Eye Allergy Eye Care
The best way to reduce discomfort and prevent an allergic reaction is to stay away from allergens as much as possible. Here are some tips on how to reduce exposure:
Minimize outdoor exposure during pollen season:
- Stay inside when pollen counts are particularly high or during a windy day.
- Keep windows closed and use air conditioner with a clean filter.
- Wear sunglasses outside to keep irritants from entering the eyes.
Reduce indoor allergens:
- Wash bedding frequently in hot water and use mite-proof covers on pillows, blankets, and mattresses.
- Prevent household mold by reducing humidity and keeping areas that are subject to humidity or dampness (such as bathrooms, kitchens or basements) clean. Use a dehumidifier when necessary and clean any mold you see with bleach.
- To reduce dust, clean floors and surfaces with a damp rag or mop rather than sweeping or dry dusting.
- Wash your hands and clothes after coming into contact with animals.
- DO NOT rub your eyes as this can worsen symptoms, greatly aggravating swelling and itchiness, and can sometimes even cause an infection.
- If you have severe allergies, avoid contact lens wear or reduce wear time when allergies flare up, as contact lenses can worsen symptoms and do not fit as they normally would when the eyes are swollen. This is why having back up glasses is so important. Changing to one-day single use disposable contacts can also sometimes reduce allergy symptoms.
To alleviate symptoms of eye allergies some over-the-counter solutions include artificial tears, decongestant eye drops (which shouldn't be used for longer than a week) or oral antihistamines (which can sometimes worsen symptoms).
Cool compresses help to reduce the itch and the swelling. Have your eyes checked if you are experiencing eye allergies. You may need a prescription for stronger eye drops (antihistamine or short term steroid drops to reduce symptoms), oral antihistamines.
Dry Eyes and Air Travel Tips
It is not uncommon to experience exceedingly dry eyes after long periods of travel in the air. The temperature- and pressure-controlled cabin of an airplane creates a very dry environment that can easily take its toll on your eyes.
Fortunately, our eye doctors in Watertown, have outlined a number of steps that a person can take to reduce the chances of experiencing these uncomfortable symptoms that present themselves as part of what is often called "travelers' dry eye." Below are some tips to help you avoid dry eyes when traveling:
- Dehydration has the potential to make dry eye symptoms much worse. Be sure to have a drink on hand at all times, making sure to drink before, during and after your flight. Alcoholic beverages and caffeinated drinks such as tea or coffee may increase the chances of dehydration and those who enjoy these types of beverages in-flight should be sure to drink extra fluids to compensate.
- Artificial tears are another important item of defense against dry eyes. Having a bottle of artificial tears with you at all times during your trip will allow you to apply them as needed. This can help out a great deal. Those with chronic dry eyes should speak to their doctor before their flight to discuss the possibility that they may need a more effective lubricant for the flight.
- Sleeping in-flight can also dry out your eyes. If you take a nap while in the air, be sure to wear an eye mask. This will help minimize the dry air that reaches your eyes while you sleep, reducing the chances of dry eyes.
- Contact lenses also tend to increase the chances of dry eyes, even under normal conditions. This is even more true in especially dry air of the airplane cabin. Those who wear contact lenses should consider switching to a pair of glasses during the flight to cut out this increased risk.
- The air conditioning vent above your seat is also a source of dry air that is blown directly onto your eyes. Turning off this vent can do a great deal to prevent dry eyes. Are your eyes overworked?
For more information about how to save yourself the discomfort of dry eyes on your next plane trip, consult our eye doctors today.
If you are experiencing symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis, don't just assume they are allergies. See your eye doctor determine the cause to ensure that it is not a more serious eye condition.