June 24, 2015

Surviving Allergy Season : The Do’s and Don’ts

By: Dr. S. Sharma
Surviving allergy season

It’s summmer in Edmonton and your eyes are itchy, red, watery and even swollen! Sound familiar? During this time of the year, we get a lot of patients asking how they can get rid of the pesky allergies. So, I thought I would compile some do’s and don’t in the hopes that you can enjoy these months with the least amount of irritation and pain.

Seasonal allergies are a result of many environmental factors (grass, pollen, mold, trees, weeds) and these substances really can’t be avoided.Finding ways to treat your allergies is the best method to relieving the symptoms. The symptoms associated with seasonal allergies such as sneezing, nasal congestion and inflamed skin around the eyes, can be very painful and the discomfort can even cause loss of sleep.

Often times people assume the allergies will go away by themselves or they see a doctor when the pain and discomfort has reached an all-time high. The best way to finding a treatment that works for you is to book an appointment with your Optometrist at the first sign of any symptoms causing discomfort. What’s more is that Alberta Health Services does pay all medically necessary optometric services which include ocular allergies so don’t suffer in silence!

The Do’s and Don’ts of Eye-Care for Surviving Allergies:


Don’t Rub Your Eyes!

Your first inclination will be to rub your itchy eyes but resist the urge because you can make things worse. You can end up causing damage or scratching your cornea, infecting your eye by transferring bacteria from the fingers to the eyes and your eye could get itchier!


Don’t Line Dry Your Clothes

This is one people rarely think about. If you are prone to experiencing allergies in the spring and summer months, you are going to want to avoid opportunities to expose yourself and your things (clothes) to the environmental factors listed above. Avoid drying clothing outside to prevent potential allergy flare-ups.


Don’t Try Every Eye Drop You Find

There are many eye drops for all types of eye conditions. To ensure you get the right one for your eyes,  it’s always best to consult an Optometrist who can check ensure you are getting the proper treatment.

Do Apply Cold Compress

Soaking a cloth in cold water and pressing it over your eyes when they are feeling inflamed and itchy can sooth the eyes and help reduce the urge the itch.


Do Avoid Harsh Chemicals and Perfumes

Because your eye is already sensitive as a result of the changing seasons, it is suggested to avoid adding to the mix the harsh chemicals associated with perfumes and cleaning products, for instance.


Do Check the Pollen Count

One of the best ways to prevent allergies is the avoid pollen. Pollen is the most common outdoor allergen. If it enters your nose or throat, depending on how sensitive you are, it has the potential to trigger an allergic reaction.  Your local weather channel often updates on pollen levels on any given day and you should make an effort to limit your exposure to the outdoors while pollen count is high.

Bonus Tip: Check out this video for more eye-care tips for surviving allergy season!

You might like Dr. Sharma’s last post: Are You Protecting Your Eyes from the Sun?

Preventative eye exams are an essential component to your eye health. Regular eye exams should occur twice a year to ensure you are taking a preventative approach to your health. Be sure to book an exam with one of the Edmonton’s best Optometrists today! Gives us a call at 780-450-6700

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