Are you suffering from fall eye allergies?
Fall is in full swing, and Kansas ranks high among states with the worst allergens in the air, including pollen and ragweed. Constantly changing weather and windy conditions help spread pollen—allergies can be severe—and ragweed season is upon us! Many people are suffering with sinus issues, headaches, and watery eyes.
This has been a very different year when it comes to allergies. With all of the rainfall we have received this year, the allergies are very junky, filmy, and contain a lot of mucus.
Many have suffered with an annoying irritation in their eyes, and a constant film over their vision that they try to wipe away, but can't. The allergies affecting the eyes are not very itchy this year, but very filmy and watery. Allergies are also affecting a different group of people than in past years. Many people have visited us with eye issues from allergies that have not experienced allergies in the past.
Treatment for ocular allergies this year has also been different in that many allergy eye symptoms are not getting better with oral medications or nasal sprays. We have been adding an eye drop to the allergy regimen and this seems to be the only medication type that is really helping with the irritation and film that the allergens are causing. We recommend a few specific over the counter allergy drops to add to your regularly prescribed oral allergy medication and/or nasal spray.
Another important item to remember is how allergies work in your body. The allergens in the air affect your body and cause it to release histamine in response. This histamine release is what causes the itching, redness, watering, and irritation. To truly decrease your histamine response to allergies, you have to take your medicine and use your drops consistently everyday. Usually this takes 7-10 days to build up in your system to finally give you relief from your symptoms. Then you have to continue the medication until the allergens in the air have decreased.
You can still wear your contact lenses with allergy issues, but there are a few extra steps to take:
Use the allergy drops before you insert your lenses, and wait 10 minutes before inserting your contact lens.
Then use the drop again at the end of the day after you take the contact lenses out of your eye.
Do not use allergy drops with your contact lenses in your eyes.
There are also hydrogen-peroxide solutions that can wash the allergens off of your contacts better than the regular multi-purpose solutions.
Finally, if these steps do not work, switching to a daily contact lens during the worst of allergy season can help you get through it better.
If you have any questions, or feel like allergies are plaguing you, feel free to call our office anytime.