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There’s one thing we can always count on from the arrival of Spring… more pollen! Our cars and windows become covered in it, our faces seem to be hit with a cloud of it every time we step outside, and oh those itchy, watery eyes.
What Causes Pollen
Wind born pollination reaches its peak in spring when there’s an influx in new growth like grass, trees, and weeds. When the particles get into the nasal passages of somebody who is allergic, they send the body’s defenses into overdrive. Luckily the pollen from flowers doesn’t usually trigger allergies, since it’s moved around by insects rather than by the wind.
Signs of Spring Allergies
When our bodies mistake pollen particles for harmful invaders, chemicals including histamine are released. These biochemical compounds expand blood vessels and cause an allergic reaction, including watery, itchy, red eyes; sneezing, runny noses; and congested, itchy ears. As a result, we often get what people refer to as “allergy face,” which is when the symptoms of allergies manifest on your eyes, nose, and skin.
How To Treat Allergy Symptoms on Your Face and Eyes
While the effects of allergies seem inevitable, there are ways to effectively manage them. Here are some easy tips to treat common allergy symptoms that appear your face and eyes:
Use artificial tear eye drops regularly to flush allergens out of your eyes. Try to pick drops that do not “get the red out,” since they often contain ingredients that may cause “rebound redness” if used too often (in other words, they make your eyes even more red and uncomfortable). Also always wear sunglasses when outside. They have larger lenses than regular glasses that will protect the surface of your eyes from direct contact with allergens.
Whether it’s caused by sinus pressure or airborne allergens, no ones like having a puffy face. The key to treating it is by cooling the skin soon as possible. Start by gently rinsing your eyelid area with baby shampoo to keep allergens from getting stuck. Then apply a cold compress or a wet washcloth to your eyes to reduce the swelling. Avoid using a hot compress – it’ll only make ocular allergies worse!
Always wash your hands before coming into contact with your face and try (yes, we know it’s hard) to avoid rubbing your nose as much as possible. To help reduce redness on and around your nose, use an occlusive moisturizer, such as Aquaphor, which forms a protective layer on the surface of your skin that acts as a barrier to help keep pollen and allergens out.
Under-eye swelling is a common symptom of allergies. This is because allergies trigger mast cells, which release histamine that causes blood vessels to swell and dark circles to appear. Prevent them by taking an over-the-counter antihistamine (always read the label and safety information before you do, and contact your doctor if you have any questions). Also, try sleeping on an extra pillow at night to help drain fluid and stop dark circle from appearing.