If you are experiencing red eyes, itchy eyes or watery eyes it could be due to pollen-induced eye allergies. For some, March begins eye allergy time, marking the onset of uncomfortable symptoms such as itchy eyes, watery eyes or stinging, red eyes. Springtime eye allergies are largely due to an influx of tree and flower pollen into the air and can greatly inhibit everyday functioning for those that suffer from them.
What can you do to guard your eyes this allergy season? If at all feasible, try to limit exposure to pollen by remaining inside, especially on days with a high pollen count. Keeping windows shut, using air conditioners and putting on full-coverage sunglasses when exposed to the elements can also help to protect your eyes from allergens in the atmosphere. A HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter is also an effective way to clear particles from the air inside your home or office.
Since most of us have to leave the house on occasion, there are medications that can reduce symptoms such as itchy eyes, red eyes or watery eyes. Often times a simple rewetting drop will soothe and relieve itchy eyes or red eyes and flush out allergens. Medicines containing antihistamines, decongestants or mast cell stabilizers are made to reduce irritation of the eyes and treat non-eye related symptoms such as cold-like symptoms. Eye drops are sometimes recommended because they can work more quickly and effectively than oral solutions to treat eye symptoms.
About 20% of Americans are affected by allergies, almost half of which are allergic eye disease. Eye allergies can be hereditary and are the result of a hyper-sensitivity to a particle in the eye regardless of whether is it harmful. The eye releases histamines and other immune mediators which result in excessive tears, itching, burning, redness and irritation.
One of the most important things to remember is, don't rub red, itchy. This will just worsen the irritation. Because often products that work to alleviate symptoms do require a prescription, if over-the-counter options are not working for you, see your eye doctor.