Do you experience seasonal eye allergies? If you live around Cleveland, Ohio, you have likely been wondering why it looks like snow in June with white puff balls floating through our neighborhoods. Simultaneously, this time of year you may be suffering from itchy, watery eyes. So are your eyes itching because of the white puff balls? Not likely. However, the floating puff balls, or seeds of the cottonwood trees, do start flying around the same time several other species of trees and grass are producing pollen – the true culprit behind your itchy, watery eyes and seasonal eye allergies.
At Corrective Eye Center we know itchy eyes can be unbearable. We also know that rubbing and scratching your itchy eyes can lead to serious eye injuries. So we’ve put together five tips for getting one step ahead of pollen this season in order to enjoy this fine weather (after a very long winter) without being irritated by eye allergies.
1. Know What Pollens You’re Allergic to.
There are several different types of pollens that cause allergic reactions and it is vital to know which ones effect you. Pollens can come from trees, grasses, weeds, molds, and spores. Grasses release pollen around this time (late spring to early summer) whereas trees release their pollen in the late winter to early spring. Weeds release pollen in the late summer to early fall. Pollens released from these plants and trees can also be carried in the wind. It is best to know what type of pollen you are allergic to in order to properly prepare for it.
2. Stop Pollens from Infiltrating your Household.
Keep your doors and windows closed as much as possible during pollen season. Pollens stick extremely well to clothes, hair, pets and other objects making it difficult to eliminate once they find their way inside your household. To avoid this, buy fans or air conditioning during the hot summer days to keep your house cool instead of opening windows. This will allow you to keep your home contained as much as possible. This rule applies to your car as well, keep doors and windows shut as much as possible to keep the pollen out, especially for that drive right after work.
3. Nothing Beats a Daily Shower.
Wash away seasonal eye allergies. As mentioned before, pollen sticks to people, clothing, hair and other objects. When you get home from work, outside exercising, or planting in your garden, make sure you shed your clothes and shower on a regular basis. If you don’t remove the pollen from yourself, it will spread around your house and be a primary source of allergy annoyance this summer. Consider applying the same treatment to your pets and children. If you’re not living alone then chances are your housemates are contributing to those itchy eyes.
4. Don’t Skip on Laundry.
Although people most likely do this on a regular basis already, you should emphasize it during the pollen season. Pollen can spread to beds, pillow cases, blankets, and more. The only way to truly rid your sheets and clothes of pollen is through a few loads of laundry. If you don’t wash these garments you could end up sleeping with pollen and dealing with eye allergies instead of getting a good night’s sleep. And don’t forget to wash those pillow cases.
5. Keep Track of your Local Weather.
Pollen counts are typically highest during warmer, windy days while pollen counts are lowest during cloudy, rainy days with minimal wind. Your local weather will report pollen counts daily and the results are typically very accurate. Keeping track of pollen counts will allow you to plan your outdoor activities at the best possible times to avoid allergies ruining a good time. Furthermore, peak pollination times are from noon until the early evening. If you enjoy outdoor exercise, gardening, etc. it would be wise to get them in earlier in the day, or after a rain shower.
When to See an Eye Doctor for Eye Allergies
For chronic eye allergy sufferers, anti-allergy prescription eye drops have allowed some patients to actually enjoy mowing their lawn for the first time in decades. However, allergic eye disease requires diagnosis and management and prescription treatment by an eye doctor. Distinguishing this condition from infection, dry eye, and other more complicated conditions requires a proper in-office microscopic examination (the use of the slit lamp biomicroscope).
Contact us today to learn how to prevent and treat seasonal eye allergies, like itchy eyes caused by Allergic Eye Disease.