Oh, Those Itchy, Red Eyes
Spring triggers eye allergies for many Today's Vision patients. The best way to manage allergies is to avoid allergens as much as possible. If you are allergic to pollen, avoid going outdoors as much as possible when pollen counts are highest. Pollen counts are usually highest in the mid-morning and early evening. Also, avoid being outdoors when wind blows pollens around. When you are outdoors, sunglasses or eyeglasses can help to prevent pollen from getting into your eyes. Keep your windows closed and use air conditioning, both in your car and home. This will help lower your exposure to pollen and other irritants while you are inside. Don’t use window fans, as they draw the pollen and other allergens inside. Keep your air conditioning units clean so they won’t cycle allergens inside. If mold is an allergy trigger for you, recognize that high humidity can cause molds to grow. Aim to keep the humidity level in your home around 30 to 50 percent. Clean high-humidity areas like basements, bathrooms and kitchens often. Consider using a dehumidifier in particularly humid or moist places such as a basement. If dust at home brings on your allergic conjunctivitis, try to keep dust mites away from your skin. Pay special attention to your bedroom. Use allergen-reducing covers for your bedding and especially for your pillows. Wash your bedding frequently with hot water that is at least 130 degrees Fahrenheit. When cleaning floors, use a damp mop or rag instead of a dry dust mop or broom to trap the allergens. If pets are a source of allergies for you, try to keep animals outside of the house as much as possible. It is particularly important not to allow a pet into your bedroom so that you can sleep in an allergen-free room. Consider hardwood or tile floors instead of carpeting, which traps the pet dander. Always wash your hands after touching a pet, and wash clothing that you have worn around pets. Finally, always avoid rubbing your eyes, which only irritates them more.