Limit exposure to pollens, prevent onset of ocular allergies

by Capt. Laurie Davie
Clinical Optometry chief

Spring is here and allergy season is in full swing!  More than 80 percent of people who suffer from hay fever list itchy, watery eyes as their top symptom.  Symptoms of seasonal ocular allergies can include itchy red eyes, watery/stringy discharge and swollen eyelids.

There are some home remedies to reduce itching and redness. You can apply cool compresses several times per day. Also, look for over-the-counter artificial tears to flush out ocular allergens such as pollen, dust and dander.  Over-the-counter antihistamine/decongestant drops such as Naphcon-A, Opcon-A or Vasocon-A can be effective. In addition, over-the-counter oral antihistamines such as Benadryl and Claritin are helpful for moderate to severe allergic reactions.

You can limit your exposure to pollens, dust and pet dander with a few simple preventative measures. Stay inside when the pollen count is high and vacuum frequently. Wash your hands often and avoid rubbing your eyes. Wash your hair before going to bed to avoid contaminating the bedding with pollen. Drive with car windows closed and close bedroom windows. Pollen counts will be the highest around 5 a.m., so try to avoid early morning outdoor activities.

If your symptoms are so severe that you are unable to find relief with home remedies, schedule a routine appointment with your optometrist.  To schedule a routine exam on Ramstein call 486-5762 or 06371-86-5762.