SHOFNER VISION CENTER

IT’S ALLERGY SEASON…AGAIN

IT’S ALLERGY SEASON…AGAIN

July 8, 2019

So many choose spring as their favorite...it’s the season of new beginnings. We witness fresh buds blooming, birds singing and the earth seems to come to life again. This time of year also brings on allergy symptoms and particularly affects those that wear contact lenses.

 

This discomfort is due largely to allergens in the air that become adhered to contact lenses. The allergens seem to cause miserable symptoms such as itchy, watery, and swollen eyes. Here are five tips to help provide some relief.

 

  1. Schedule Eye Exam – Symptoms from what you might think are allergy induced could also be from an underlying issue. We recommend scheduling an eye exam to better diagnose and treat your particular symptoms. Your eye doctor may prescribe drops that will provide instant relief and also decrease allergic symptoms.
  2. Keep Your Eyes Moist – Allergens can cause your eyes to become dry and often feel irritated and cause excess watering or blurred vision. Your eye doctor may recommend artificial tear drops in very frequently (every two hours). The more frequent you instil the eye drops, more it will keep antigens that cause allergies from sticking to the contact lens surface. Always use these artificial tears as directed and follow your doctor’s recommendations.
  3. Cool Compresses – Pretend you are having a spa treatment and place a clean cool compress (damp) over your eyes for at least five minutes throughout the day or when your eyes feel irritated. Do not rub your eyes; this will only worsen the symptoms.
  4. Clean Your Contacts  - Allergens like pollen can easily adhere to contact lenses, cleaning will help reduce any debris and provide some comfort.Ask your eye doctor about specific cleaning solutions that are better at disinfecting contact lenses. It’s also recommended that you switch to daily disposable contacts during peak allergy season.
  5. Wear Eyeglasses – This may not be a favorable option for some contact wearers, but if you can switch for a short time to glasses, it could provide some relief.

 

As mentioned, it’s best to see an eye doctor to ensure your symptoms are allergy related.  We have seen several patients that think their discomfort is strictly allergy related but was diagnosed with eye infection from improper contact lens use or dry eye. Wearing contact lenses past their expiration date can cause bacterial infections and if left untreated could be impair your vision.

 

Dry eye is a condition in which a person doesn't have enough quality tears to lubricate and nourish the eye. Tears are necessary for maintaining the health of the front surface of the eye and for providing clear vision. Dry eye is a common and often chronic problem, particularly in older adults. With each blink of the eyelids, tears spread across the front surface of the eye, known as the cornea. 

 

If your allergy symptoms are relatively severe or over-the-counter eye drops are ineffective at providing relief, you may need your eye doctor to prescribe a stronger medication. Prescription eye drops and oral medications used to relieve eye allergies include Antihistamines. Schedule an eye exam online or by calling Shofner Vision Center at (615) 340-4733. We look forward to helping you see your very best and enjoy all that Spring has to offer.

IT’S ALLERGY SEASON…AGAIN

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