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Spring Allergies and Your Eyes: What You Need To Know


As the temperatures rise and the snow melts away, you might start to notice some changes in your eye health. And you’re not alone. Millions of people are affected by spring allergies.

Spring weather tends to bring along an abundance of allergens such as pollen and dust, both of which can negatively impact your vision. Spring allergies can influence our everyday comfort, ability to see clearly, read, and even cause eye infections.

If spring allergies are a seasonal trial for you, here are a fews things you should know and some helpful tips on finding relief.

What Causes Spring Allergies



While allergens are around us year-round, spring allergies are especially brutal. Flare ups in spring cause long months of eye irritation. This is due to a seasonal increase of the most common airborne allergens, which include:

  • Dust

  • Pollen

  • Pet Dander

  • Mold

Since spring is pollination time for trees, mold, and grass (as well as the period where many animals shed their winter coats) your immune system goes into overdrive.

And, the majority of your immune system overreaction occurs on the surface of your eyes.

Symptoms

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  • A variety of eye-related symptoms can occur, depending on your body’s specific reaction to allergens. The most common eye reactions are:

  • Redness

  • Itching or a scratchy feeling

  • Watery eyes

  • Contact lens discomfort

  • Burning

  • Swollen eyelids Since these allergens are airborne, completely avoiding spring flare ups is difficult. Fortunately, there are a wide-range of treatments for those who find their quality of life and vision severely impacted. Treatments


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One of the most obvious approaches to alleviating springtime allergies is avoiding allergens all together. Stay inside on high pollen count days and change your air conditioner filters frequently. However, staying inside isn’t always an option. Some additional treatment options are:


  • Removing contacts: the surface of contact lenses attract and accumulate airborne allergens. Wearing eyeglasses or switching to disposable contacts can help reduce your eyes’ exposure.

  • Wraparound sunglasses: these glasses will shield and protect your eyes from pollen and other allergens.

  • Over-the counter medications: there are several over-the-counter medications for relieving eye allergies. Eye drops are great for mild symptoms and non-drowsy allergy medications, such as antihistamines, can reduce the worst symptoms.   

  • Prescription medications: those suffering from severe allergy symptoms might need to visit an optometrist for prescription medication. This could range from prescription eye drops to decongestants to immunotherapy. Always consult an optometrist before using new medications, even over-the-counter brands. Your eye doctor will be able to take your medical and vision history into consideration before making a recommendation. We’re In this Together! If you or a loved one is suffering from eye irritation this spring, call the Eden Prairie Eye Care center at (952) 944-2792 or schedule your appointment with Dr. Oker online. Whether your eye irritation is an effect of spring allergies or any other reason, we’ll work with you to come up with the best treatment plan. Your eye health is our top priority. Contact Eden Prairie Eye Care today!