Autumn is now in full swing, and that means many North Texans are dealing with itchy, watery eyes and other symptoms of fall allergies.
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you’re not alone. Did you know that The Asthma and Allergy Foundation has ranked Dallas the number 23 worst city in the nation for allergies? Some of the most common allergens that might be irritating your eyes this fall include ragweed, mold and dust mites.
The fall weather will be the primary factor determining just how bad allergies will be this year. If temperatures stay above normal and it continues to stay dry in North Texas, allergy sufferers may experience more symptoms than normal. On the other hand, moist air can help keep pollen out of the air, and a blast of cold air will help kill off allergens.
Read here for more tips to keep your eyes healthy this fall.
If you are experiencing runny nose, congestion, coughing, sneezing or itchy, watery eyes, it’s likely you’re suffering from allergies.
What can you do about allergies?
While you may not be able to change the allergen count in the air, there are a few practical things you can do to help reduce your exposure to irritating allergens this fall.
Stay inside and keep your windows closed on high pollen count days. Local weather services provide daily pollen counts. When pollen is high, avoid being outside as much as possible. Typically, pollen counts tend to be higher mid-morning and early evening.
Wear eyeglasses or sunglasses to block pollen from your eyes. When you do go outside, eyeglasses or sunglasses can act as a shield to protect your eyes from allergens that may be in the air.
Practice proper contact lens care. Contact lens wearers may experience more allergy symptoms due to allergens becoming trapped behind the contact lens. Lenses should be cleaned thoroughly and changed regularly.
Wash your hands frequently. If you have allergens on your hands, they can easily come in contact with your face and eyes, aggravating your allergy symptoms.
Avoid rubbing or scratching your eyes. Consistently rubbing or scratching your eyes may lead to more serious eye problems or a damaged cornea. Purchase over-the counter eye drops, or ask your doctor for prescription eye drops to help relieve dry or itching eyes.
Change your bedding frequently. Allergens can stick to your bedding, further irritating your eyes.
Wash your hair frequently. If you spend much time outside during the spring, wash your hair frequently, as pollen and other allergens may become trapped in your hair.
If you suffer from dry eyes due to allergies, there may be some treatment options available to relieve your eye irritation. The Key-Whitman Dry Eye and Allergy Treatment Center offers dry eye treatments including: artificial tears and ointments, supplements, plugs to prevent lubrication from escaping the eyes, LipiFlow® treatment for evaporative dry eye and prescription medications such as Restasis®.
If you are experiencing continual eye irritation, contact Key-Whitman today to schedule an appointment.