Ease Itchy Eyes This Allergy Season

If you suffer from allergy symptoms, here are five ways to alleviate your itchy eyes:

1. Avoid Allergens: Sensitivity to different allergens differs from person to person. If pollen triggers your allergies, avoid going outside when the pollen count is highest – usually mid-morning and early evening. When you are outside, wearing sunglasses or eyeglasses may help keep pollen out of your eyes. While inside, keep windows closed and avoid using window fans, as they draw pollen indoors.

2. Take Decongestants: Available as eyedrops, these reduce redness in eyes. Don’t use these for longer than two to three days, however, as they can eventually increase irritation to the eye.

3. Use Artificial Tears: These eyedrops work by washing allergens out of the eye and adding moisture to dry, itchy eyes. They are available over the counter and can be used as often as you need them.

4. Use Antihistamines: In the form of eyedrops, antihistamines both relieve symptoms and prevent eye allergies. Oral antihistamines relieve some itchiness of the eyes but often end up drying eyes.

5. Immunotherapy Shots: If you’re avoiding allergens, but using antihistamines and decongestants don’t provide any relief, allergy shots may be an option for you. These work by slowly building up your body’s tolerance to allergens and eventually help your body become immune to the allergens.

Depending on the severity of your allergies, your ophthalmologist can help determine which treatment is best suited for your needs.

Information courtesy of the American Academy of Ophthalmology