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How are your allergies this year? Symptoms are no fun, especially when they begin interfering with your quality of life and the activities you love most. Unfortunately, you’ve probably already discovered that allergens aren’t just outside, either. Watery, itchy eyes can be triggered by pet dander, mold, and dust, in addition to the usual pollen from trees, grass, and plants.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of eye allergies, you are not alone! In fact, over 11 million people suffer from some form of seasonal allergies each year! While there currently is no cure, there are several ways you can prevent or reduce the sneezing, sniffling, tears, etc.
During peak allergy season (spring and fall), avoid being outdoors as much as possible. This will reduce the risk of being in direct contact with free-floating allergens and will lessen the chances of the pesky pollen sticking to your clothing.
Maintain a strict shower regimen. Consider switching to night showers if you don’t already to remove stubborn allergens from your hair and skin. A hot shower also helps clear nasal passages, so you can breathe easier at night. Make sure you are washing your hands frequently, too, especially if you have pets.
Do the Laundry
To save face, keep the bedding clean from any pollen, dust, and dander that can accumulate on your sheets and pillowcases. It might be helpful to invest in a mattress cover to protect your sensitive eyes from dust mites looking for a cozy rest stop. Remember, pets can cause allergy symptoms to heighten, so consider keeping the animals outside the bedroom.
Itchy eyes are the worst, but try to maintain a “laissez-faire” approach when it comes to your face. Using your hands to itch, rub, or otherwise keep in contact with your face increases the chance of additional bacteria and allergens getting under your skin. Resisting the temptation to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth can help with symptom flare-ups.
Heading to a friend’s house or to see relatives for the weekend? Ask about the allergen situation of the home in question, especially if they have pets or live in the country. Knowing possible triggers ahead of time can help you prepare better, even if that just means packing a few extra boxes of tissues.
If you find it difficult to stay indoors, even during high allergy counts, cover up as much as possible. Sunglasses, in addition to protecting you from harmful UV light, can act as a buffer between air-borne allergens and your eyes. During allergy season, your eyes are generally more sensitive to light anyway, so opting for the shades will be a win-win.
Especially if you have pets, keeping the house allergy-proof is necessary for helping reduce allergy symptoms. Make sure carpets and upholstery are vacuumed regularly. Switch out furnace filters in the winter and keep the air conditioner running in the summer to ensure the house has clean air.