Why Do Allergies Affect Our Eyes So Much?

April 1, 2024

It's hard to enjoy the sights and smells of springtime through seasonal allergies.

Nearly one in every four people (kids and adults alike) experience seasonal allergies. What exactly causes these symptoms, such as redness, puffiness, and itchiness in our eyes during spring? While allergies are a common culprit, they're not the only reason. Let's explore the causes of these allergy-like symptoms and how we can alleviate or even prevent them to fully enjoy the springtime.

What Triggers Seasonal Allergies?

Allergies can be triggered by a variety of factors, including pet fur, perfumes, and dust. These triggers don't exclusively belong to any season, yet their effects often intensify during spring and autumn due to pollen. Grass pollen is prevalent in spring, while other plants, including ragweed, release their pollen in autumn.

This seasonal pollen dispersal sends tiny particles into the air, which can irritate our respiratory system and eyes upon contact. An overactive immune response to these allergens can lead to symptoms like sneezing, nasal congestion, and itchy eyes.

Eye Reactions to Allergens

Allergy symptoms often manifest in the eyes as watery discharge, itchiness, redness, a feeling of grittiness, swelling, and discomfort, particularly for contact lens wearers. While decongestants might ease respiratory symptoms, they can also dry out the eyes, exacerbating eye-related allergy symptoms and making the eyes more susceptible to irritants.

How to Find Relief from Allergy Symptoms

Staying well-hydrated is crucial during allergy season, so make sure to drink plenty of water. Eye drops can provide relief, especially if allergy medications are causing dry eyes. Opting for glasses instead of contact lenses can make things a little easier. Anyone who wears contacts knows there's nothing more uncomfortable than getting something under your contact lens, so avoid that risk with glasses until your symptoms clear up. It's important to resist the urge to rub your eyes, regardless of whether you're wearing contacts or glasses.

Preventing Seasonal Allergies

Completely avoiding airborne allergens like pollen might be challenging, but reducing exposure is feasible. Keeping windows closed to prevent pollen from entering and avoiding the use of box fans that draw in outside air can help. Wearing sunglasses or regular glasses can also shield your eyes. On windy days, it's best to stay indoors, and wearing a pollen mask while gardening can provide additional protection.

Need Tips on Managing Allergies?

If this spring has been difficult due to allergies, we're here to offer guidance. Our goal is to help you enjoy the spring season to its fullest. If you're struggling with allergy symptoms, don't hesitate to reach out for advice. We're eager to assist you in making the most of this beautiful time of year.

Wishing everyone a delightful spring season!

Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.