Allergies and Your Eyes

Allergies and Your Eyes

Oklahomans are known for battling the extremes. Extreme weather changes that lead  to extreme allergies are a common problem. The Weather Channel ranked Oklahoma City number 10 of 40 cities in America for the worst allergies.

There are several things that you can do to help fight these allergies.

From over the counter products for your eyes, natural remedies you can do at home to visiting your local Oklahoma City optometrist, to discuss options for eye relief all are good options.

Over-the-counter artificial tears are the first go-to product for eye allergy sufferers. When purchasing over-the-counter treatments, look for products containing an antihistamine. Antihistamines are compound that inhibit the physiological effects of histamines, the compounds our body uses to fight invaders, and are especially used in the treatment of allergies. Look for products like Visine, Zaditor or Opcon eye drops.

Natural home remedies are another option.

For example, Nettle leaves contain histamines and if made into a tea, contain anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can help eye allergies. For puffy eyes, eucalyptus essential oil is recommended for its anti-inflammatory properties. Add the eucalyptus oil to a diffuser or a steam bath to open up sinuses and reduce swollen eyes. Another at-home method is to use a cold compress on your eyes. Put some ice cubes in a clean washcloth and place on your eyes for 5-10 min each day for relief.

Speaking of home remedies, there are several ways you can maintain an allergy-free environment in your home. Before or after battling outside allergies, try these tips:

  • Wash your dirty clothes as soon as possible, as pollen and particles can gather on your clothes throughout the day.
  • Take a shower as soon as you get home to rinse out the particles that have accumulated in your hair. Showering often will also help keep your pillow case clean and allergy free.
  • Wash your sheets, pillowcases and blankets at least once a week to keep dust and particles at bay.
  • Do some deep cleaning and keep your windows closed during allergy season. This will help prevent dust and particles collecting on window blinds and surfaces.
  • Don’t forget to grab your sunglasses on your way out the door! Sunglasses can help block pollen from getting into your eyes.

Your optometrist can also prescribe you medications for your eye allergies. In some cases, symptoms may be more than just allergies. Consulting an optometrist ensures you will be evaluated and tested for more severe and serious eye infections.

If you are an Oklahoma student or faculty member suffering from allergies, Dr.Kenneth Guthrie offers 10% discounts off eye exams to local universities!