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Allergies

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Filed to: April 21, 2018 Added 8 months ago
Spring is in the air!  Unfortunately, so are many new allergens that can affect your eyes.  Allergies can cause sneezing, congestion and itchy and watery eyes. The American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology estimates that 50 million people in the U.S suffer from seasonal allergies. Common airborne irritants are pollen, mold spores, pet dander, and dust. During the spring season in Orange County, and here near the hills in Mission Viejo, pollen from trees, weeds and grasses can trigger allergy symptoms. Specifically, oak trees, ragweed, and fescue grasses are examples of local vegetation that can irritate our eyes. Symptoms of eye allergies include itching, burning, redness, tearing, lid swelling and blurry vision.  Symptoms can range from slight redness in the eye to severe inflammation that can even impair vision.

Ideally, in order to manage seasonal allergies, we would avoid exposure to the allergens all together. Since this isn’t a practical solution, there are some helpful things that we can do to limit our exposure to allergens.


Here are some tips:

  • Wear glasses or sunglasses when outdoors, in order to minimize the amount of pollen that gets into your eyes
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes, which will likely irritate them further, and could make your symptoms even worse
  • Use plenty of high quality artificial tears to wash airborne allergens from your eyes and ask me which brands are best for you, as all artificial tears are not the same
  • Try keeping your windows closed and use air conditioning in your car and home. Air conditioning units should be kept clean and filters should ideally be replaced about every three months, with a highly rated microparticle performance filter
  • Stay indoors as much as possible when pollen counts are at their peak, usually during the midmorning and early evening, and when wind is blowing pollens around
  • Avoid using window fans that can draw pollens and molds into the house

Additionally, as your Optometrist, I will evaluate your eyes for allergies and determine a custom treatment plan for you. Treatment will likely include either prescription medication, over the counter medication, or a combination of both. Your treatment plan will depend on the symptoms and severity of your allergies. You don’t need to suffer through this beautiful spring season, make your appointment for your annual eye exam and ocular allergies evaluation by giving us a call, or booking an exam online today.

Reference Sources:

http://www.pollenlibrary.com/Local/Moderate/Allergens/in/Orange%20County/CA/in/Spring/

http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/allergies.htm

https://acaai.org/allergies/types/eye-allergies  

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