Achoo! Seasonal allergies are in full swing, and you’ve got the itchy skin and stuffy nose to prove it. As if the typical sniffling and snorting weren’t enough, you’ve also got brand new contact lenses. What now?
Here’s how to protect your vision from meddling allergies during Healthy Vision Month and beyond:
Signs You’ve Got Seasonal Allergies
Allergy symptoms look a little different from person to person, but in general you can expect any or all of the following:
- Scratchy throat
- Wheezing cough
- Nasal and/or sinus congestion
- Runny nose
- Watery and/or itchy eyes
How to Treat Eye Allergies
Keep up your routine eye care regimen; it’s more important than ever that you’re cleaning your eyes and safeguarding against sun, pollution, and other irritants. If your allergy symptoms linger, consider an over-the-counter medicine or prescription antihistamine to help provide some relief.
Some allergists recommend a series of allergy shots that help your body build up a resistance to triggers; these shots won’t take effect immediately, but in some cases the results are quite impressive.
Keeping Your Contacts in Great Shape
Start by limiting your exposure. Keep an eye on mold and pollen counts and stay indoors as much as possible when counts are high, taking care to shut doors and windows as well. If you do head outside, take off your shoes, shower, and change clothes when you get home to avoid tracking environmental triggers through the house.
As for your contacts:
- Clean your contacts often and properly
- If you use disposable lenses, consider swapping them out more often than normal
- Use cool compresses to reduce swelling, but don’t rub—you’ll only irritate your eyes and skin more
- Use chilled eye drops to soothe and moisturize
- If the irritation is excessively bothersome, wear eyeglasses until the inflammation and itching subside
Above all, it’s crucial to schedule regular eye exams to monitor both common eye problems and overall eye health. Call Illinois Eye Center at (309) 243-2400 to make an appointment or check out EyeCareToday for a same-day visit.