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Outsmart Your Ocular Allergies

By Optometrist, Dr. Emily Richardson

Itching, burning, tearing, redness, stringy discharge – do any of these apply to you?  Ocular allergies have become increasingly more common and severe every year, with studies showing an increase in allergen concentration and the length of allergy seasons.

The vast majority of ocular allergies come from airborne allergens such as pollen, pets, and molds. Alternatively, one can get direct allergic reactions from makeup, topical eye drop ingredients, certain contact lens materials, as well as direct contact with an unknown allergen.

So what can you do to minimize the symptoms of your eye allergies? As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” You can help reduce your eye allergy symptoms by keeping your car and home windows closed, and installing a HEPA filter in your air conditioner. Wraparound sunglasses are a great solutions while doing outdoor activities

Contact wearers prone to eye allergies are recommended to wear daily disposable contact lenses, in order to prevent the buildup of allergens and debris on the lens surface.

And finally, avoid itching your eyes as this can worsen already present allergy symptoms. There are many types of over the counter eyedrops that can be used to reduce itchiness and redness, however, if those don’t seem to work, you should consult your eye doctor for the best recommendations for prescription treatment.

Don’t let your allergies dictate your plans – understand them, prevent them, and treat them!