Spring brings better weather and blooming plants, but those developments also include allergies. It is a rare eye doctor in Oshkosh who does not come across these issues with patients, and many of them seek guidance for relief. If you are among these allergy sufferers, here is what you can do to take care of your itchy, watery eyes this spring:
- Avoid irritants: This may seem easier said than done, but there are ways you can reduce exposure to allergens. Pollen count is higher at night, so start by sleeping with your windows closed. This will keep pollen from invading your home and making you wake up feeling miserable. Use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter, and change the air filters in your air conditioner to add additional protection. Weather apps often indicate pollen count, too, so if it is especially high one day, stay indoors if impossible. If you must go outside, wear wraparound sunglasses to shield your eyes from sun, but also from allergens. Avoid allergy triggers if you can. For example, if you know a field that contains ragweed and you react to that, avoiding passing by it on your walks.
- Wear glasses instead of contacts: You may love your contact lenses, but allergens love them, too. They provide the perfect sticky surface for pollen to land and stay in your eyes. If you cannot stand to be parted from your contacts, switch to daily disposable ones so you can throw those pollen traps away every day. Another idea is to switch to a deep cleaner rather than your usual saline solution. You do need to be careful with them, as their main ingredient is hydrogen peroxide. Contacts must soak in the solution a full six hours so the main ingredients are deactivated before you put them in your eyes.
- Consider eye drops: Eye allergies are common, and the over-the-counter market is ready to cater to them. You will find many varieties of eye drops, including those made especially for allergies. Your eye doctor may even be able to recommend a specific brand that works best for your condition. If your allergies are serious, or if you suffer dry eyes in addition to allergies, you may require prescription eye drops.
- Stay consistent with allergy medication: Over-the-counter medications like Allegra were originally designed to help with eye allergies. It may work well for you, too. Serious allergies may require mast cell stabilizers, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or even steroids. Depending on your symptoms and how they affect your life, you may need to consider new options to get allergies under control.
- Bathe at night: Another good practice is to switch your morning shower to bedtime. This allows you to clean thoroughly before you go to bed and keeps pollen from irritating you at nighttime. Many people suffer symptoms throughout the night and often face compromised sleep. If this is an issue for you, an evening shower after you spent all day exposed to allergens may be the optimal solution.
If you need an eye doctor in Oshkosh for exams and eye conditions, Dr. Jill’s Optical Shoppe is here for you. Call today to schedule an appointment.