Keeping An 'Eye' on Seasonal AllergiesFor most Americans, the start of spring is welcomed by thoughts of warmer weather, beautiful flowers and picnics in the park. But, for the 50 million Americans who suffer from allergies, the early signs of spring more closely resemble sneezing, coughing and itchy, watery eyes.
Eye allergies, also called "allergic conjunctivitis," are a reaction to indoor and outdoor allergens - pollen, mold, dust mites and pet dander - that get in the eyes and cause inflammation of the tissue that lines the inner eyelid.
While eye allergies can affect anyone, the spring can be particularly hard on contact lens wearers. Extended wear time and infrequent lens replacement are two of the main reasons contact lens wearers face more severe symptoms. Accurate Optical principal optometrist, Dr. Steven Zeidman, O.D., recommends contact lens wearers consider the following to make the spring season more comfortable:
* Reduce contact lens wearing time when possible.
* Talk to your optometrist about changing your cleaning method or using daily disposable contact lenses.
* Use eye drops as prescribed by a doctor of optometry.
When it comes to treating symptoms of allergies, the American Eye-Q®, a recent nationwide survey conducted by the American Optometric Association (AOA), found more than one-third (36 percent) of allergy suffers use antihistamines or other medications to treat their symptoms. While antihistamines can help with typical symptoms like runny noses and sneezing, the medication can make ocular symptoms worse by reducing tear quality and quantity.
"To effectively treat and relieve the symptoms caused by eye allergies, patients should see their optometrist," said Dr. Zeidman. "In most cases, we can soothe allergy-related conjunctivitis with prescription or over-the-counter eye drops depending on the patient and his or her medical history."
While eye allergies can be a nuisance and affect job performance, leisure and sporting activities, symptoms of allergies can be curtailed and prevented by following these recommendations from the AOA:
* Don't touch or rub your eyes.
* Wash hands often with soap and water.
* Wash bed linens and pillowcases in hot water and detergent to reduce allergens.
* Avoid sharing, and in some cases, wearing eye makeup.
* Never share contact lenses or contact lens cases with someone else.
Beyond discussing allergy relief with your optometrist, it is recommended that all adults and children have an annual eye exam to check overall eye health.
Accurate Optical has six convenient locations in Salisbury, Ocean City, Cambridge, Easton, Stevensville and Laurel, DE. Call today or visit us online today at www.accurateoptical.com to schedule your eye exam appointment.