Spring brings a lot of things to mind: Flowers, sunshine, outdoor sports, cookouts, warm weather, and, unfortunately, allergy season. As everyone moves outside with all these wonderful things the warm weather brings, the unlucky majority has to determine how we are going to cope with the itching, sneezing season. The good news is a lot of non-drowsy, allergy medications (Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra) are available over the counter at our pharmacies to push through this season. However, we can still be left with those itchy and watery eyes even with being on medications.
The explanation lies in the fact that our eyelids have a response that is not nullified as easily with those oral medications. I frequently recommend certain allergy regimens which range from increased artificial tear use to wash out the allergens to a steroid eye drop which will help calm the eyes down while we are trying to control the eyes responses to the season. A lot of these determinations have to do with the amount of allergic reaction seen in the eyes, but every person has a different reaction to how these signs interact with their eyes.
The people who will often see a big difference are monthly or biweekly contact lens wearers. Sometimes these allergens will stick to the lenses and cause the eyelids to be in constant contact with the eyelids. This causes a lot of discomfort and often is interpreted as CL dryness. However, many times a break from the contacts with allergy treatment allows the eyes to recover. Then, you are able to continue normal contact wear after starting more allergy medications. Daily disposable contacts work great for these people because the fresh lens each day gives you the best chance to decrease exposure.
Anyone who is having trouble with their eyes being itchy or watery, may also be having trouble with surface dryness. So as always it is important to not ignore the signals and make sure to have your eyes evaluated to determine the best way to relieve symptoms. Do not ignore what is in the air because it may be time to have one of our doctors at Precision Eye Group find a solution for you!