Making the Best of Eye Allergy Season

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From runny noses to itchy eyes, pollen can make allergy suffers miserable during this time of the year.  If you are local to Georgia, our pollen season can start as early as February.  With tree pollens usually starting in April and May, grass pollens in June and July and mold spores and weed pollens in July and August, this can add up to six months or more of eye-irritating allergens. Here are some helpful tips for you to enjoy life during eye allergy season:

  1. Avoid eye rubbing: Rubbing your eyes can actually make the allergy response worse and cause more inflammation and itchy sensations.  You also run the risk of scratching your cornea which will cause greater discomfort.
  2. Plan outdoor time wisely: Stay indoors when pollen counts are at their highest.  Usually this will be around mid-morning and early evening.
  3. Wear sunglasses: Sunglasses can protect your eyes from allergens floating in the air.
  4. Check your AC filters: Clean or change your filters to insure they are filtering out possible irritants.
  5. Use a humidifier:  Having moisture in the air will keep your eyes from feeling dry.
  6. Take a shower: Showering will wash away the allergens from your skin and hair.
  7. Cool compresses: Cool down, reduce the inflammatory response, and calm any itchiness with cool eye compresses.
  8. Allergy proof your home: Use dust-mite-proof bedding covers. Clean surfaces with a damp cloth rather than dusting which may stir up the dust in the air.  Also remember that animals coming in from outdoors may be bringing allergens in on their fur.
  9. Remove contacts: When eye allergy symptoms appear, remove your contacts to give your eyes a break and to avoid any further discomfort.
  10. Speak to your optometrist: Before using OTC eye allergy drops, especially if you are a contact lens wearer, speak to your optometrist to find out what treatment is best for you.

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