How Seasonal Allergies Can Affect Your Eyes

Eye Safety
How Seasonal Allergies Affect Your Eyes

Do you have watery and irritated eyes right now? Maybe your eyes are itchy and your vision is blurry. At first you may think you are coming down with a cold, but all this misery may be from seasonal allergies.

Cooler weather makes us want to be outside enjoying the changing colors and blue skies. But be aware of how seasonal allergies can affect your eyes.

Fall Allergies

The changing colors and falling leaves may be beautiful – but they can wreak havoc on your eyes. Dust and pollen are abundant getting in our eyes and nose. Also known as seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, this common problem is caused by airborne allergens – debris or dust and pollen from trees, grasses, and weeds. This is not the same as pink eye or an infection that can be spread to others. But make no mistake, it is no less severe or unpleasant.

Some familiar symptoms include:

  • Puffy eyelids
  • Runny nose
  • Light sensitivity
  • Nasal congestion
  • Watery discharge
  • Itchy red eyes
  • Blurred vision and contact lens discomfort

Having itchy eyes is the most common symptom of allergic conjunctivitis. Avoid rubbing your itchy eyes as this only makes the symptoms worse.

What Is Happening?

When the attacking pollen comes into contact with the lining of our eyelids and the outside of our eyes (known as the conjunctiva) it reacts and forms antibodies to fight off the pollen “invaders.” This in turn makes our eyes water, become red, and begin to itch.

While some may find these symptom only an annoyance, others spend certain seasons of the year sneezing and scratching their eyes which affects both their social and work environments.

Contact Lenses And Seasonal Allergies

Now there is a combination you want to avoid if possible. Contact lenses can make your seasonal allergies practically unbearable. Wear your glasses more frequently during the worst of allergy season, or consider LASIK laser eye surgery.

What To Do

Simple things like wearing sunglasses when outdoors can help when the pollen count is high. Try antihistamines to reduce the worst of the symptoms, but be aware it may increase your dry eye symptoms.

In addition:

  • Wash your hands frequently. You can transfer pollen and mold to your eyes without even thinking about it.
  • Keep your windows closed while driving and in your home.
  • Use your air conditioner and buy filters that trap the worst of the allergens.
  • Wash your hair before bedtime and use clean pillowcases each night.
  • Buy a dehumidifier.

If you suffer with seasonal allergies, have dry eyes, are wearing contact lenses,
or want more solutions to limit your seasonal allergies,
We are here to help with all vision issues.