For many people, the spring and summer months mean red, itchy, uncomfortable eyes. During these seasons there are more pollen, dust, and other allergens floating around the air. In addition to causing sneezing and wheezing, these allergens can cause serious irritation to the eyes and result in many uncomfortable symptoms.
When allergens significantly affect the eye, it triggers an immune response, causing a condition known as allergic conjunctivitis. Allergic conjunctivitis causes eyes to become red and extremely itchy. A mucous-like substance may come out of the eyes, especially in the morning. Occasionally the eyelids and surrounding area can also become red and puffy. These symptoms in the eye usually accompany other symptoms throughout the body, such as congestion, wheezing, or even hives.
Treating Allergic Conjunctivitis
If these irritating symptoms sound like something you regularly experience throughout the warm months, you will be relieved to know that allergic conjunctivitis is easily treated. Some over-the-counter eye drops can be used to manage symptoms and relieve itchiness. If your symptoms are more severe or persistent, your optometrist can prescribe a more powerful medication that will be effective in treating your red, itchy eyes. Treatment options may include a combination of oral medications and eye drops to address multiple symptoms throughout the body.
Be Smart with Your Surroundings
Other measures can be taken to reduce symptoms and prevent allergic conjunctivitis. If you wear contact lenses, be vigilant in the warm months when the pollen count is high; make sure you are regularly replacing and cleaning your lenses to reduce irritation. Avoid allergens as much as possible by keeping windows closed during high-pollen times. If you do experience symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis, avoid excessive rubbing of your eyes, as this can cause additional problems to the eye’s surface.