Taming Allergies: Tips to Manage Allergy Symptoms This Spring Season

As allergy season approaches, many of us eagerly anticipate the arrival of blooming flowers and warmer weather. However, for allergy sufferers, this time of year can bring discomfort and irritation due to seasonal allergies. In this blog post, we’ll explore some effective strategies to help you tame allergies and minimize symptoms during allergy season. As with all out-of-normal eye symptoms, it is best to consult your own eye care provider to see what solutions are best for you.

Taming Allergies: Tips to Manage Allergy Symptoms This Spring Season

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Understanding Seasonal Allergies

Seasonal allergies, also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis, occur when your immune system overreacts to allergens such as pollen, mold spores, and grass. Common symptoms of seasonal allergies include sneezing, congestion, runny nose, itchy eyes, and throat irritation. Additionally, some individuals may also experience ocular allergies, which specifically affect the eyes and cause symptoms such as redness, itching, tearing, and swelling. While taking an over-the-counter oral medication, such as an antihistamine, may be sufficient for treating both systemic and ocular allergies, for some, further symptom relief is needed to be able to function through the day. Let’s look into some solutions.

Taming Allergies: Tips to Manage Allergy Symptoms This Spring Season

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Quelling Ocular Allergy Symptoms

  • Artificial Tears: Artificial tears are a key tool in managing ocular allergies. The goal of using lubricating eye drops is to help to wash out pollen and allergens from the surface of the eye, providing relief from the source of the allergies. Use artificial tears regularly throughout the day to keep your eyes hydrated and free from allergens. For those using artificial tears more than 4 times per day, it is recommended to use a preservative-free artificial tear.
  • Antihistamine Eye Drops: Antihistamine eye drops are another effective treatment for relieving allergy-related eye symptoms. Many of these drops are over-the-counter drops and work by blocking the action of histamine, a chemical released by the immune system in response to allergens. Consult your eye care provider to determine which antihistamine eye drops are best suited for your specific symptoms and needs.
  • Cool Compress: Applying a cool compress to your eyes can help alleviate itching and inflammation associated with ocular allergies. Simply soak a clean cloth in cool water, wring out the excess moisture, and place it over your closed eyes for about 10 minutes. The cool temperature helps to soothe irritated eyes and reduce swelling. This can be performed multiple times per day.
  • Physically Block Allergens: One effective way to prevent allergies is to block out the allergens from getting into your system in the first place. Consider wearing wrap around sunglasses, or better yet choose these protective eye glasses that can be made with clear lenses or sunglasses. These frames look like typical glasses, but also come with an added barrier that covers the sides, top, and bottom of your eyes that act as a barrier to shield your eyes from pollen, dust, and other airborne allergens. The frame comes in 4 subtle, but stylish translucent colors that don’t make the protective barrier stand out too much. This is the trifecta of stylish, subtle, and functional eyewear.

Taming Allergies: Tips to Manage Allergy Symptoms This Spring Season

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By incorporating these strategies into your allergy management routine, you can effectively tame allergies and enjoy the beauty of spring without the discomfort of allergy symptoms. Remember to consult with your eye care provider for personalized recommendations and guidance on managing your allergies effectively. With the right approach, you can make allergy season more manageable and keep your eyes feeling comfortable and healthy.

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Catherine Ong

Dr. Catherine Ong, OD, is an optometrist based in the Bay Area, California. She earned her doctorate from UC Berkeley, School of Optometry and currently provides primary and speciality eyecare in a private practice setting. She has a passion for patient education and enjoys reshaping technical concepts into digestable topics for all patients. When she is not seeing patients, you can find her exploring new restaurants, exercising, or trying out new recipes.