufferers experience red, itchy, swollen or watery eyes. With more information about what causes common eye allergies, you can learn to avoid them and find solutions for your symptoms.
Most Common Eye Allergies
An allergy is when your body reacts negatively to a usually harmless substance. There are all sorts of sensitivities, but the most common culprits of eye allergies include:
- Pet dander
- Eye drops
Avoiding Eye Allergens
The first step is to figure out what you’re sensitive to with allergy testing or through simple observation. Then, you can take necessary precautions to prevent exposure to them.
- If your eyes itch and swell after petting animals and then touching your eyes, you should keep pets out of your bedroom and wash your hands immediately after handling dogs or cats.
- If outdoor allergens are to blame, stay inside on days when pollen counts are high, and wear wraparound sunglasses to shield your eyes from pollen.
- If dust sets you off, wash your bedding weekly in hot water and replace wall-to-wall carpeting with hardwood floors.
- If cosmetics or eye drops make your eyes swell, look for all-natural products to prevent this.
It may also be helpful to switch from contact lenses to glasses during allergy season. Contacts can accumulate airborne allergens, which irritate your eyes and worsen your symptoms. Glasses, on the other hand, actually help keep irritants out of your eyes.
Solutions for Eye Allergies
If you need relief from your symptoms, try these tips:
- Apply eye drops. Over-the-counter varieties should work for relatively mild symptoms, while you may need a prescription to treat more severe eye allergies.
- Take antihistamines and decongestants to reduce the symptoms of an allergic reaction, including red, itchy eyes.
- Apply a cool washcloth to your eyes to relieve puffiness. Cumber slices are also effective.
- Apply cold, damp tea bags to your eyelids. After steeping tea, save the bags. Keep them in the fridge until your next allergy flare-up. Then, place them on your closed eyes for two to five minutes.
- Flush away irritants with saline solution. Stand over a sink and rinse your eyes with sterile saline or artificial tears.
Eye allergies are just one consideration in your overall eye health. To ensure your vision stays crisp and clear, make it a priority to visit Gerstein Eye Institute in Chicago, IL for preventative eye care. We have been helping patients take care of their vision since 1968, and we’re committed to helping you find the right treatment for you! For more information, or to schedule an eye exam, please contact us at 773.596.9545 today.
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