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  • Writer's pictureEsna van der Walt

6 Tips to relieve spring eye allergies

Excitement is in the air as the days become warmer and blossoms bloom … but for many of us the arrival of spring also means itchy, watery and red eyes as hay fever season sets in. Apart from being uncomfortable, spring eye allergies, or seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, can affect your vision and ability to perform at work.

Although there is no cure, we will share a few tips to relieve spring eye allergies.

Causes and symptoms of spring eye allergies

Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is mostly caused by outdoor allergens such as pollen from grass, trees and weeds, and the symptoms include:

· Itchy eyes

· Red eyes

· Watery eyes

· Swollen eyelids

· A burning sensation in the eyes

· Increased sensitivity to light

· A sensation of a foreign body like grit or sand in the eye.

Spring eye allergy symptoms are also often accompanied by a runny nose, sneezing and nasal congestion.

Tip #1: Prepare for spring eye allergies

Use a pollen forecast app or weather forecast app that will help you identify in advance which days that may have high pollen counts. This will help you plan and prepare for any bouts of hay fever in advance. As a general precaution, you can use a high-quality air purifier or filter in your home.

Tip #2: Avoid triggers

You can avoid the triggers of your spring eye allergies by making simple changes in your home and daily routine. Stay indoors as much as possible when it’s windy outside, on high-pollen days, as well as during mid-morning and early evening when the pollen count is usually at its peak. You should also keep your windows closed during this time and use air-conditioning in your home and car to keep the air clear of pollen.

Tip #3: Protect your eyes

Wear sunglasses when you go outdoors to keep pollen from getting into your eyes. If your eyes are too itchy and swollen from spring eye allergies, take a break from your contact lenses and rather wear spectacles for a while to provide some relief and protect your eyes.

Tip #4: Wash your hands and face

Washing your hands and face frequently throughout the day will help reduce the concentration of allergens on your skin that may cause your seasonal allergic conjunctivitis. Rinsing your face will also help soothe your red or swollen eyes. Even after you’ve washed your hands, try not to rub your eyes, as this will trigger a release of more histamines and may cause redness, swelling and irritation.

Tip #5: Soothe your eyes

If your eyes are irritated and itchy from a spring eye allergy, you can rinse them with an over-the-counter or prescription saline solution. Artificial tears are also useful to use throughout the day. A soft cold cloth or cold compress will help soothe red, tender and swollen eyes.

Tip #6: OTC eye drops and anti-allergy medication.

Ask your optometrist, pharmacist or doctor to recommend over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamine and or mast-cell stabiliser eye drops. Nasal sprays and systemic antihistamine medication may also be recommended to relieve general seasonal allergy symptoms.

The bottom line

Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is unfortunately unavoidable and there’s no quick fix, but these tips to relieve spring eye allergies will help you get through hay fever season with a little more comfort.

Book an appointment with us

If spring eye allergies are getting you down, talk to Tomlinson Optometrists about the best and safest eye care solutions to suit your specific needs.

Get in touch with us on WhatsApp:

Book an appointment online:

Phone 021 797 7291, email or visit us at 278B Main Road, Kenilworth.

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