September 26, 2019

Spring Allergies and Eyecare

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Read the full NZ Herald article here

Thinking of seeing an eye doctor to deal with your spring eye allergies? Today, we’ll see if we can save you the effort by running through a few of the facts. 

To begin with, what are eye allergies like? If you don’t suffer from them yourself, you might assume that a bit of sneezing is the worst of it. Not so! For those who have severe spring allergies, spring can be a months-long ordeal of itching, watery eyes. 

Spring allergies are caused by the increased density of allergens in the air, like pollen, or grass seed. The difficulty lies in trying to tell apart allergies from an infection, as sometimes the symptoms are not dissimilar. If it is just allergies, there are some over-the-counter medications you can try. We’ve also got a few other tips for dealing with spring allergies and looking after your eyes. 

Top six ways to combat spring allergies

  1. Stay indoors during the early morning and evening. At the very start and end of the day, pollen production by plants increases, and your symptoms may be aggravated as a result. Try to keep your windows shut during these times. If you usually exercise outdoors during these times, consider using the gym throughout spring instead.

 

  1. Try eye drops. While they don’t work for everyone, they are popular for a reason. Eye drops can provide temporary relief from itchiness. While they won’t solve the problem entirely, they will keep you from rubbing your eyes, which aggravates your symptoms. This leads us to our next point.


  1. Try not to rub your eyes. This can make the allergy response much worse. If the itchiness is too difficult to ignore, or you find yourself using eye drops more than three or four times a day, you may want to speak to an ophthalmologist. 
  2. Take note of what causes your allergies. If it’s dust or pet fur, try vacuuming more often. Pets can shed a lot through spring as the temperature starts to rise. Both of these allergens can be hard to spot, so make sure you’re vacuuming at least once a week. 

 

  1. If you usually take a shower in the morning, in spring, consider switching to showering before bed. This can help, as a lot of allergens can cling to your skin throughout the day. Rinsing them away before sleep can help you get a better night’s rest, and leave you feeling ready to tackle the next day.

 

  1. Cleaning your hands and sheets more often through spring can help too. The same allergens that can cling to your skin will also find their way into the fibres of bed sheets, towels, etc. Keeping your hands clean is also a great way to keep allergens away from your eyes.


Eye Allergies and Contact Lenses

Wearing contact lenses can complicate things, as allergens can build up on them and continue to irritate your eyes. Many people who suffer from spring allergies and use contacts switch to daily disposable contact lenses, limiting the build-up of allergens. Alternately, people often switch to glasses for the season. This can save a lot of money, as using dailies for several months can quickly rack up costs. 

Worried it might be something more?

As we mentioned before, it can be hard to tell allergies apart from something else. If you’ve got irritated eyes, blurriness, or any other symptoms that you don’t think are connected to allergies, you may want to talk to an eye doctor. 

Don’t wait for your problems to persist—talk to our team today, and book your consult! We can help with a whole range of eye health issues, including pterygium, cataracts, and keratoconus.

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