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(2/16/11)Alabama 13's Daytime Alabama: SAMA
Treatment Methods for Allergies
Simple Treatments for Eye Allergies
If you started having itchy, watery, irritated eyes in February, you weren’t the only one. The pollen season started early this year, because of a warmer-than-usual winter in much of the United State. About 30 to 50 percent of US residents have allergy symptoms and about 75 percent of those symptoms affect the eyes. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, more than likely, your eyes will too.
It depends on where you're located, but normally trees in the northern states don't produce significant amounts of pollen until late March or early April. With more frost-free days, this year is different, and the tree pollen season promises to be a long one. Maple, elm and cedar are among the many trees that produce springtime pollen. Once they’re finished with their cycle, grass pollen will be the agitator when summer approaches.
Common signs of allergies include:
- Red, swollen or itchy eyes
- Runny nose
- Sneezing and coughing
- Itchy nose, mouth or throat
- Headache from sinus congestion
Don't let springtime allergies get your down! Schaeffer Eye Center helps to stop the itch in this segment of Day Time Alabama.
Many allergens are in the air, where they come in contact with your eyes and nose. If you are allergic, your eyes may be overreacting to a substance perceived as harmful, even though it may not be. These substances are called allergens. Common allergens are pollen, mold, dust and pet dander.
Some over the counter medications to treat eye irritations include antihistamines, decongestant and mast cell stabilizers drops. Mast cell stabilizers are similar to antihistamines. The difference is while antihistamines are known for their immediate relief; mast cell stabilizers can offer long-lasting relief.
Antihistamines, decongestants and mast cell stabilizers are available in pill form, but pills don't work as quickly as eye drops or gel. If over the counter options are not enough, ask your doctor to prescribe no steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) or corticosteroid eye drops. Either of these medications will quickly bring relief to decrease swelling and inflammation.
During the high pollen months, remove the allergens from your environment. Keep your home free of pet dander and dust and keep pets off the furniture. Check your local pollen report and stay inside with the air conditioner on when a lot of pollen is in the air. Replace the house air filters frequently. While it's impossible to escape the air and allergens around you, your eyes will be more comfortable this spring.