Warm weather and longer days are great reasons to spend more time outdoors. And while springtime can be a welcome relief after a long, chilly winter, the allergies that come with it are not embraced quite as readily. If you’re among the 24 million people in the U.S. who have seasonal allergic rhinitis, you may find yourself with red, itchy eyes this time of year.

Why Are My Eyes Itchy?

If your eyes are feeling irritated, you’re not alone: between 20% and 40% of Americans have eye-related allergies, with over half experiencing symptoms during certain seasons. One culprit is seasonal allergic conjunctivitis. In this condition, pollen released from plants can trigger a number of eye-related symptoms. For example, pollen can irritate the blood vessels in your conjunctiva, the membrane that covers your eye, resulting in the telltale red, itchy eyes you’ve come to expect each spring. Exposure to irritants also produces histamine, leading to watery eyes,swelling, burning sensation, soreness, light sensitivity, visible puffiness, and dark circles under your eyes. 

While pollen may be to blame for itchy eyes in many cases, it’s possible your symptoms could stem from another source entirely, so if your issue is more serious than your usual, you should be assessed for other potential issues.  But if you notice other issues like a scratchy sensation, blurred vision, or a feeling that there’s something in your eye, dry eye might be the reason.

Treatments for Red, Itchy Eyes: Our Recommendations

While you may not be able to avoid springtime allergies altogether, there are ways to manage their symptoms. Here’s what our specialists recommend for handling itchy eyes caused by springtime allergies.

The first step for treating your itchy eyes is identifying the source of the problem. Limit outside exposure if you’re pollen sensitive. If you’re sensitive to pollen, wash your sheets and pillowcases in hot water once a week. Shower and wash your hair before bedtime to remove pollen trapped in your body. Cool compresses are helpful, as well as topical antihistamine eye drops. These drops are available over the counter. Oral antihistamines can also help. 

Our eye care professionals specialize in diagnosing eye conditions and can help pinpoint what’s causing your symptoms. From there, we can make tailored treatment recommendations, which could include  stronger prescription eye medications. 

Make sure you consult with your eye doctor when looking into prescription or over-the-counter eye drops.

Struggling With Dry and Itchy Eyes? Schedule an Appointment Today

Itchy eyes are frustrating. If your symptoms are beginning to interfere with your day-to-day routine, allow our doctors  to diagnose and treat the root cause. Schedule an appointment online or by calling (404) 351-2220.