This is part 2 of a 4-part series written by Johnson Optometric Associates, specifically focusing on seasonal allergies that affect our patient base in Wake County, North Carolina. This post will zero in on managing seasonal allergy eye symptoms.
Here in Wake County, allergy season is a five-month affair, beginning in April and ending in August. Your first approach to successfully managing eye conjunctivitis should be prevention. Be aware, though, that because many of the allergens that trigger eye allergies are airborne, avoidance is not always possible. With this in mind, here are a few tips for reducing seasonal allergen symptoms.
Avoid the Temptation
Rubbing itchy eyes may provide temporary relief, but this in fact can make things worse. Rubbing your eyes causes the release of more histamines, the body’s chemical reaction that initially caused your eye conjunctivitis. Instead, wash your hands, take contact lenses out (if you wear them), apply cool compresses to your eyes and avoid eye makeup.
Track the Daily Pollen Count
Staying up to date on the daily pollen count in Fuquay-Varina and Garner, enables you to minimize exposure and reduce allergy symptoms. These reports represent the pollen samples taken during the previous 24 hours. Counts are reported as low, moderate, high, or very high. These levels generally indicate your risk of developing allergy symptoms. Weather factors such as air temperature, wind speed, and humidity can greatly affect how much pollen is airborne at a particular moment.
Minimize Your Exposure
When pollen counts are high, wear glasses or sunglasses to keep allergens out of your eyes. In Wake County, tree, grass and weed pollens are the worst offenders during the allergy season. Limit exposure indoors by keeping your windows closed, the air conditioner on and avoiding the use of window fans that can draw pollens into the house. Try to stay indoors between typical peak pollen hours of 5 A.M. and 10 A.M., or at least take allergy medicine before heading outside.