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March 22, 2021

Many people say spring is their favorite season as it brings warm temperatures, greener outdoor spaces and the chance of renewal needed after a long, cold winter. For spring allergy sufferers, the joys of warmer weather and flowers blooming come at a price. Depending on where you live, weather, or what’s blooming can all have an impact on someone sensitive or allergic this time of year.

For many, the spring months offers hay fever, which is an allergy to pollen or mold. Hay fever affects 30 to 60 million people in the United States. Additionally, trees, grasses, and weeds release tiny particles into the air to fertilize other plants. When they get into the nose or eyes of someone who's allergic, they send the body's defenses haywire.

Allergy Symptoms
Sneezing and itchy eyes are the two most common allergy symptoms. And while most over the counter (OTC) medication such as oral antihistamines may help to reduce runny nose and watery eyes, some may need other treatment to get relief, especially those that wear corrective contact lenses.

Wear Contacts?
For those that wear contact lenses, spring can wreak havoc on their vision. Allergies can cause your eyes to become red, itchy, burning, watery, and cause swollen eyelids. It’s almost as if allergens act as a magnet to contact lenses…and literally they are. Allergens such as spores, pollens, and dust have a special attraction to contacts, especially the soft variety, which most contact lens wearers use. The American Optometric Association (AOA) says that more than 75% of contact lens wearers complain of allergen-caused eye pain and irritation.

Here are some helpful tips to reduce eye irritation:

  • See your eye doctor to rule out possible problems that may not be allergy-related.
  • Be sure to keep your contacts clean and consider using a preservative-free solution.
  • Do Not touch or rub your eyes when wearing contact lenses.
  • Wear eyeglasses instead of contact lenses when pollen count is at its highest.
  • Change your extended wear lenses with daily disposable lenses.
  • Apply cool compresses on your eyes.

If you or a loved one is experiencing allergy symptoms or have changes in your vision, schedule an eye exam to receive the most effective treatment options. Ophthalmologists tend to have their own treatment preferences for the different stages of allergy. So why wait? Get relief by scheduling a comprehensive eye exam online with Shofner Vision Center or call our office at (615) 340-4733. We accept most all insurance and our staff will answer any questions or concerns you have about your vision.


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