Allergy Eyes? Follow These Dos And Don'ts When Dealing With Your Symptoms

When allergies to pollen, dust or mold spores leave your eyes red and watery, it's important to do something about it. But the wrong care can be worse than no care at all. Follow these dos and don'ts to protect your eyes when dealing with allergy-related redness and irritation.

Don't: Keep wearing your contacts.

If you're a contact lens wearer, take your contracts out at the first sign of allergy symptoms.  Allergens like dust and pollen can get stuck to your eyes, making symptoms worse. Contacts can also irritate your already-dry eyes, leading to corneal abrasions – which are painful and can lead to infection. Plus, many eye drops are not safe to use when you have your contacts in, so removing them allows you to safely use lubricating drops and antihistamine eye drops.

Do: See the eye doctor if your symptoms worsen.

If your eyes start producing yellow or white discharge rather than just clear tears, it is time to see an eye doctor. This is a sign that what you're experiencing may not be allergy symptoms after all, but instead a bacterial infection such as pink eye. You should also see an eye doctor if your discomfort is so severe you're having trouble keeping your eyelids open. This could be a sign that thanks to dryness, you've abraded or scratched your cornea.

Don't: Use antihistamine eye drops and an oral antihistamine together.

Antihistamine eye drops –either prescription or over-the-counter varieties – can be very useful for clearing up allergy eyes. So can oral antihistamine, like Benadryl and Claritin.  However, you should never use both types of medication at the same time unless your doctor has told you to do so. Combining an eye drop and an oral antihistamine could result in too high a dose, leading to side effects like headaches, confusion, and excessive drowsiness.

Do: Wear sunglasses when you go outside.

If you're allergic to pollen, do your best to stay inside to alleviate allergy eye symptoms. But if you must go outside, wear sunglasses. The sun can be very irritating to eyes that are already red and dry due to allergen exposure. Sunglasses will help keep the sun from making your symptoms worse. Plus, they'll help prevent pollen from blowing into your eyes.

If eye-related allergy symptoms continue to be a problem for you, consult with an eye doctor (such as one from Atlantic Eye Consultant PC - Delianides Aris P MD). He or she may be able to recommend a treatment your allergist or general physician has overlooked.