Spring. To most people, spring means warmer weather and doing all things associated with being outside. Unfortunately, for those people affected by ocular allergies—it’s about one in five Americans—spring means the start of yet another itchy and irritating season. There are, of course, preventative measures that you can take to reduce the symptoms; number one on that list is to stay indoors when pollen counts are at their peak. But who wants to sit inside on a summer evening while everyone else is outside playing backyard kickball and having a cookout? Cuddling with your puppy at night is also a bad idea, but who can resist that sad puppy face? Instead, let’s look at some tried and true methods to alleviate the symptoms of eye allergies.
- NO RUBBING. Yes, saying no rubbing to someone with itchy eyes is like saying no scratching to a child with chicken pox, but rubbing will make it worse. Instead, apply a cold compress to closed eyes for 5 to 10 minutes a few times a day.
- The rumor is true. Refrigerating artificial tears (such as Refresh) is the way to go. Your eyes will feel much better than if the tears weren’t cold.
- Double the A. Opcon-A and Naphcon-A are over-the-counter vasoconstrictor (reduce redness)/antihistamine (control itching) drops that were once by prescription only. Now, all poor, allergy-ridden souls can buy them anytime.
- Always Alaway. Alaway is a triple action allergy drop. It’s an antihistamine, prevents symptoms from worsening, and keeps eosinophils from being released. Or in layman terms, it stops the itchiness and keeps it from coming back.
If all those fail, drive yourself to the eye doctor and ask for a prescription for the strong stuff that’s hidden behind the counter. Having eye allergies is not the same as having a peanut allergy. You can’t just avoid the trigger and hope for the best. Spring and summer days are meant to be spent outside, and a “little” problem like eye allergies shouldn’t stop you. Give our eye allergy stricken tested and approved methods a try, and rediscover the great outdoors.