People with allergies are often quick to seek help for symptoms like sneezing, sniffling, and nasal congestion but allergies can affect your eyes too causing red, itching, burning, watery eyes and even swollen eyelids. The good news is that the same treatments and self-help strategies that ease nasal allergy symptoms work for eye allergies, too. There are two types of eye allergies: seasonal, which are more common and perennial. Perennial allergies only happen at certain times of year – usually early spring through summer and into autumn. They’re caused by exposure to allergens in the air, commonly pollen from grasses, trees, and weeds, as well as spores from molds. The first approach to controlling eye allergies should be to limit your exposure to triggers:
- Stay indoors when pollen counts are highest, usually in mid-morning and early evening.
- Close the windows and run the air conditioner.
- If you go out, wearing eyeglasses or sunglasses can help block pollen from your eyes.
- Driving? Keep the windows closed and run the air conditioner.
- Don’t rub your eyes. That’s likely to make symptoms worse. Try cool compresses instead.
- If you wear contacts, make sure you are taking them out and cleaning them appropriately.