Ocular allergies 'bloom' this time of year

| 628th Medical Group Optometry Clinic | April 25, 2019

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. —

Spring has sprung and we can see it all around us. The flowers are blooming, there’s yellow pollen dust everywhere and people are spending more time outdoors. Despite all this spring splendor, it is also a time of suffering for millions of Americans. 

Do your eyes itch or burn? Are they red and puffy? Do these symptoms seem to recur particularly this time of year? It could be allergies. Seasonal allergies are most common in the spring, but can also recur in the fall. Furthermore, some people are affected by environmental ocular allergies year-round. 

If your symptoms are mild, you may try using an artificial tear drop after being outdoors to reduce the contact-time of the allergens on the eyes. Cool compresses can also help, particularly if there is swelling of the eyelids. 

Over-the-counter antihistamine drops can be very effective to combat allergy symptoms, but if your symptoms are severe or long-lasting, your doctor may prescribe something stronger. Be careful not to over-use the allergy medication drops as some can make the condition worse. Additionally, your condition may not be allergies and other treatments might be more appropriate. 

If you’re not sure, don’t hesitate to make an appointment to ask your eye care provider. The sooner you relieve your allergy symptoms, the sooner you can enjoy the springtime season.